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Malcolm Turnbull launches $1 million dollar startup competition for financial services

The newly launched AWI (Australian Wealth Investments Limited) today announced they will be investing $1 million dollars into Australian financial services startups, through the newly established AWI Ventures Accelerator Program.

AWI Ventures are seeking applications from entrepreneurial teams for up to $100,000 in investment funding to develop their ideas for Fin Tech digital startups and to support them through to a series A round of funding. Through the Accelerator Program, AWI Ventures will support entrepreneurs, helping them bring their idea to reality, establish their business, build their teams and raise the capital to fund future growth.

“This is the only financial services focused accelerator in Australia and one of the first in the world. The program aims to provide the environment and specific industry and regulatory support that financial services startups require to thrive,” said AWI Chairman Andrew Barnes.

“Australia has a world renowned financial services sector and some highly skilled digital technologists. By combining these industries, we believe Australia can play a leading role in financial services innovation globally. Through AWI Ventures, our goal is to be a leading capital provider, and trusted partner, for financial services entrepreneurs in Australia, across the region and ultimately around the world.”

AWI Ventures will invite a small number of teams (typically 2 to 3 entrepreneurs per team) to join the Accelerator Program in each intake. The first intake of startups will be selected in April 2014, drawn from across Australasia and based in AWI’s Sydney offices. AWI Ventures expects to invite at least 10 teams to participate over the next 12 months.

“We are open to applications from around the region and we are excited by some of the ideas we have already seen, particularly in the delivery of customer oriented products and services,” said AWI CEO Ben Heap.

Applications are now open for the April 2014 intake. The application form and details are available at

The program will officially be launched by Malcolm Turnbull this afternoon.

Startup Daily