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Support for IoT Startups

Geoff Sizer

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Please contribute to this thread by adding information about government and other support and collaboration opportunities available to startups and other developers in the IoT space.

Below is a start on this.

Australian Govt Support

R&D tax incentive https://www.business.gov.au/assistance/research-and-development-tax-incentive

Commercialisation support  https://www.business.gov.au/assistance

The Industry Growth Centres http://www.industry.gov.au/industry/Industry-Growth-Centres/Pages/default.aspx

IoT Alliance - Collaboration




Workstream 6 is on IoT Innovation



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Funding the IoT

This thread is possibly the single most important one for an IoT débutante to take note of…

Why is that?

This is because Australian society lacks the venture capital and angel investors available to high-tech businesses in the USA. Folk in Australia will risk their savings in the property market or superannuation stashes, but not in the product development market.

Australian banks have even more to be ashamed of; they will not risk investment in product development or other business ventures that are not backed by a lien across all the real estate assets that business owners possess. After 32 years in business, I can count on one hand (without needing my thumb) the number of occasions where we've been visited by the bank manager to ask about how we’re going. Banks don’t understand product development as a legitimate business risk.

So who does that leave?

Luckily for us Aussies, that leaves the Australian Government, who take the whole business of product innovation seriously.

Yes, these grants are competitive, and there’s paper work to be done.

But this is free capital. You don’t pay it back, though you have to match it dollar for dollar from your own funds; that’s only fair.

MEA’s Thermex and Plexus products were co-funded for many hundreds of thousands of dollars by AusIndustry then the Early Commercialisation folks within Australian Government Departments. These project developments cost somewhere north of $1.5m before product reached the market.

The South Australian government have been great too, though admittedly on a smaller scale. Specific grants helped us to develop our Magpie and Green Brain software platforms for moving and presenting data.

MEA wouldn't be where it is today without Government support.

Their injection of capital made the difference between success and failure.

Their tax incentives are often the difference between red and black in our annual profit and loss statements.

They will also support you with advisers to sort out your business strategies and your plans.

Product development is exorbitantly risky and expensive.

If you want to be an innovator and a manufacturer and exporter, look up these folk in Government.

Nobody else will be as helpful.

Edited by Andrew at MEA
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Questions from 5-Jul Webinar: 

1 .Is it cost competitive to develop embedded software and electronics for end devices in Australia? What is the risk of being flooded with competing products from China?

2. Rockwell, Schneider, Motorola, etc have been part of the IOT development landscape for 20 years, or so. Its a big market but there are some big players. How, and where, will we most likely find our niche here in Australia ?


In order to be cost competitive in the medium to long term, Australian innovators must be cunning and target niche markets where we have a natural competitive advantage.

Any IoT product which takes off in the consumer space risks being overwhelmed by a flood of cheap competing products from overseas  - including wearables, home automation and other fads and  "flavour of the month" applications.  The first mover advantage in these spaces is likely to be short lived.

Areas to focus on include e-health, agriculture, transportation, mining and smart cities.





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