What is an accelerator?

An accelerator is an intensive startup incubation and support program that typically operates over a 12-week period. It’s a well-developed and popular approach to innovation already used in many industries.

How is Energise 2.0 different from other accelerators?
Energise 2.0 is an accelerator program specifically for innovation in the energy and natural resources (ENR) industries. It is an intensive advisory, mentorship and support program designed to rapidly develop the startups’ business model and product-service offering through KPMG’s leading advisory services, external mentors and access to leading ENR corporates. Uniquely, Energise 2.0 is co-designed with leading ENR corporates and built around their most-pressing innovation priorities, providing startups with innovative solutions the opportunity to get in front of relevant decision makers.

Why would I want to apply for a KPMG accelerator?

Energise 2.0 is the second iteration of what is the largest sector-specific accelerator in the southern hemisphere. After a successful program in 2015, KPMG has returned with an enhanced accelerator co-designed with Tier 1 ENR corporates and incorporating some exciting new improvements.

KPMG is one of the largest global networks providing professional services, operating in 155 countries and with over 162,000 people working in member firms around the world. The program leverages the broad capability of KPMG to provide Energise 2.0 participants with a whole of business and market approach.

KPMG advisors are among the best in the business and have extensive experience in company set-up, product development, customer discovery and pitching. We also have a large network of ENR clients to whom participants can pitch ideas, as well as hundreds of clients looking to invest; from high net worth individuals to small companies to global corporations.

Why is KPMG doing this?

Energise 1.0 strengthened our idea that new challenges demand new solutions. That’s why KPMG Australia has looked to harness Australia’s best and brightest startups to offer new solutions to the ENR sector.

Through Energise 2.0, KPMG will assist organisations to identify and engage innovative startups. Energise 2.0 provides access to an established accelerator program with an already-strong brand in the startup sector, bringing access to startups who are leading their respective fields and providing broad reach beyond what could be accessed through an in-house single-company accelerator program.

KPMG recognises that innovation is key to sustainable productivity growth and that small startups often have great ideas but find it difficult to scale. Energise 2.0 provides a platform for raising awareness of your business in the marketplace and provides cues to external suppliers on areas where innovation is sought.

1.  The program

What is the program?

KPMG Australia will work alongside our established clients to identify their most pressing issues and areas of interest, crafting these into selection criteria for startup applications. Successful entrants have 12 weeks to develop solutions, with access to ‘real-time’ customer feedback from corporate clients, industry leaders from across Australia, as well as internationally renowned tech-experts from Silicon Valley.

Throughout the program, startups will receive:

  • guidance on their business model and value proposition
  • insights into valuable skills for connecting and selling to corporate clients
  • connections with a pool of proven ENR entrepreneurs from across Australia and abroad, and
  • advice on scaling their business.

At the end of the process, clients will have the option to trial or adopt the startup’s solution into their business, helping startups develop the capabilities to better gain traction with corporate clients in the ENR sector. A significant number of proof-of-concept, pilot contracts and implementation projects originated out of Energise 1.0; and we would anticipate similar outcomes this year.

What are the benefits of the program to start-ups?

During the program you will receive training from trusted advisors from across KPMG’s service areas including, but not limited to Corporate Finance, R&D Tax, Management Consulting, Enterprise and Technology Advisory. In all, up to 40 KPMG employees were engaged in the delivery of Energise 1.0. You will also have the opportunity to pitch your ideas to customers, including leading national and global ENR corporations.

Where will the program be run?

The program will be run from KPMG’s offices in Brisbane and Perth, located at:

  • Riparian Plaza, 71 Eagle St, Brisbane
  • 235 St Georges Terrace, Perth

Participants are expected to attend each session at KPMG’s offices in either Brisbane or Perth for the duration of the program.

Why is the program run out of Perth?

