The NSW Government is calling for the state’s fintech and cyber security startups to apply for a new intensive accelerator program to take place at the new Australian landing pad in Tel Aviv later this year, with successful applicants to receive accommodation and return flights to Israel.
Looking for startups who are “ready to go global” and “help build Sydney’s reputation as a leading Asia Pacific innovation hub”, funding for the initiative was announced by Premier Mike Baird during his trip to Israel in April this year.
Baird signed an Agreement on Bilateral Cooperation in R&D and Technical Innovation with Israel’s chief scientist, Avi Hasson during the trip. This agreement committed NSW and Israel to invest $2 million into cooperative startup and innovation projects, with a particular focus on cybersecurity, agribusiness, and water management.
As well as participation in the program, the government has promised successful applicants opportunities to explore potential commercialisation partners under the Agreement and participation in the DLD Tel Aviv innovation festival.
“Israel is known as ‘startup nation’ for good reason, and, as we prepare to launch our own Innovation Strategy later this year, there can be no better time to study the successful Israeli model for nurturing new ideas and encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship,” Baird said on the signing of the agreement.
“I want to make NSW the ‘startup state’, and this week we have helped this goal by engaging and establishing formal partnerships between our businesses, universities, researchers, and their counterparts in Israel.
“Israel is one of the world’s most innovative economies, and by creating a new corridor between Israel and ourselves – on issues such as cyber security, financial and medical technologies, and innovation – we can increase NSW’s competitiveness in the future digital economy.”
NSW will be the first state to sponsor startups to visit the Tel Aviv landing pad. Set up by Austrade, the landing pad is housed in SOSA, or South of Salame, in South Tel Aviv.
When it comes to tech startups, the NSW government has long had a focus on the fintech space, helping to establish Sydney fintech hub Stone and Chalk hub last year. It also facilitated the arrival of a global fintech delegation to Sydney last month, with NSW Minister for Trade, Tourism, Sport, and Major Events Stuart Ayres saying Sydney is well placed to be the hub of the Australian fintech sector.
“There are lots of people wanting to learn about the fintech space here. When you’re a city that has the bulk of $3 trillion in superannuation funds being managed out of here, when you’re a city that has 68 global banks based in it, when you’re a city that has around 65 percent of the nation’s financial services industry based in it, this is a very natural home for fintech, and it’s a very natural home for innovation,” he said.
“As global economic activity shifts from Europe and the United States to emerging markets across Asia, Australia presents a very unique offering for not only a safe landing zone in Asia, but a very, very strong launching pad, especially when you’ve got the capacity to protect IP, a strong rule of law, and the opportunity to access an increasingly deep pool of talent.”
Image: Mike Baird. Source: NSW Government.