The University of South Australia’s Innovation & Collaboration Centre (ICC) and Australian Centre for Business Growth (AuCBG) are collaborating to offer space startups a fully funded scaleup program that includes $10,000 in equity-free funding
The six-month Growth Ramp scaleup program is being backed by the South Australian government and will support later-stage startups that have been through the ICC’s Venture Catalyst Space as well as other space companies ready to scale,
Since 2018, the Venture Catalyst Space accelerator has supported 36 space startups that have collectively raised more than $31 million in additional investment and created more than 220 new space jobs.
Growth Ramp is aimed at startups with between five to 11 employees, and keen to scale, supporting them to refine product/market fit, determine an optimal customer base, identify best strategies and tactics for growth and hire executive teams.
ICC Deputy Director Craig Jone said demand for timely and tailored support for emerging businesses becomes increasingly crucial.
“The Venture Catalyst Space program has played a pivotal role in nurturing space innovators, providing them with invaluable opportunities to test their products, refine business models, and secure their first customers,” he said.
“The addition of the Growth Ramp program provides a truly unique offering, charting a clear pathway for these ventures to transform into scalable and thriving businesses.”
Adelaide startup AICRAFT is currently part of the accelerator program and has developed ultra-compact, high-speed, low power embedded AI solutions for space applications and last week signed a Memorandum of Understanding with program alumni ResearchSat to use their edge computing technology—enabling data processing at greater speeds and volumes—to assist with biological and scientific experiments in orbit.
AICRAFT CEO Tony Scoleri said the option of a scaleup program could propel investment potential.
“Building a company is a journey and having a program that helps CEOs consolidate and discover how to best scale up their operations is a significant piece in that journey,” he said.
“Some investors only consider companies that are ready for scaling up and can prove their growth path. Having the mentorship of experts will provide the guidance to build awareness, avoid pitfalls and focus on strategic elements for growth to the next level.”
Applications for the 2024 Venture Catalyst Space program are now open and close Sunday, 17 March. Apply via the ICC website.
For details on the Growth Ramp space pathway, see AuCBG website.