What can we expect from the program next year?
We have relaunched our Acceleration Program
to reflect the learnings after running the program six times across the country. The program in 2020 is an opportunity to bring together all our collective learnings, what has worked well and what could be improved in order to best support the most promising clean energy startups in Australia.
The program is nine months long and will be centred around three three-month modules that assist startups to build a prototype that they can sell, to find their first customer, and then to raise capital to help them to grow. These modules will kick off with one-week intensives across Melbourne and Sydney where startups will attend masterclasses to build skills and be exposed to our mentor network, alumni and showcasing opportunities to help them build networks, supporters and the customers required to succeed.
In between the one-week intensives is time. Time to put their heads down and work on their startup, connect with the mentors network as required, work with EnergyLab's Chair Piers Grove, our fair leader and a successful entrepreneur, and connect and support one another.What makes EnergyLab program different to other accelerators?
We are good friends with many accelerators. We are connected with the New Energy Nexus network, a global network of clean energy accelerators. We work together to learn from each other's successes and challenges. One thing about EnergyLab that I'm really proud of is that we support accelerators within and outside of our industry because more successful entrepreneurs is Australia is good for everyone. One of the things that makes us special is the team behind EnergyLab. We are a hard working, efficient and lovely team, if I do say so myself, who are here for coffees and chats but will follow through on our word and work tirelessly to support startups that we work with.
EnergyLab has a culture of honest and open feedback and constant improvement. We work really hard to refine our program, seek out opportunities for improvement and make our accelerator a world class programme for startups and an excellent experience for every founder we work with.
I have also been really proud that we don't buy into parts of the startup culture that can often be toxic. We are not a beer and pizza organisation that pushes entrepreneurs to work until they burn out. We take a holistic view of the founder's journey, supporting the humans behind the startups as much as the startups themselves. And we really value and work towards inclusivity and supporting a diverse startups. This isn't easy in an traditional industry like energy but our programs like the Women in Clean Energy Fellowship
run by my colleague Milly Young are designed to combat this.
This means that what makes us different is that we support a broad range of entrepreneurs, many of whom have had five years to decades of experience in an industry before deciding to make a change and disrupt it. In our Intake 6 cohort in 2019, six of the nine startups we supported were founded by at least one parent. That is a number that I'm really proud of.