Sunshine Coast to host accelerator program for startups in connectivity sector

- November 7, 2018 2 MIN READ

Queensland’s Sunshine Coast is to become home to SunRamp, an accelerator program focused on the connectivity industry, backed by Boulder-based organisation CableLabs.

CableLabs, an innovation lab for the cable and internet connectivity industry with over 60 global member companies, has created UpRamp, an initiative to work with startups in the sector. UpRamp will power SunRamp Australasia on the Sunshine Coast.

According to founders Ron Hill and Simon Knapp, the location was chosen in part thanks to the international submarine cable in Maroochydore, which will be operational in the first half of 2020.

The cable will be Australia’s fastest connection to Asia and the second fastest to the US, and the only other cable connection on the east coast outside of Sydney.

“The similarities between Boulder, Colorado and the Sunshine Coast, Australia, with the Smart City planning, the entrepreneurial energy and terrific outdoor lifestyle are uncanny,” Hill added.

“It’s exciting to bring such a well-supported and connected accelerator program to Maroochydore to be part of the fantastic vision Sunshine Coast Council has for the region.”

The program will look to work with six companies in each cohort, running two cohorts a year. Each program will run for 13 weeks. Participants will be eligible to receive up to $100,000 in seed funding.

“The target is for a minimum of two companies from Australia with the remaining from overseas, in particular the US and Asian markets,” Hill said.

Mark Jamieson, mayor of the Sunshine Coast, said the program will help raise the profile of the Sunshine Coast.

“This program is the first investment outcome linked to the recent announcement of the international broadband submarine cable and we are confident the global market will open the doors to further investment both in the short and long term,” he said.

“With their first-hand knowledge and extensive experience, SunRamp is in a good position to share and educate the next generation of Sunshine Coast innovators.”

Also working to promote Queensland innovation is Slingshot’s Horizons accelerator.

Running in Brisbane and Cairns, the program is working with startups in the tourism and travel space to build the state into a global hub for innovation in this sector.

Image: Mark Jamieson, Ron Hill, Simon Knapp. Source: Supplied.

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