As a CoWorking space and startup incubator focussed on CleanEnergy, Smart Community ventures, we're naturally a bit selective. We want to ensure that our residents are a diverse, contributing community of Founders and Makers, where collectively we can inspire, energise, support and scale the efforts of each of our residents to help them make impact.
With Newcastle, NSW as our base, we're positioned in a beautiful, affordable, abundant and innovative region with a diverse, experienced and capable skills base. That means we're able to focus on things which can prove challenging in other regions - here's a snapshot of what we offer for Startup Support in our beautiful space.
Smart Moves Newcastle Project
In 2017, Newcastle City Council (NCC) successfully led a multi-partner collaborative proposal to win funding through the competitive Australian Government Smart Cities and Suburbs program for the Smart Moves Newcastle (SMN) project. SMN is focused on developing and deploying intelligent mobility, energy and data networks. SMN will establish a city-scale testbed as an asset for NCC’s planned Newcastle Living Lab strategy, and as a resource for accelerating technology prototyping and solutions to complex urban challenges. SMN comprises 21 sub-projects which are to be completed by mid 2019, including Project 19: Startup Engagement.
The prototyping testbed and experimental city platform established through SMN is considered a major strategic input into the development of the local innovation ecosystem. In order to operationalise this potential, the 'soft infrastructure' supporting living lab trials will be implemented through program of start-up engagement.
The Startup Engagement program is being coordinated by Eighteen04 and will see four separate events coordinated to encourage and facilitate participation in ecosystem activities and, eventually, the use of the city testbed through a Council-led Living Lab (LL framework and implementation plan currently in development) and a digital sandbox (currently at the scoping stage). The learnings of SMN-019 will inform both projects, which are linked to NCC’s broader Smart City strategy, and provide use cases of potential sandbox collaborators and mutual expectations regarding data exchange and requisite governance requirements.
The activities include in the engagement program are:
an internet of Things (IoT) hackathon to prototype solutions to common safety, waste and amenity concerns in urban environments using IoT
an online mobility challenge (HeroX) to generate new ideas around how data can be used to incentivise electric vehicle usage and other alternative transport options
an energy demonstration showcase event to view and explain different emerging energy saving and monitoring technologies
Makerspace facilities + IoT support
Any startup who's worked in the product development space that is integrating hardware and software knows that hardware is hard. We've established a dedicated section of floor-plate in our new co-working facility to support electrical engineering, 3D printing and test benches, with access to some of our regions leading facilities and educators for the big, hard, complex stuff.
We have strong alliances with both University of Newcastle and Hunter TAFE to ensure the needs of engineering startups are well catered for, along with emerging manufacturing, product development and global CleanTech alliances. In a region that has advanced manufacturing as a core strength, we're positioning for acceleration of Internet of Things (IoT) adoption by welcoming the early adopters and platform makers building the next generation of connectivity in SmartEnergy, AgTech/FoodTech, CleanEnergy and SmartLiving.
Easy starts, scaled services + legend networks
With a range of experienced entrepreneurs as our founders, we know that in the early days of a new venture, it's important to get traction and visibility with efficient use of precious capital. Accordingly, we offer a sliding scale of involvement, running through the spectrum of:
Virtual Office - for getting a toehold in Newcastles Digital Precinct and becoming part of our community of founders and change-makers;
CoWorking Space - for when you're focussed, growing and needing a strong, flexible base for you and your team, with a variety of spaces, kitchen, showers and conveniences, located in Newcastle West Digital Precinct, where you've got access to great cafes, bars + people;
Networks, Events + Capital - we know that strong startup ecosystems need effective networks to reach out to for the things that matter to every startup (IP, accounting, marketing, incubation + mentoring services) compelling events that help you learn, grow and lead as well as access to funding + acceleration partners who can help you on your journey.
Partner Perks - there are some companies that work hard to make life easier for Startups by providing low cost, subsidised or trial access to enabling platforms. Our residents benefit from access to programs and hardware from Amazon AWS Activate, Thinxtra, SendGrid Accelerate and others. If you're interested in helping our Startups out, we're all ears.
emerging energy platform connectivity
We know from experience that startups in the CleanEnergy space have high hurdles to overcome in their journey, facing hardware + software integration challenges. With innovative residents like SwitchDin and NewieVentures, you have the chance to leverage some of the worlds leading edge SmartEnergy and IoT connectivity platforms for distributed energy and industrial connectivity innovation. This is a game changer, with Eighteen04 based residents and collaborators having access to the combined groups capability of:
SwitchDin’s Virtual Power Plant - this provides both a cloud API (a software interface in the cloud) and an embedded API (a software interface on their Droplet controller) which enables startups to build apps that use energy data or control inverter based systems and loads;
Test inverter, battery, solar and IoT systems with additional access to hardware and software development frameworks, test networks and development kits for rapid prototyping.
CleanEnergy Incubation Alliances - Eighteen04 is one of 3 CleanEnergy Entrepreneurship centres in Australia, recognised for our unique role in supporting advanced manufacturing. As part of that larger group, we have access to the combined impact of a very focussed group of collaborating partners making waves with decarbonisation ventures and innovations.