Based at Dashworks Makespace in Warners Bay, NSW, The Melt is Australia’s first fully-integrated accelerator and industrial prototyping lab for hardware.
Launched in December 2019 by the Hon. Malcolm Turnbull, it’s a collaboration between Dantia, The Melt Accelerator (managed by the founders of innovation company Slingshot) and local engineering powerhouse Ampcontrol through their research and development arm ResTech. It aims to grow, scale and commercialise hardware startup projects and revolutionise the way corporate research and development teams build and deliver their innovation product pipeline.
Poised to create more than 50 jobs and expand the economy by $50 million over the next two years, the hardware accelerator is a significant addition to the Australian technology landscape.
In the last 5 years, Lake Macquarie has lost 35% of jobs within the manufacturing industry as a result of a series of downturns. This presented a serious challenge and significant opportunity in the region to look for ways to revitalise the sector.
Another key motivator to create the Melt was the relative lack of support for engineering startups in Australia in comparison to their tech-based software peers. While funding was pouring in for startups who might be set to become the next Atlassian or Canva; it was less clear what pathways were in place to support those who might be building the next cochlear implant, Catapult sports performance technology or black-box flight recorder.
It has been well documented that the failure rate for hardware development is high, the process is often slow, and the costs associated are significant.
- Helped design and develop the idea to create a facility that would help both startups and corporates to access funding, expertise, equipment and pathways to rapidly realise product development success.
- Undertook economic analysis to support return on investment for the construction of a commercial prototyping lab. This was used by the partners to validate the project and its potential positive outcomes.
- Led the commercial aspects of the project, including identifying and securing the physical facility. Based on the success of Dashworks, one of the Hunter’s premiere coworking spaces, we helped design the facility to include collaborative workspaces, pitch rooms, shared facilities, contemporary finishes and a community program of events to encourage networking and knowledge sharing.
- Removed operational risk from facilities management, including the provision of high-speed internet and management of outgoings, which allowed all parties to focus on core business and The Melt’s primary objectives – to grow, scale and commercialise hardware for startups and corporations.
- Took the lead on promotion and lead generation activities to encourage early adoption and brand awareness.
- Secured Hon. Malcolm Turnbull and other key stakeholders for the launch of The Melt in December 2019. As the architect of the National Innovation and Science Agenda Malcolm Turnbull was delighted to assist. This resulted in significant national media coverage, including being featured in the Australian Financial Review and other major news outlets.
- Ongoing facilitation and management of the facility to drive operational and employment outcomes.
Currently 20 products have been developed through The Melt with 26 currently in development.