Innovyz launches with aim to bring TechStars start-up magic to Australia

By Oliver Milman
Friday, 24 February 2012

The ANZ Innovyz START program, a start-up accelerator scheme modelled on faced US incubator TechStars, has officially kicked off in Adelaide.


The intensive three-month program, which is part of the Global Accelerator Network, is the first accelerator in Australia to be based upon the TechStars format, which has helped create some of the US’ leading tech businesses.


As StartupSmart revealed in October last year, Adelaide firm SME Growth Capital was chosen to be part of the TechStars Network program, which has spread the TechStars concept around the world.


The program will take on 10 selected start-ups and will commence in May. The businesses, all from tech industry, will be intensively mentored by a network of 32 industry experts, with 10 of these mentors dispensing their advice from the US.


Innovyz aims to equip promising start-ups with the tools and strategies to make them ready for investors, who will be introduced to them on the final day of the program.


In return for a 8% equity stake per founder, for up to three founders, each of the founders will be given $6,000 to help with the cost of establishing themselves.


The Innovyz program will be led by US business guru Jana Matthews, who has moved to Adelaide to work on the project full time.


“I saw the impact that TechStars had in Boulder (in Colorado) and I thought this same kind of model could work here in Adelaide,” she says.


“Adelaide is ready for this. It’s small enough, well-educated enough and has a great environment to test this concept.”


“Just as TechStars spread from Boulder, the same kind of thing can happen here. So many entrepreneurs need help. We hope to have another program later this year and then another one next year.”


“The average TechStars start-up attracts $1 million in funding, so we hope that these 10 businesses will be investor ready, at the least.”


ANZ is sponsoring the Innovyz program in a bid to connect with the start-up community.


Nick Reade, GM for small business at ANZ, says: “Our support for this program forms part of ANZ’s commitment to the Australian small business sector. We’re also a strong supporter of the start-up segment, having an approval rate of around 80% for ANZ start-up loan applications.”


“The Australian small business sector contributes almost half of Australia’s private sector jobs, and while many are very successful, there are some which are having a tough time at present, and the sector continues to need investment and support.”


To apply to the program, go to

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Am I reading correctly that the founder gets 8% of their own idea in exchange for $6,000 + mentoring?. That seems an incredibly low amount of money for such a tiny amount of seed capital.
Alec N , May 29, 2012
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