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EY program supports startups making the tech of tomorrow


future technology

Forget Internet of Things (IoT), these startups are looking at the Internet of Light (IoL).

Creating a business around technology that doesn't exist yet can be a challenging prospect, which makes support and mentorship all the more important. Now in its third year, the EY Asia-Pacific Accelerating Entrepreneurs program is a way for innovative startups to get their projects off the ground.

The 24 innovative, high-growth startups in the scheme are working in a range of tech-related fields and creating numerous products and services, including ideas as diverse as DNA criminal marking technology and leak-proof underwear for periods.

Australian startup IoL Technologies was among the 24 chosen for the program, selected for its work in smart LED lighting technologies. The startup has been focusing on "smart cities", embedding an IoT platform inside LED lights. The aim is to deliver high-value commercial and social opportunities for the development of sustainable urban spaces.

"EY’s excellent program helped us leverage valuable networking opportunities and secure three strategic partnerships in the areas of transportation, IOT and smart systems," IoL Technologies founder David Whitefield said.

The program meets a need for Australia's burgeoning startup market. A recent survey of Australian startups by Startup Muster found that 42.7% of current startup founders identified mentorship as part of their current plans. Mentorship also ranked highly for future startup founders, with 66.2% identifying it as a priority in the next six months.

Selected startups will be flown to Rome for EY's Strategic Growth Forum event in February, be promoted through EY's channels and have networking and mentoring opportunities with industry and government leaders.

"The event also showcased the importance the world is placing on energy efficiency – especially at a senior Government level. We met with Ministers, Deputy Prime Ministers, G20 Representatives and the Founders of over 40 emerging companies from Australia, SE Asia, the Middle East, Europe and North Africa to open up a dialogue about smart lighting across the world.”

EY's program comes as the government puts pressure on banks to help small businesses. The small business loans inquiry, held in late November, saw the Big Four banks taken to task regarding financing small businesses. The government has also announced plans for a supersized startup hub in Sydney as well as an app designed to help young people looking to start their own businesses.

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