Adelaide to get international technology and commercialisation boost

WRP Legal & Advisory, through Director Garry Winter, have been instrumental at enticing Techstars, the leading Accelerator programme in the world to Adelaide. We have had the full support of the State and Federal governments and importantly, from all of the major companies in the Defence Industry in Australia including BAE, Lockheed Martin, Babcock, Thales and DCNS to name a few.

This process has taken nearly two years of hard work, but Garry, together with Remo Carbone (Ianden) and Kieran Purcell (Macquarie) were very pleased to received formal confirmation from Techstars last month that they would establish their first Asia-Pacific Accelerator in Adelaide.

The Accelerator is a Defence and Security industry focussed Accelerator, due to Adelaide’s obvious strategic advantage in this sector. In fact, many people may not be aware how large the Defence Industry will be in SA with over $120Billion worth of projects already approved to be completed in SA, as follows:

Future Frigates $35billion
Future Submarines $50billion
Armoured Fighting Vehicles $1billion
Land Combat Vehicle System Program $4 – $5billion
Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft $3billion
Jindalee Operational Radar Network $1 – $2billion
AP-3C Orion Maritime Patrol Aircraft $1.6billion
Triton Unmanned Aircraft System $1billion
Collins Class Submarines $10billion
Air Warfare Destroyers $9.1billion
Project Sentinel $1billion
Offshore Patrol Vessels $3billion

In addition, Adelaide has been confirmed as the location of the newly established Centre for Defence Industry Capability (CDIC) (see – . This will add to the expected benefits that will arise from the creation of the new Techstars Accelerator which is expected to commence in or around June 2017.

What is an Accelerator?

Accelerators are fixed-term, cohort-based programs, that include mentorship and educational components and culminate in a pitch event or demo day. Unlike business incubators, the application process for seed accelerators is open to anyone, but highly competitive. Accelerators are often industry specific and involve partnerships with leaders of a particular industry (eg Disney, McDonalds, Walmart, Ford etc..). (see –

The primary value to the entrepreneur is derived from the mentoring, connections, and the recognition of being chosen to be a part of the accelerator. The business model is based on generating venture style returns, not rent, or fees for services.

The process that start-ups go through in the accelerator can be separated into five distinct phases: awareness, application, program, demo day, post demo day.

What are the Benefits?

Based on Techstars historical statistics we expect that the Techstars Defence and Security Accelerator in Adelaide will attract applications from around 500 start-up companies each year from around the world. Only 10 of these will be accepted into the program each year. It is expected, however, that between 30 to 40 of the companies that do not make the final 10 will still relocate to Adelaide on the basis that the increase in activity that the Techstars Accelerator will bring and the industry focus will still be beneficial to them.

Importantly and based on Techstars historical statistics, we expect (on average) that each company that participates in the Techstars program in Adelaide will:

  1. Create 10 jobs;
  2. Raise capital of approximately $3million; and
  3. End up with a Market Capitalisation of $7m.

Over the 5 years of the Techstars Defence and Security Accelerator this will result in the creation of at least 500 jobs, generate capital raised of over $150million, and create a total market capitalisation of in excess of $350million.

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