A BUSINESS development program for entrepreneurs within the energy and natural resources (ENR) sector is set to be launched by KPMG from its Perth offices.

Taking its inspiration from Silicon Valley, the Energise business accelerator will work with energy groups to identify key issues, and then give some of the nation’s leading technology start-ups the opportunity to present and commercialise their solutions for these problems.

KPMG WA chairman Gary Smith said the program had generated a positive response so far.

“Energise aims to rapidly develop the start-ups’ business models, product and services offerings through access to KPMG Australia’s advisory services, access to real customers and capital introductions,” he said.

“The program has received a very positive response from resources companies – and we are looking to announce participating organisations in coming weeks,” he added.

The program will be run by Toby Gardner, who relocated to Perth for the role after spending a decade working in Silicon Valley, consulting on deals within industries experiencing disruptive innovation.

“Successful start-up applicants will also receive mentoring from world-class entrepreneurs and ENR tech mentors based locally and in Silicon Valley,” he said.

“Energise will be the largest accelerator in Western Australia, and largest ENR accelerator in the Asia Pacific region.”

Energise is free to start-ups, and open from 1 March to applications from the community across Australia, with KPMG anticipating more than 100 applications.

KPMG Australia will then undertake a competitive process to identify up to eight ENR start-up companies for the program, who will participate in a 12-week intensive incubation and support program, commencing in April.

Energise will culminate in June, with graduating participants presenting their plans to ENR clients, venture capitalists, and other potential financiers.