The winning startups, which range from a science communication service to digital shopping list compiler, will develop their pitches during a two-day mentoring program at the annual tech conference in Adelaide, South Australia.
The HWA LAB is part of the larger digital entertainment and technology event run by the South Australian Government, and is supported by the University of South Australia’s Innovation & Collaboration Centre.
Hybrid World Adelaide creative director Robert Tercek said the 15 finalists will be mentored by international and local industry leaders, including Finland’s André Noël Chaker, TechinSA’s Industry Development Director Judy Halliday, and Dr Phillip Alvelda from the United States, before giving their pitches on the final day to compete for the grants.
“Two days of intensive mentoring can lead to astonishing results for startup firms and their founders,” said Tercek.
“The novel combination of local and international mentors at the HWA LAB will spur creative breakthroughs and rapid evolution among the participating ventures.”
South Australian startup verbalize.science, which helps scientists communicate research through a web application that turns recordings into social media explainer videos and podcasts, is one of the finalists.
Its founder Andrew Stapleton said HWA LAB would help him take his idea to the next level.
“It’s an amazing opportunity to learn from leading experts and mentors to grow verbalize.science into a company with real impact for our customers,” Stapleton said.
Other finalists include Wagga Wagga’s Tim Klapdor’s agtech digital assistant venture Kelpie, aimed at improving farmers’ access and interaction with the digital age, and Davis Tolley’s Capsule Vehicles, an early stage Victorian startup on a mission to create the ultimate single person vehicle. Adelaide’s GOGO Events is developing recruitment career pathways for people experiencing homelessness and disadvantage through employment at events and festivals.
South Australian startup support agency TechInSA, which has helped companies such as Myriota, Inovor, Life Whisperer and RHS, is sponsoring the July 20-21 lab.
TechInSA’s Dr Judy Halliday said although South Australia already had a strong startup ecosystem, events like Hybrid World Adelaide provided a global platform for entrepreneurs to test and workshop their projects.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity to develop talent, support great ideas and contribute to innovation in our state,” said Dr Halliday.Jump to next article