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The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is looking to support renewable energy startups by awarding $480,000 in federal funding over the next 12 months to EnergyLab Australia, the nation’s largest cleantech startup acceleration program.

The majority of funding will go towards boosting EnergyLab’s Scale Up program to assist late stage startups in establishing key meetings and connections with decision makers and investors in the Australian energy market.

“Startups and entrepreneurs play an important role in accelerating the uptake of clean energy solutions, however, they can also face challenges in reaching scale and aren’t equipped to overcome hurdles such as high capital requirements, geographic constraints and revenue delay,” ARENA chief executive officer Darren Miller said.

“EnergyLab, through mentoring and supporting startups, will help us to see an increase in expertise, skills and capacity in the renewable energy technology sector and identify pathways to commercialisation to keep Australia at the forefront of renewable energy innovation.”

EnergyLab offers four core acceleration programs: Pre-Acceleration to test out commercially viable concepts, Acceleration to launch products, Scale Up to connect with and learn from mentors and the Women in Clean Energy Fellowship for female entrepreneurs interested in starting their own clean energy companies.

In addition to its acceleration programs, EnergyLab assists startups with raising capital through its angel investor network. Australian based startups can pitch their ideas directly to over 100 experienced cleantech investors through a streamlined process.

Since 2017, EnergyLab, led by chief executive James Tilbury and chair Piers Grove, and CEO James Tilbury has helped over 80 Australian energy startups including Amber Electric, a renewable energy retailer that lowers consumer costs by providing access to wholesale energy prices. The company recently closed a $2.5 million funding round.

Recruitment for the 2020 Start Up program is underway with winners scheduled to be announced later in the year. Learn more about how to apply here.