Given that Queensland and Western Australia are Australia’s leading ENR states, there is no better location for an ENR focused accelerator program. Brisbane and Perth are recognised as leading ENR hubs globally, and so they are the natural east and west coast hubs for the Energise 2.0 program given their proximity to leading global and national ENR operators and services companies.

What level of commitment is expected of my business?

All startups are expected to be present on one full day per week at KPMG’s Brisbane or Perth office over the 12 week program. Much of the value of the program will come from interaction with other program participants, and ad-hoc, one-on-one meetings with KPMG people and program mentors, rather than the more formal parts of the program. There is an expectation that participants will take advantage of these opportunities.

What is the structure of the program?

The program will be run over a 12 week period with a different focus each week on key issues facing startups. Topics include market and opportunity insights, commercial models, set-up and strategy. Each week there will be one full day session. The session includes activities that range from external presenters, workshop activities, KPMG subject matter experts and video conferences with Silicon Valley industry experts. The structured program will be run by KPMG Australia professionals with specialisation in each of the program topics. For the remainder of the week participants will meet with mentors and KPMG service team leaders to discuss specific issues facing their business, as well as working on refining their business model and product offering. Participants will also have access to some of KPMG’s ENR clients during structured meetings throughout the program.

Do I have to be there for the entire 12 week period?

Yes, although we understand things come up. What you put into the program will be what you get out…and it will be intense! There is a lot of learning and development you will be absorbing over 12 brief weeks, take advantage of it!

What happens at the end of the program?

The program culminates in client presentation during the last week of the program. Businesses will have the opportunity to pitch their business and form networks to continue to engage with the ENR industry in order to sell, progress or further commercialise their idea. Businesses will also participate in a graduation day at the end of the program to celebrate their achievements over the 12 week program.

Do I have to stay in Perth once the program ends?

No. You are free to run your business from anywhere you want to.

What type of mentors will be involved in Energise 2.0?

KPMG has secured a first class team of mentors which will be available to all participants. The Energise 2.0 mentors hail from both our local community and the international stage. In Australia, the mentors comprise of both entrepreneurs and investors who have world-class expertise in technology startups in the ENR sector. Overseas mentors include investors from large US accelerators, entrepreneurs from successful global startups and experts that specialise in raising capital through global networks and markets.

Will I have any ongoing access to mentors and KPMG knowledge following the conclusion of the program?

Absolutely! After graduation, we will provide a degree of ongoing contact and support to ensure the best outcome for you. By this stage you will be able to leverage the network that you have built during the program to help support your development.

What does it cost to participate in the program?

Nothing. Zero. Nil. There is no cost to startups to participate in the program. We’re here to help you get to where you want to go… we just hope that you remember us all when you’re the next Google!

Does Energise 2.0 take equity in my business?

No. Neither the Energise 2.0 team nor KPMG will take equity (stock) in your business by participating in the Energise 2.0 program. Great, right?

If I am not from Perth, will you provide accommodation for the 12 week period?

No, we do not provide accommodation. However, we can provide assistance to help you find accommodation.

2. Eligible applicants

What types of businesses is Energise 2.0 looking for?

The program supports Australian companies with:

  • A technology solution applicable to the energy and natural resources sector or to the service businesses supporting the sector;
  • A customer base providing annual revenue of up to AUD 7.5 million in relation to your technology solution;
  • In the absence of customers, seed funding or development spend to date of at least AUD 200,000 with demonstrable evidence of customer validation of the value proposition for your product/service;
  • A founding core team in place (of at least two or more full-time staff); and
  • Willingness and ability to work from the KPMG offices in Brisbane or Perth for one day per week during the 12 week program.

Do we need to be registered and located in Western Australia?

It is not a requirement that you are based in Brisbane or Perth however, if you apply and you are selected for the program you will need to finance you own accommodation. KPMG Australia will provide you with assistance in finding appropriate accommodation for the duration of the program.

We have already taken some funding, can we still apply?

Why is Energise 2.0 only looking for post-seed funded companies or companies with revenues?

