What is the Incubator Support Initiative?

The Incubator Support initiative is a grant for incubators to deliver support services to Australian start-ups with an international focus.

 

Background

The Incubator Support initiative grant is 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.

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.  The maximum grant amount has been reduced to $250,000.

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.

 

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