Mentorship assists KPMG's Accelerator Program

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Posted on 01 Sep 2015

Declan Hoare, a Director at Bright is excited to be part of KPMG's Accelerator program. The program is Perth's biggest 'Accelerator' program to-date and has the aim of combining technology start-ups with mining and energy companies. Declan was part of the most recent Accelerator mentoring sessions held at KPMG's offices. Read on further to hear what The West Australian newspaper had to say: 

Bright's Declan Hoare at KPMG's Accelerator Program  

KPMG tries out a vertical innovator - The West Australian 19th August, 2015

Deep within the bowels of KPMG's Perth offices - in a boardroom hidden from the hundreds of accountants, auditors and consultants littered through the building - something a little different is going on.

A group of young and not-so-young Perth business owners are listening in, over Skpe to a presentation from the co-founder of Silicon Valley-based oil and gas start-up Alphabet Energy, as he talks them through the trials and tribulations of raising $30 million in venture capital.

But these guys aren't employed by KPMG, or vice versa. They are here as guests - invited through the firm's Energise Accelerator program.

The firm is hoping that the brainchild of KPMG's Toby Gardner - who grew up in Perth but spent most of the past decade in Silicon Valley - will help solve a lingering question floating across the Terrace. How do we cultivate further innovation in the resource sector?

A group of eight "laterstage start-ups" in energy and natural resources were hand picked from 60 applicants to develop their businesses over an intense 12 weeks under the guidance of industry experts. 

The program is set to finish in late October with the eight companies vying for $200,000 in prizes.

For KPMG it works both ways. Client's, who in this case include program sponsors such as Woodside, BHP Billiton, Fortescue and Inpex are exposed to new business ideas and potential cost savings.

And KPMG and other clients potentially have an opportunity to invest at the end of the 12 week period. 

But inevitably it is still a risk - and a decent investment - and Mr Gardner said initially it was a hard sell getting the traditional professional services firm to commit to the idea. 

After some convincing he said the powers that be, came around and have been impressed with the results so far.

"This is how they do it in Silicon Valley," he told WestBusiness yesterday. "Resource companies don't know how to find the tech. And start-ups don't know how to find them. It's called a vertical accelerator - the start-ups' potential customers are there, telling them what they do and don't want."

To read further articles on the program:

The Australian, Business Review launch article: KPMG launches WA's biggest Accelerator Program 

KPMG's website: The Energise Accelerator Program