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Government of South Australia - Department of Industry, Innovation and Science

    South Australia’s startup ecosystem

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    Supporting South Australian entrepreneurs to start and scale their businesses

    South Australia’s startup ecosystem has grown significantly over the last decade, as recognised by the Startup Genome Global Startup Ecosystem Report, which ranks Adelaide as a Top 5 city within the Oceania region for overall sector performance, and within the Top 10 for funding raised.

    Dealroom – a platform mapping the growth of startup ecosystems across the world – lists almost 750 verified South Australian startups, employing an estimated 7300+ people.

    The sectors most strongly represented by South Australian startups include:

    • Cyber security
    • Creative industries
    • Advanced manufacturing (with applications in space and defence)
    • Environment, energy and agtech.

    Hundreds of South Australian startups operate from one of the state-supported innovation districts, benefitting from the expertise and patronage of neighbouring research institutions and global tech companies.

    The Department for Industry, Innovation and Science (DIIS) supports the establishment and growth of local startups by connecting founders with the tools, knowledge and resources required to accelerate business success.

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    Adelaide jumps 33 places in global startup rankings

    The latest Global Startup Ecosystem Report, released by Startup Genome in 2023, reveals that Adelaide has risen 33 places in the global ranking of startup ecosystems from 2022 to 2023.

    The value of Adelaide’s startup ecosystem increased 347 per cent from $348 million in 2020 to $1.56 billion in 2023.

    On the back of this achievement, the South Australian Government was invited to contribute a feature on our capital city’s strengths for inclusion in the Report.

    View this feature to learn more about Adelaide’s global reputation as a startup-friendly city.

    Startups in South Australia

    750+verified SA startups on dealroom.co
    $1.6bfunding raised by SA startups 2017 - 2023
    $15min Seed-Start grants awarded
    Innovation Leaders Network SA

    Innovation Leaders Network

    Unleashing growth potential through peer-to-peer knowledge sharing.

    The Innovation Leaders Network is a new platform to foster the exchange of knowledge and inspire collaboration between seasoned entrepreneurs and emerging startups.

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    _SOUTHSTART

    Supported by DIIS, _SOUTHSTART is a national startup and technology conference held in Adelaide. Growing in size and popularity each year, it is an inclusive gathering of future-minded innovators committed to widespread social, economic, and environmental change.

    Learn what’s in store for next year’s _SOUTHSTART conference, to be held 5 – 7 March 2024.

    Other startup supports

    Business SA

    Supported by the South Australian Government, Business SA facilitates several programs designed to connect business founders with the right knowledge and mentors to achieve sustainable business growth. Opportunities include the Business Accelerator Program, SAYES and ENCORE.

    ThincLab

    The University of Adelaide’s ThincLab provides startups with a space and community in which to nurture ideas, develop entrepreneurial skills and knowledge, and facilitate valuable connections with mentors, investors, and experienced entrepreneurs. Its range of programs (ThincSeed, ThincSprint, ThincStart, etc.) are designed to support founders through all stages of business growth.

    Innovation and Collaboration Centre

    University of South Australia’s Innovation and Collaboration Centre supports early-stage startups by providing workspace, mentoring and funding. The Centre’s Venture Catalyst programs are designed to help early-stage startup founders build a globally scalable and investment ready business.

    New Venture Institute

    Flinders University’s New Venture Institute specialises in the translation of ideas into industry outcomes. For example, the institute’s Venture Dorm program is designed to help founders progress from business conception to market validation in just eight weeks.
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    Dealroom South Australia

    Offering an open-access portal of data on a particular region’s startup and innovation ecosystem, Dealroom South Australia makes it easy for policymakers, researchers, journalists and investors to learn about the increasing level of startup and innovation activity in South Australia.

    To make sure your business is visible on the platform, we encourage South Australian startups to visit Dealroom to:

    • Claim and edit your business profile
    • Learn about investors and local investment opportunities
    • Find relevant startup programs, resources, and support
    • Access data on South Australia’s growing startup and innovation ecosystem, including the number of startup businesses operating and jobs created.

    Its free to register a profile with Dealroom. Use the guide below to get started, and to learn how to create or claim a startup listing.

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    Lot Fourteen Startup Hub

    At the heart of Adelaide’s innovation district Lot Fourteen is the Startup Hub. Supported by the Department for Industry, Innovation and Science and operated by national incubator Stone & Chalk, this co-working space is designed to give local startups the best foundations for success.

    There are almost 60 startup businesses currently based at the Startup Hub, benefitting from regular events, workshops and other networking opportunities – as well as the partnerships forged with neighbouring universities and global companies.

    The community is dominated by tech-savvy founders, including current and future business leaders in the fields of fintech, health tech, space, cyber, agtech, AI, IoT, data analytics and software.

    Get help navigating opportunities

    There are experienced DIIS team members available to support your growth ambitions – whether that be help with workforce development, navigating government and other support programs, connecting with peers and industry leaders, or the adoption of new technologies.

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