Quite simply, you can’t sell an ‘idea’ to an ENR company and KPMG can’t advise a company that doesn’t exist!

Energise 2.0 is specifically targeting companies that are ‘further along’ i.e. have started testing the product in the market, have customers and (ideally) have generated revenue in the last 12 months. This is because the program is designed specifically to help high performing Australian businesses to fast track their growth. To do this, this would generally require a proven market product and a base level of customers.

Can I apply on my own?

No. Energise 2.0 is looking for a team of two or more people to participate in the program. Launching a start-up and growing a business is too much work for one person!

Is there a maximum number of team members?

No. There is no strict maximum number of team members that can attend the program (for a successful applicant). However, we suggest the team to be two-three people and that each team member attend all program events to increase the outcomes for your business from the program.

Can I apply if our company founders or team members are not from Australia?
Yes. You and your team members may apply if you are not Australian residents. However, you may need to obtain certain visas or approvals from the relevant authority. Also, your business needs to be an Australian registered company and/or have an Australian Business Number.

Can you help with visa/immigration issues?

No. You and your team will need to organise in advance any necessary visas to participate in Energise 2.0.

When will the final Energise 2.0 businesses be announced? How many will be selected?

It’s a rolling application process so we will get back to you pretty quickly. We don’t have a set quota as it depends on how many ‘game-changing’ startups apply (such as yourself)! We anticipate we will select between five-eight businesses into the program.

3.    Application and selection process

How do I apply?

Click here and you will be redirected to our application platform Gust.

Do I need to send a business plan?

No. We do however ask that you complete the application form, complete formal interviews (if required) and provide any other requested information.

We do not wish to see your business plan, financial statements or marketing/product materials. We will provide you with a formal request for information if we require anything further from you or your team above and beyond the application process.

How do you choose which applicants to accept into the program?

All applications will be assessed against the Energise 2.0 program criteria by a selection panel made up of industry specialists, mentors, KPMG Australia representatives and program partners.

If you are successful in progressing to the second round, you’ll then be asked to attend an interview (in person or online) with the Energise 2.0 interview panel. In this interview, we’ll want to know more about you and your team, your vision for global growth and why you want to participate in Energise 2.0.

When will the final companies be announced?

Successful program participants will be announced in November.

How many companies will be selected?

We don’t have a set quota as it depends on how many ‘game-changing’ startups apply. In the 2015 program, Energise 1.0 selected eight startups.

What is the deadline to apply for Energise 2.0?

Applications for Energise 2.0 will close 12noon (WST) on Monday 7 November 2016 once all positions are filled.

Is my age a factor in the selection process?

No. The age of you or your team is not relevant to the application process. Both younger and older founders/business owners and team members are welcome to apply, as long as the company and the team meet the other criteria of Energise 2.0.

Will contacting mentors or other KPMG Australia people help my application?

No, and please don’t try to call or email them. The mentors and KPMG Australia people have already offered their free-time and support to the program – please do not try to get in contact with them as this will not help advance your application.

Can I still submit an application if I do not meet all the minimum criteria?

YES! If you do not satisfy all of the above criteria in the program requirements but still believe you are suitable for Energise 2.0, we recommend you complete the online application and we will consider your application as part of the program selection process.

4.    Legal

Will you sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement?
No. We won’t show your application to anyone outside the Energise 2.0 selection and interview team. As you would appreciate, we will see hundreds of applications, and some may include similar ideas. For this and other practical reasons, we are unable to sign a NDA.

Does Energise 2.0 retain or obtain any rights to my intellectual property developed during the program?

No. Energise 2.0 does not retain or obtain any rights to participants intellectual property developed through the program. The intellectual property developed by a participating company is retained by the company.

I’m concerned that if I apply, you won’t protect my intellectual property. Should I be worried about this?

No, we won’t share your application with anyone outside of the Energise 2.0 accelerator program team and partners involved in the selection process without your prior consent.

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