Australia Post is launching a $20 milliion fund to find the next eCommerce startups

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Australia Post has announced today that it will launch a new $20 million investment fund and a new partnership with the University of Melbourne – all to find the next innovative eCommerce startups in Australia.

“We will use the $20 million capital fund, which with the success I expect could grow to more than $100 million over coming years, to directly invest in great eCommerce businesses with ideas that will improve the lives of our customers,” Ahmed Fahour, Australia Post’s CEO, said in a statement.

“We will work with our people, our customers, the community and our partners to identify new opportunities and emerging, disruptive eCommerce businesses that we can accelerate.”

The partnership with the University of Melbourne includes a three-year, $1 million partnership with its prestigious Melbourne Accelerator Program; and co-locating its accelerator within the Lab-14 premises. The Lab-14 site in Carlton was formerly the home of the Royal Women’s Hospital, but now is the home to several startups.

According to the press release, the partnership with the Melbourne Accelerator Program will include two new places at its accelerator program; an annual scholarship to the Wade Institute for Entrepreneurship; and three outreach program targeting regional Australia, women, and social entrepreneurs.

Glyn Davis, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Melbourne, said that he was honoured that they were the first “valued innovation partner” chosen by Australia Post.

“We believe universities don’t just educate our future generations; they are a production line of ideas for new entrepreneurs and new businesses. Harnessing the current mood around Australia’s innovation agenda is important, and this investment will go a long way to ensuring that start-up cultures like those at MAP continue to have a prominent role at the University,” Davis said.

“This is an investment in the future of entrepreneurship skills development at the University of Melbourne, and will add to our larger push to expand the innovation eco-system across the University and in this city.”

Image via Glyn Davis/Twitter