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EnergyLab and Southern Cross Enterprise Lab partner to drive innovation for a clean energy future in the NSW Northern Rivers


Sharlene King
6 August 2018

Australia’s leading clean-tech business accelerator EnergyLab has partnered with Southern Cross University’s Enterprise Lab to launch an Acceleration Program for innovators in the renewable and advanced energy sectors.

EnergyLab’s Acceleration Program, founded in 2016 and principally sponsored by Origin Energy, was the first in Australia to focus on energy startups and is now the largest acceleration programs in the Australian energy sector.

In this new partnership, EnergyLab’s accelerator program will be delivered through the Enterprise Lab at Southern Cross University’s Lismore campus. The program is designed to boost clean energy startups in the Northern Rivers and offers support throughout the program from six to 24 months.

“Southern Cross University’s Enterprise Lab is committed to providing opportunities to foster the solutions of tomorrow, today. With support of the NSW Government’s Boosting Business Innovation Program we are able bring together researchers, SMEs, industry, startups, students and other stakeholders to further propel the Northern Rivers as a hub for clean energy innovation in Australia,” said Ben Roche, Pro Vice Chancellor Engagement, Southern Cross University.

“Supporting technologies for clean energy not only makes ecological sense, it makes good economic sense: establishing the foundation for a jobs and investment boom for Northern NSW.”

Startups joining the program will have access to the Southern Cross Enterprise Lab’s free co-working space, mentors, legal and accounting support and business training. This includes the fastest optic fibre broadband in the region. Startups accepted into the Early Stage Acceleration Program who meet additional criteria are also offered $50,000 in seed capital from Artesian Venture Capital firm, manager of the Clean Energy Seed Fund.

The Accelerator Program will not just be focussed on clean technology – there is scope for startups who are specialising in a range of areas that contribute to a clean energy future in Australia. Potential concepts include clean energy generation, waste management, energy efficiency, and new farming technologies.

Startups in the program will have access to an extensive network of mentors from a wide range of backgrounds, such as energy companies, government departments, investment institutions and other startup founders. Startups involved in the program will also join an exclusive cohort of 23 companies across the country currently participating in other EnergyLab acceleration programs.

Along with the Accelerator Program, a new range of events, workshops and speaker series will also be featuring throughout the year. The partnership will officially launch on September 4 with a panel discussion and networking event at the Enterprise Lab focussing on ‘Opportunities for Clean Energy Startups in the Northern Rivers’.

“We are very excited to partner with Southern Cross University to provide our clean tech startup Accelerator Program in the Northern Rivers region. The region is home to many clean tech innovation pioneers and has a high renewable energy adoption rate. Local clean tech entrepreneurs joining our Accelerator program will have access to venture capital to fund their startup, dedicated coaching, our national mentor network and our workshop series to help build and commercialise their clean tech startups,”  said Nick Lake, EnergyLab co-founder and executive director.