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Government of South Australia - Department of State Development

    South Australia’s startup ecosystem

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    Supporting South Australian entrepreneurs to start and scale their businesses

    South Australia’s startup ecosystem has grown significantly over the last decade, as recognised by the Startup Genome 2024 Global Startup Ecosystem Report, which ranks Adelaide as a Top 5 city within the Oceania region for overall sector performance.

    Dealroom – a platform mapping the growth of startup ecosystems across the world – lists more than 780 verified South Australian startups, employing an estimated 7,400+ people.

    The sectors most strongly represented by South Australian startups include:

    • Cyber security
    • Creative industries
    • Advanced manufacturing (with applications in space and defence)
    • Environment, energy and agtech.

    Hundreds of South Australian startups operate from one of the state-supported innovation districts, benefitting from the expertise and patronage of neighbouring research institutions and global tech companies.

    The Department of State Development (DSD) supports the establishment and growth of local startups by connecting founders with the tools, knowledge and resources required to accelerate business success.

    Green aerial photograph of Adelaide's skyline including Adelaide Oval, buildings, churches and parklands

    Adelaide rises in global startup rankings

    In 2024, Adelaide made its debut on the Global Startup Ecosystem Report’s Emerging Ecosystem list, showcasing smaller ecosystems with the highest potential to become global performers.

    The Report – published annually by organisation Startup Genome – found that from 2023 to 2024, Adelaide’s startup ecosystem:

    • jumped more than 25 spots in the overall Startup Ecosystem Rankings
    • increased 19 per cent in value, reaching $1.9 billion.

    Adelaide startups were shown to have raised an estimated $146 million in early-stage funding from July 2021 to December 2023. During this period there were also three large exits of over $50 million recorded.

    On the back of this achievement, the South Australian Government was invited to contribute a feature on our capital city’s strengths for inclusion in the Report.

    View this feature to learn more about Adelaide’s global reputation as a startup-friendly city.

    Startups in South Australia

    750+verified SA startups on
    $1.6bfunding raised by SA startups 2017 - 2023
    $15min Seed-Start grants awarded
    Innovation Leaders Network SA

    Innovation Leaders Network

    Unleashing growth potential through peer-to-peer knowledge sharing.

    The Innovation Leaders Network is a new platform to foster the exchange of knowledge and inspire collaboration between seasoned entrepreneurs and emerging startups.

    Trade missions

    Tribe Global trade missions

    Learn about a sponsored place to the UK or USA

    In 2024, the Department of State Development is once again supporting 10 South Australian tech startup founders to participate in international trade missions.

    Apply now for the chance to join Tribe Global Ventures’ Australian delegation to the UK (9 – 15 June) or US (27 October – 2 November).

    Trade missions are carefully curated by this experienced venture capital fund for maximum impact and immersion in the local marketplace.

    Other startup supports

    Business SA

    Supported by the South Australian Government, Business SA facilitates several programs designed to connect business founders with the right knowledge and mentors to achieve sustainable business growth. Opportunities include the Business Accelerator Program, SAYES and ENCORE.


    The University of Adelaide’s ThincLab provides startups with a space and community in which to nurture ideas, develop entrepreneurial skills and knowledge, and facilitate valuable connections with mentors, investors, and experienced entrepreneurs. Its range of programs (ThincSeed, ThincSprint, ThincStart, etc.) are designed to support founders through all stages of business growth.

    Innovation and Collaboration Centre

    University of South Australia’s Innovation and Collaboration Centre supports early-stage startups by providing workspace, mentoring and funding. The Centre’s Venture Catalyst programs are designed to help early-stage startup founders build a globally scalable and investment ready business.

    New Venture Institute

    Flinders University’s New Venture Institute specialises in the translation of ideas into industry outcomes. For example, the institute’s Venture Dorm program is designed to help founders progress from business conception to market validation in just eight weeks.
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    Dealroom South Australia

    Offering an open-access portal of data on a particular region’s startup and innovation ecosystem, Dealroom South Australia makes it easy for policymakers, researchers, journalists and investors to learn about the increasing level of startup and innovation activity in South Australia.

    To make sure your business is visible on the platform, we encourage South Australian startups to visit Dealroom to:

    • Claim and edit your business profile
    • Learn about investors and local investment opportunities
    • Find relevant startup programs, resources, and support
    • Access data on South Australia’s growing startup and innovation ecosystem, including the number of startup businesses operating and jobs created.

    Its free to register a profile with Dealroom. Use the guide below to get started, and to learn how to create or claim a startup listing.

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    Lot Fourteen Startup Hub

    At the heart of Adelaide’s innovation district Lot Fourteen is the Startup Hub. Supported by the Department of State Development and operated by national incubator Stone & Chalk, this co-working space is designed to give local startups the best foundations for success.

    There are almost 60 startup businesses currently based at the Startup Hub, benefitting from regular events, workshops and other networking opportunities – as well as the partnerships forged with neighbouring universities and global companies.

    The community is dominated by tech-savvy founders, including current and future business leaders in the fields of fintech, health tech, space, cyber, agtech, AI, IoT, data analytics and software.

    Get help navigating opportunities

    There are experienced DSD team members available to support your growth ambitions – whether that be help with workforce development, navigating government and other support programs, connecting with peers and industry leaders, or the adoption of new technologies.

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