Up to $500,000 is available from the Incubator Support Initiative to assist Australian start-ups develop the capabilities required to succeed in international markets.

 

Incubator Support Initiative

The Incubator Support initiative provides grant funding to incubators to deliver support services to Australian start-ups with an international focus.

Grants are available to support the establishment of new incubators in regions or sectors with high innovation potential, and for existing incubators looking to expand their services. Funded incubators will deliver a range of activities designed to improve the prospects of commercial success of innovative start-ups, allowing them to realise their economic potential faster than they otherwise would. The initiative supports entrepreneurial activity and contributes to the development of the innovation ecosystem, including in Australia’s regions.

 

Background

The Incubator Support initiative provides grant funding through two components to deliver Incubator Support projects, both of which require a funding contribution from applicants.

Support for New and Existing Incubators:

  • to help develop new incubators in regional areas and/or sectors with high potential for success in international trade
  • to boost the effectiveness of high performing incubators, including funding support to expand their services and/or develop the innovation ecosystem
  • to encourage incubators to work with more data-driven start-ups that use public data as part of their business.

Support for Expert-in-Residence:

  • to increase the capabilities of incubators and improve the chance of commercial success for start-ups in international markets by organising and providing access to top quality research, managerial and technical talent through incoming and outgoing secondments of national or international experts.

 

Funding

For a New and Existing Incubators project you can apply for a minimum grant amount of $26,000 and a maximum grant amount of $500,000. The maximum grant period is 24 months.

For an Expert-in-Residence project you can apply for a minimum grant amount of $5,000 and a maximum grant amount of $100,000. The grant amount will be up to 50 per cent of the total project value and the maximum grant period is 12 months.

 

Eligible Projects

New and Existing Incubators

To be eligible, your project must:

  • include eligible activities and expenditure
  • have an eligible project value of at least $52,000 for New and Existing Incubators projects in major cities
  • have an eligible project value of at least $40,000 for New and Existing Incubators projects in regional areas

Eligible activities can include the following:

  • expanding mentor networks to new mentors with national or international expertise
  • providing or facilitating access for start-ups to new resources (such as purchase of technical equipment) to promote or facilitate international trade
  • providing or facilitating access for start-ups to new knowledge (such as customer acquisition and/ or business development methods) to promote or facilitate international trade
  • facilitating start-ups’ access to new international networks (e.g. investors, customers peer firms).

Expert-in-Residence

To be eligible, your project must:

  • include eligible activities and expenditure
  • have an eligible project value of at least $10,000.

Examples of eligible activities include:

  • a workshop where an expert gives advice on developing business activities, for example in international markets
  • engaging a national or international expert (with knowledge in start-up related technology and international experience) to assist start-ups address key challenges during an incubator program
  • national or international exchanges with an expert from another incubator either in Australia or overseas.
    • incoming experts must bring new capabilities and undertake activities that help build your capabilities in the expert’s area of expertise. You can include one or more incoming experts in your project.
    • an outgoing expert must be embedded in a host incubator that will commit to the sharing of capabilities and knowledge that will benefit your incubator. We allow one outgoing expert per project, however this expert may visit multiple host incubators.

 

Eligible Applicants

To be eligible for a New and Existing Incubators grant you must:

  • be an existing incubator or establishing a new incubator that can foster and facilitate the development of innovative start-ups focused on international trade
  • have an Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • be one of the following:
    • an entity incorporated in Australia
    • an incorporated trustee on behalf of a trust
    • an incorporated not for profit organisation
    • a publicly funded research organisation (PFRO) as defined in appendix A of the program guidelines
    • a local government agency or body as defined in appendix A of the program guidelines.

To be eligible for an Expert-in-Residence grant, you must:

  • be an existing incubator or establishing a new incubator that can foster and facilitate the development of innovative start-ups focused on international trade
  • have an Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • be one of the following:
    • an entity incorporated in Australia
    • an incorporated trustee on behalf of a trust
    • an incorporated not for profit organisation
    • a publicly funded research organisation (PFRO) as defined in appendix A of the program guidelines
    • a local government agency or body as defined in appendix A of the program guidelines.

 

Tips for successful applications

The criteria is identical most grants I write. But main areas to focus on for the Incubator Support Initiative are:
  1. How good is the management team in terms of overseas commercialisation
  2. Who are the international partners on the team
  3. Track record of investment in start-ups under management
  4. Financial capability
  5. How popular are your current services to start ups
  6. How your incubator is different to others
  7. How do you measure the success of your project

 

Timing

Applications open on an ongoing basis.

 

More Information on the Incubator Support Programme

 

Recipients

The latest recipients to receive funding under the Incubator Support Programme  are:

  1. Creative Industries Precinct – The Creative Industries Precinct at QUT’s Kelvin Grove campus is an incubator for the next generation of groundbreaking ideas, creative enterprise and emerging and experimental creatives and artists. The Precinct provides a unique opportunity to easily connect and collaborate with partners from government and industry to create new work, develop new ideas and grow the creative industries sector in Queensland and Australia.
  2. Collective Campus – Collective Campus is an innovation hub, school and consultancy based in Melbourne, Australia and Singapore that helps companies adopt the mindsets, methods and tools required to succeed in an age of rapid disruption.
  3. Innovation Centre Sunshine Coast – The IC was established in 2002 and provides an ideal place to build a smart business.  IC start-ups and high growth companies tap into a deep entrepreneurial ecosystem and draw upon over fourteen years of IC experience in assisting over 160 members. The IC partners with AusIndustry and Advance Queensland as well high-profile, globally experienced private sector supporters, 30+ experienced mentors and sponsors.
  4. Spacecubed – Spacecubed is a Social Enterprise, designed to support 20,000 Startups, Entrepreneurs and Corporate Innovators by 2025. Their Perth CBD coworking/hotdesking, shared office and collaborative spaces, entrepreneurial hubs, programmes and events move people from ideas to action seamlessly.
  5. Innovation NQ – InnovationNQ offers participating members access to events, programs as well as a number of distinct workspaces, in which to explore their creativity, develop their entrepreneurial capabilities and harness the power of collaborative innovation.

 

Media Release

Four Australian innovation incubators will boost the services they offer to start-ups, thanks to $1.4 million in grants provided under the Australian Government’s $23 million Incubator Support initiative.

Incubators and accelerators are a vital part of effective innovation ecosystems.

The funding will help to establish new incubators in, Brisbane, Sydney and the Hunter region of New South Wales and to expand the services of an existing incubator in Adelaide

The incubators will assist start-ups that are developing innovations in advanced manufacturing, media and creative technologies and technology hardware, amongst other sectors.

The grant recipients are:

  • Slingshot Accelerator, in collaboration with the Univerity of Newcastle, to establish the I2N Regional Accelerator that will support up to 16 Hunter region startups
  • The Studio Incubator in Sydney to support new media and creative technology startups
  • The Advance Innovation Hub in Brisbane to provide hardware-based startups with resources, technical knowledge and access to innovative prototyping and manufacturing equipment.

Flinders University to expand the New Ventures Institute to assist innovative advanced manufacturing focused start-ups in Adelaide.