Amcom launches Perth tech startup accelerator

A new technology startup accelerator program launched in Perth by Australian telecommunications company Amcom is offering up to eight startups AU$40,000 in seed capital, along with three months of professional mentoring.

Australian telecommunications and IT company Amcom is launching a tech accelerator program in Western Australia in partnership with e-business association eGroup WA and technology hub Spacecubed.

The new program, dubbed Amcom Upstart, will identify up to eight startups, providing AU$40,000 in seed capital along with professional mentoring for each of the teams during the duration of the program's three-month period.

Amcom Upstart is open to any tech startup idea "providing it incorporates some software", said the Perth-based company in a statement on Tuesday.

"Amcom Upstart is about supporting and growing the local startup ecosystem and encouraging more local entrepreneurs to take the plunge and bring their ideas to life," said Amcom chairman Tony Grist.

Amcom COO Michel Knee said the program, which is set to kick off on June 1, comes after the company's long-time support of the local startup sector.

"Amcom has been a long-time supporter of innovation and the local startup ecosystem, working with and supporting Spacecubed and Startup Weekend Perth over a number of years," said Knee.

EGroup WA Secretary and program director Robert Nathan said that with Amcom on board, it would be able to bring a "world-class startup accelerator program to Perth in conjunction with much-needed seed capital".

"Whilst there has been increased investment activity in later-stage technology companies via the ASX in the last 12 months, there has been very little investment activity in the startup sector in WA," he said.

Amcom said the program was modelled on programs in the United States, with the initiative designed to help the startups get a "minimum viable product" to market, develop a business model, and win initial customers.

All of the startups in the program will have access to a number of experienced mentors, drawn from the extensive networks of Spacecubed, eGroup, and senior staff at Amcom, and a dedicated space at Spacecubed.

In addition to Amcom, the accelerator program has the financial backing and support of Grist, local venture capitalists Matt Macfarlane and Rob Newman, tech funder Forrest Capital, and a number of high net worth investors.

Amcom joins a growing list of local telecommunications companies supporting Australian technology startups.

Telstra's muru-D accelerator in Sydney is already onto its "second class" of startups after seeing no fewer than nine teams graduate from its program last year, while SingTel's Optus Innov8 Seed program is bringing together funding and resources for Australian tech startups.