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The University of Sydney

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Summer applications have now closed

Apply online for one of the eight places in the INCUBATE Summer accelerator program at the University of Sydney. Applications for The Bond University and The University of Adelaide are now open.

More information on the program and what it offers is available here and subscribe to our newsletter for the latest INCUBATE information.

We’re Looking For

Global-thinking, talented and motivated students, researchers and alumni.

INCUBATE will fund up to eight high-potential startup teams. This means that your business idea will help solve a problem, be a scalable solution and will have a big impact on your target market. You will be required to develop your idea into a first-version product or platform, and aim to attract your  first customers within the 3-month incubation period – all in time to present at our Demo Day.

Check out our previous startups for an idea of what we have funded in the past and remember: the crazier your idea, the better. Both early-stage and later-stage startups are welcome to apply.

Applicants will ideally be able to define:

  • The problem you are trying to solve
  • The technology or process you will use to solve this problem
  • Who you think your customers will be
  • The competition  and market size, in Australia and around the world
  • How you will go-to-market and what you will achieve in the 3 month incubation period

Startups accepted into the INCUBATE will will receive:

  • $5,000 seed funding*
  • Working space on campus over the 11 weeks
  • Internet, printing, office resources and use of University of Sydney Union meeting rooms
  • Mentoring, advice and guidance from some of Australia’s most experienced mentors
  • Workshops by leading industry advisors and innovators
  • Access to early stage business advise including legal, Intellectual Property, tax and grants areas

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More information about the 3 month incubation period here.

Things To Keep In Mind

  1. Applications extended: New close date is Sunday 10 November 11:59pm, Sydney time
  2. Startups will be notified by 11 November if they have received an interview
  3. Interviews will be held between the 27-29 November, with the eight startups notified by Friday 29 November COB
  4. INCUBATE accelerator program begins on Tuesday 3 December and startups move into the co-working space
  5. All startups are expected to work over the accelerator period from December to March
  6. Christmas break period from 19 December to 2 January, where there will be no planned program events
  7. Demo Day (pitch night) is planned for week starting 3 March
  8. Startups funding eligibility will be considered on a case by case basis  if they have received more than 100k in funding
  9. If you are unsure about your business idea, get in touch

Applicant Eligibility Criteria

To apply for the INCUBATE Program, at least one startup team-member must:

  • Be currently enrolled at Sydney University or
  • Be a current researcher or staff at Sydney University or
  • Be alumnus of Sydney University

Who Is Judging The Applications

All applications will be judged by our mentor panel of experienced business leaders and entrepreneurs, all of whom have either started their own business or have funded a successful startup business. Check our mentor list for more information.

There will be stages in the judging process

  1. Screening: applicants will be screened online by the mentor panel and selected for interview based on responses to the questions in the application form
  2. Interview: finalists will be invited to a 10-minute interview to discuss their startups and team
  3. INCUBATE startups selected

Final Application Instructions

  • Applications extended: New close date is Sunday 10 November 11:59pm, Sydney time
  • We will use the primary email address you provide in the application form to contact you
  • We review applications on a rolling basis – the earlier you apply, the more time you give us to contact you about your startup
  • More questions? Get in touch
  • Subscribe to our newsletter for the latest INCUBATE information.

Apply now

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Other Terms and Conditions of the INCUBATE Program

  • *We do not take equity in your startup. Instead, Incubate will take a 2% advisory fee of any monetary investment your startup may receive in the first 12 months. For example if you raise $100,000 within the first 12 months after the program, Incubate will receive $2,000.  These funds will assist the Incubate program to be become self-sustaining. Please get in touch for further details. Government grants are not included in the investment criteria.
  • Participating Startups will sign an agreement with the University of Sydney Union to be eligible to work in the Incubate Hub and receive the Business Grant/Seed Funding. 
  • Any intellectual property created by INCUBATE participants will belong to the individual or team involved – INCUBATE and the University of Sydney Union want to create an environment where participants are free to innovate, create and invent
  • All participants are expected to acknowledge that their involvement of the ‘Incbate’ program with use of our logo on all public facing materials
  • All participants are expected to provide a report and breakdown of how the seed funding was used at the end of the program – there are no restrictions in how the teams use their funding but guidance and recommendations will be made at the beginning of the program
  • Provide feedback on the program at the end of the incubation period
  • All participants must independently decide what information to share with Incubate program its outside advisors, or any other third party.
  • All participants must agree to period reviews by INCUBATE organisers – if your team are not making progress due to unforeseen circumstances we have the right to open your co-working space to another finalist team



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