Tech Scene Spotlight: Adelaide, Australia
WHY MOVE TO ADELAIDE?
You might not really have Adelaide initially on your radar. It’s considered colloquially to be the city of churches and home to the infamous pie floaters. It has a lot of the charms of a big country town with plenty of green spaces, coastal areas, and neighbourhoods where people get to know you on a first name basis. It’s also the birthplace of a number of famous Australians including Sia Furler, Maggie Beer, Julia Gillard and our very own Laura Mercurio! If you are looking to move a business to Adelaide or you want the real story on what it’s like to move from Adelaide to the other side of the world, she’s the one to connect with for real, first hand experience.
But did you know it’s also 5th in world’s most livable cities? It also home to great universities, a government that has invested significantly in programs and grants for startups, in the hope new businesses will become a driver of jobs and economic growth. It was the place of Australia’s first autonomous car trials and is Australia’s first GigCity, offering businesses high-speed internet that’s up to 100-times the national average.
South Australia has a strong resources and energy sector with a commitment to renewable energy. TESLA is partnering with French renewable energy developer Neoen to build the world’s biggest lithium-ion battery right in Adelaide (imagine bumping shoulders with Elon down at the pub?)
HELP FOR STARTUPS
Startup Adelaide is a fantastic organisation running an annual startup weekend, facilitating an online community, and providing a voice for startups with government and big business. They also created an Ecosystem Map that is regularly updated.
Enterprise Adelaide Business Advisors offer FREE one-on-one advice as well as a referral service for small businesses to connect with various professional service providers that can offer further specialist information and advice.
Adelaide has over 30 Coworking spaces including SouthStart, Base64 and 313 Halifax Street. An interesting example is St Paul’s Creative Centre, a co-working space for those working in arts and creative industries and technology. It houses 2 purpose-built songwriting rooms for artists to collaborate other artists and/or music engineers and producers on new material. It also houses a FabLab with 3D printing, laser cutting & digital fabrication equipment.
We’re huge fans of Sass Place, a co-working space focused on women who are starting their own business. Its services include an on-site crèche for women who have small children (rare in startup land) and it’s a great place for building community and professional networks.
Accelerator programs and Incubators
There;s a number of accelerator programmes offered through organisations such as Venture Dorm. eNVIsion is a collaborative incubator space connecting local business owners and entrepreneurs with a wide range of resources within Flinders University. A newcomer is Techstars Adelaide, the first focused incubator on
A newcomer is Techstars Adelaide, the first focused incubator on commercialising innovation from and within the defence industry. Techstars Adelaide will support early-stage companies advancing applications in IoT, big data, sensors and robotics, with the potential to develop and commercialise technologies related to the defence and security sectors.
Show me the money
The South Australian Early Commercialisation Fund is a new State Government grant program established to assist South Australia’s entrepreneurs and innovative organisations looking to commercialise novel products and services. It provides eligible companies and organisations with grants of up to a maximum of $500,000 + GST with matched funding required in most cases. Other government grants can be viewed on the government website.
Australian R&D Tax Incentive
The Australian Government’s principal measure to encourage industry investment in research and development (R&D) which it does by providing tax offsets to eligible entities that undertake eligible R&D activities. It is a self-assessment program open to all industry sectors. It has two core components, a refundable tax offset of 45 percent for certain eligible entities whose aggregated turnover is less than $20 million, and a 40 percent nonrefundable tax offset for all other eligible entities.
In some respects, some of the charms of Adelaide are also its downsides. Like in any country town, (non-tech) jobs in some sectors are hard to find. Wages are lower than Melbourne and Sydney. The 24-hour life cycle of bigger cities is not so prevalent and shops and other businesses may close earlier than you are used to and not open some days. Not uncommon for Australia, some buses only run once every hour and transport can be less accessible on evenings and weekends..
The warmer winter also has the side effect of blisteringly hot summers of several 40+c days in a row.
Australia offers a number of skilled visas as well as specific visas for travellers under the age of 30. The Business Talent (Permanent) visa requires you to have a level of wealth outside the reach of most people.
5 STARTUPS TO WATCH
Voxon Photonics are creators of the Voxon VX1 – the world’s most advanced three-dimensional (3D) volumetric display, a new type of 3D display that you can look at from any direction without the need for special glasses.
Their 3D volumetric technology brings digital content to life and helps empower people to visualise, communicate, learn and have fun in a collaborative manner with no barrier to the 3D experience, and no glasses required.
Frontier Microscopy provides automated analysis systems to commercial laboratories. We combine our own robotics and AI software with off-the-shelf microscope hardware to supercharge laboratory efficiency. Their first product, Marvin, automates air filter analysis for the asbestos air monitoring industry. They also offer the Frontier Microscopy Management Suite providing additional efficiencies to air monitoring businesses by centralising field data collection, manual analysis, reporting, and client communication.
Their long-term vision is to provide easily configurable software that will allow anyone to automate any kind of microscopy (or other spectral) analysis without needing to be an AI or a robotics engineer.
Many farmers, resource companies, environmental agencies, governments, defense agencies and industries with remote operations have a strong demand for remote machine-to-machine connectivity. However, they simply cannot justify the cost of existing services because they need small amounts of data from tens of thousands of sensors. In response, Myriota has developed a low-power, low-cost, satellite IoT communications platform. that makes transmission of small data from remote locations economically viable for a new class of sensors and machines.
Rising costs of electricity and gas have become a major concern for Australian businesses. IoT company Buddy offer real-time monitoring of electricity, gas, solar energy and water usage with their Buddy Ohm system, essentially a FitBit for buildings. Buddy transforms the expensive and labor-intensive process of collecting, managing and analysing IoT big data into a fast, simple and real-time process. Buddy have previously gained kudos for taking over Parse when it was dropped by Facebook and
Fleet is not just another IoT connectivity company. Founded by aerospace engineers and a serial entrepreneur, they aim to solve the problems of IoT connectivity through the use of nano satellites to connect devices and sensors. The company $5m series A funding this year and is planning pilot programs in different markets including agriculture, transport and oil, and gas, before launching their first satellites in 2018.
Looking to scale your Adelaide business to the UK? Thinking of relocating to Adelaide to get in on all the fantastic innovations happening? Got any thoughts about life in Adelaide? We’d love to hear your thoughts. Leave a comment, join us on facebook or chat with us on slack or twitter.