Slingshot is a high tech accelerator that provides seed funding, a dynamic co-working space, and a twelve week mentoring program that nurtures skills and relationships to enable entrepreneurs to build a remarkable company.
Launched by Federal Minister for Industry and Innovation Greg Combet on 6 March, Slingshot plans to invest in around 100 start-up companies in the next five years. Every start up accepted into the accelerator program receives an investment of up to $50,000 for an initial five percent equity.
"As a local MP, and Minister for Industry and Innovation, I'm proud to see such a proactive initiative occurring here in the Hunter amongst our very own creative entrepreneurs," Mr Combet said.
With business and interest groups keen to grow and develop the Hunter Region's digital capabilities, Slingshot is looking to provide a pathway for great ideas to grow into great companies.
Slingshot is the brainchild of two Novocastrians. University of Newcastle alum Trent Bagnall has ten years' experience as Managing Director of QML, an ASX-listed software company. Experienced high-tech investor Craig Lambert helped build Yahoo Australia to become a $50 million business when he was their National Sales Director.
The region's business heavyweights, including Price Waterhouse Coopers, Sparke Helmore, The Newcastle Herald and the Hunter Business Chamber have backed Slingshot to support innovation in the Hunter.
The University of Newcastle, Hunter TAFE and Newcastle Innovation are also supporting this initiative as a pathway for graduates and alumni.
Applications for the 2013 deadline close at 11.59pm on 12 April, with the program scheduled to start on 6 May. Interested applicants can apply through the Slingshot website.