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UNISA New Acceleration Program Benefits Australian Startups



UNISA New Acceleration Program Benefits Australian Startups

UNISA New Acceleration Program Benefits Australian Startups. The University of South Australia (UNISA) is charting new territories in supporting the flourishing space industry. In a groundbreaking collaboration, UNISA Innovation and Collaboration Centre (ICC) and the Australian Centre for Business Growth (AuCBG) have introduced an enhanced scaleup pathway for space startups.

This initiative expands upon the successful Venture Catalyst Space accelerator program, introducing a comprehensive six-month Growth Ramp scaleup program designed to propel businesses beyond their initial stages.

UNISA Commitment and Government Backing

The South Australian Government is actively supporting this initiative, underscoring its dedication to fostering a robust space ecosystem. Deputy Premier and Minister for Defence and Space Industries, Susan Close, emphasized the strategic importance of this scaleup offering. Close highlighted that “Space startups are shaping the future space economy and bringing incredible new technologies to life,” emphasizing the program’s role in nurturing emerging talent and fostering collaboration across the space sector.

Venture Catalyst Space Success Story

Since its inception in 2018, the Venture Catalyst Space program has been pivotal in shaping the space industry in South Australia. With 36 supported space startups, the program’s alumni have raised over $31 million in additional investment and created more than 220 jobs in the sector. This success demonstrates the program’s effectiveness in driving space innovation and entrepreneurship.

Growth Ramp Program: A Game Changer

The newly introduced Growth Ramp scaleup pathway is poised to elevate this support to greater heights. Craig Jones, Deputy Director of ICC, termed the pathway as a “game changer,” expanding opportunities for space companies to achieve sustainable, long-term success. “As Australia’s space industry continues its upward trajectory, the demand for timely and tailored support for emerging businesses becomes increasingly crucial,” Jones stated. The Growth Ramp program is set to equip ventures with the necessary resources to evolve into scalable and thriving businesses.

Targeting Strategic Growth

The Growth Ramp program specifically targets companies with five to 11 employees, aiming to refine their product/market fit, optimize customer base, and develop strategies for growth and executive team hiring. Ryan Williams, Director of AuCBG, emphasized the criticality of this phase in a startup’s journey, expressing excitement about working with CEOs through Growth Ramp to scale great space companies and contribute to South Australia’s growth.

Facilitating Industry Connections

The collaborative spirit fostered by this program is exemplified by the recent Memorandum of Understanding signed between current participant AICRAFT and program alumni ResearchSat. This collaboration aims to leverage AICRAFT’s edge computing technology in orbit, showcasing the program’s ability to facilitate meaningful industry connections.

CEO Perspectives

AICRAFT CEO, Tony Scoleri, emphasized the significance of having a scaleup program for investment potential, stating, “Building a company is a journey, and having a program that helps CEO consolidate and discover how to best scale up their operations is a significant piece in that journey.”

How to Join the Venture Catalyst Space Program

Applications for the 2024 Venture Catalyst Space program are now open, inviting startups to apply through the ICC website. Further details about the Growth Ramp space pathway can be found on the AuCBG website.


UNISA new initiative, supported by AuCBG and the South Australian Government, marks a substantial step forward in strengthening the Australian space industry. Beyond supporting startups in their infancy, it provides a clear pathway for scaling and flourishing, contributing to the dynamic growth of the Australian space sector.

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