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KPMG's latest startup accelerator is focusing on energy and natural resources

The indoor World Climbing and Paraclimbing Championships in Paris. Miguel Medina/AFP/Getty Images

KPMG Australia launched the second generation of Energise, one of the largest energy and natural resources startup accelerators in the Asia-Pacific.

The 2015 program saw $650,000 delivered to eight Australian startups. Applications are now open for this year’s program.

Energise 2.0 wants to facilitate breakthrough innovations by connecting the most innovative startups with forward thinking industry leaders.

The 12-week accelerator is designed to foster collaboration and co-creation between startups and top tier sector companies and help to deliver improvements in cost, productivity, social, environmental and safety performance.

“The energy and natural resources sector plays a key role in not just driving Australia’s economy, but also as a driver of innovation,” says Gary Smith, KPMG’s Western Australia chairman.

Companies taking part in this year’s accelerator include Woodside Energy, Wesfarmers Chemicals Energy and Fertilisers, and South32.

Doug Bester, CEO of Sentient Computing, a startup in last year’s program, says his business significantly improved net profit, secured major contracts with global oil and gas companies and added four people to the team.

“Being involved in the program has given us credibility, opened doors for us and made selling into the resource sector giants much more accessible,” he says.

Energise, unlike many early-stage accelerators, does not ask startups for equity. It focuses on creating collaboration opportunities for later-stage startups that have already secured existing seed funding and have commercially proven solutions.

Startup companies should also be prepared to attend sessions and events in either Brisbane or Perth.

The Energise accelerator runs from late 2016 to early 2017 with a six-week break over December and January.

In July, KPMG Australia launched mLabs, an accelerator to connect credit unions and mutual banks with some of Australia’s most promising fintech startups.

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