Cable announcement attracts global accelerator program
  • Wednesday 07 November 2018

Global accelerator program SunRamp Australasia has its sights set on Maroochydore and will launch an exciting initiative early next year to attract the next generation of innovators to the Sunshine Coast.

Aligning with council’s healthy, smart, creative vision for the region, the program’s primary focus will be on businesses looking to scale up, with a major drawcard being the exclusive access to world class mentors from around the globe via SunRamp’s connections in the United States.

SunRamp is powered by the successful UpRamp program, an initiative from CableLabs, based in Boulder, Colorado.  

CableLabs is a US partner-funded innovation lab for the international cable and internet connectivity industry, with 61 member companies worldwide, including Comcast and other multinationals.

With a strong history of supporting cable industry innovation, the UpRamp program has chosen the Sunshine Coast to launch SunRamp due to council’s international broadband submarine cable project

The international submarine cable in Maroochydore, operational in the first half 2020 will be:
• Australia’s fastest data connection to Asia and second fastest to the USA
• The only other cable connection on the east coast outside of Sydney

SunRamp is no stranger to digital innovation.

The founders, Ron Hill and Simon Knapp, along with the UpRamp team, have started a number of their own successful start-ups.

Mr Hill, who is SunRamp’s managing director, said the Sunshine Coast was the perfect place for the new business venture.

“The similarities between Boulder, Colorado and the Sunshine Coast, Australia, with the Smart City planning, the entrepreneurial energy and terrific outdoor lifestyle are uncanny,” Mr Hill said.

“It’s exciting to bring such a well-supported and connected accelerator program to Maroochydore to be part of the fantastic vision Sunshine Coast Council has for the region.”

SunRamp is one of many global businesses tapping into the rise of digital innovation on the Sunshine Coast as the ground swell of the entrepreneur, start-ups and scale ups search for capital, connections, mentorship and most importantly, a path to revenue.

“We’ll be looking for up to six companies per cohort with a maximum of two cohorts per year, to join the 13-week program on the Sunshine Coast,” Mr Hill said. 

“The target is for a minimum of two companies from Australia with the remaining from overseas, in particular the US and Asian markets.

“Via a very rigid qualification process, the program will find, support and accelerate world class early-stage technology businesses through focused education and training, ultimately helping those companies secure opportunities in the internet connectivity space or with partner industries.

“Selected companies will each receive up to $100,000 seed funding by the program and have regular access and sessions with world class mentors and sponsors.”

Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson said the SunRamp Australasia accelerator program was world class.

“This program will showcase the potential of our healthy, smart, creative region to domestic and international businesses, helping raise the profile of the Sunshine Coast,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“This program is the first investment outcome linked to the recent announcement of the international broadband submarine cable and we are confident the global market will open the doors to further investment both in the short and long term.

“The international broadband submarine cable has the potential to deliver A$453 million annually to the regional economy and with the backing of programs like the SunRamp Accelerator, the Sunshine Coast will be well on the way to reaching this potential.

“It signifies the start of global business particularly in the data driven space, recognising the Sunshine Coast as the place for innovation.

“This reputation brings with it more opportunities and the chance to build a technology ecosystem unlike any other in the world.

“It’s an exciting time for the Sunshine Coast and we look forward to supporting the SunRamp team in the lead up to the program launch in February 2019.

“With their first-hand knowledge and extensive experience, SunRamp is in a good position to share and educate the next generation of Sunshine Coast innovators.”

For more details about SunRamp and the Accelerator program visit the SunRamp website.

Invest Sunshine Coast spoke to Simon Knapp about the program. Listen on YouTube.