KPMG and Artesian Venture Partners have just done a deal to strengthen the relationship between big corporate and the startup sector.
The alliance, announced today, will provide up to 1000 Australian high-growth startups with a support network and capital from KPMG clients over the next five years.
In return, KPMG will get the data it needs to commercialise and research the startups sector.
“To date the Australian technology sector has been finding its feet and growing rapidly. Where we are today is a testament to local entrepreneurs and their ability and determination to punch above their weight,” Artesian Partner and COO, Tim Heasley said.
“But, it’s time for the startup industry to mature, to operate with a new level of professionalism without losing its edge. We need to mobilise, professionalise, and build a cohesive structure around the industry to take it to the next level.
“The alliance with KPMG will allow the engagement of corporates in the startup ecosystem as customers, partners or potential acquirers and will help startups and technology become a substantial industry, as we move away from a reliance on mining and resources.”
The collaboration also includes Australian universities, incubators and accelerators, giving superannuation funds and industry bodies a clearer way to engage with tech startups and innovation.
KPMG also hopes it will boost its internal innovation and advisory services as well as increase M&A activity with Australian entrepreneurs.
The advisory firm will also begin offering tailored professional services to Artesian clients and startups and will start using data to develop research models to better understand the growing sector and its future direction.
Artesian’s co-investment model enables it to scale up its investment portfolio fast – it outsources selection, mentoring and due diligence processes to partners, accelerators, incubators and research institutions. This model has enabled Artesian be involved in a bunch of funding deals recently including Sydney Angels, BlueChilli, the University of Queensland’s ilab, the University of Wollongong’s IAccelerate and Slingshot in Newcastle.
“And now our alliance with KPMG, who was selected as a result of a competitive process, will help us to identify and introduce corporate and other partners to these opportunities,” Heasley said.
KPMG Australia’s innovation boss Martin Sheppard said entrepreneurs have the potential to contribute more than $100 billion to the Australian economy over the next 20 years.
“Proactively engaging with Australia’s startup ecosystem is critical to our innovation strategy,” he said.
“It will expose us and our clients to new growth opportunities; provide early insights into emerging and disruptive technologies, and help us and our clients stay ahead of the curve. Combined with our Fintech work and other initiatives to be announced over coming months, it will position KPMG as an authority in this dynamic sector.”
The partners will jointly commercialise the accumulated data of the venture, expected to encompass up to 1000 companies over the next five years.
“Although there is a lot of buzz around startups, including strong corporate interest, little actual research has been done on the sector,” Sheppard said.
“Our data has the potential to play an important role in unlocking entrepreneurial potential in Australia. This alliance is an incredibly exciting opportunity.”