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Westpac Hunts for 200 disruptors a Year

Thursday, 07 Apr 2016

IA

New project to grow Australia’s new economy.

Westpac is on the hunt for 200 disruptive Australian businesses a year that it will help get an audience for in Australia and overseas under a new $10 million program.

The bank’s CEO Brian Hartzer unveiled the ‘Businesses of Tomorrow’ program at 199th birthday celebrations in Sydney.

It will convene a panel of entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and tech executives to name the first 200 businesses at the bank’s bicentenary celebrations in April 2017.

Hartzer said the bank wanted a hand in shaping Australia’s new economy.

The businesses chosen to participate would need to demonstrate “potential to lead Australia’s transition to a knowledge and services-based economy”.

It did not appear that the chosen businesses would benefit from a direct cash injection – Westpac already does this for start-ups via the $50 million Reinventure fund, of which the bank is the largest monetary contributor.

Rather, the 200 businesses selected by Westpac each year under this new program “may benefit from a variety of knowledge-based experiences”, the bank said.

These experiences may include “global study tours, including to Silicon Valley and China, dedicated business mentors from a panel of high-profile Australians, as well as professional advice funded by Westpac.”

The 200 businesses will be chosen based on qualities such as their capacity to transform, disrupt and create, their demonstration of service leadership, an ambition to develop new markets overseas, or a focus on social change, according to Westpac.

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