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Considering Applying? – Read this first

September 4, 2014


Startups Brainstorming

What do we look for in applications to the INCUBATE Program? Common questions answered in this presentation from our recent on-campus information session. James Alexander, Program Manager and Shane Herft, our In-House Mentor, also share their application insights in these articles:

  • Why 80% of Startups Fail – The Loop
  • Five Reasons Why Startups are Rejected from Accelerator Programs – Medium

INCUBATE will accept up to eight startup teams for our summer program that runs over December to March. Please check our Startup Themes for example startups and apply page for more answers about the program.

Startups from Researchers & Postdoctoral Students

Researchers, doctoral and post-doctoral students are encouraged to considering applying if they believe their research has potential commercial applications.

INCUBATE strongly encourages entrepreneurial researchers who are passionate about bringing their invention and innovations to the real-world to apply.

Key attributes we look for in researchers:

  • Strong entrepreneurial drive – applicants are interested in becoming co-founders of the startup company
  • Clear vision as to the potential product or service they wish to create
  • Willingness to conduct prototyping and business development during the 3 month accelerator program
  • Willingness to learn how to  market and pitch their startup to industry and investors

Staff and students working on University-owned IP may also be eligible to apply for up to $50k Proof-of-Concept funding from Commercial Development and Industry Partnerships (CDIP).

If you are interested in this route, the first step is to tell CDIP about your idea here. INCUBATE works closely with CDIP on any startups that utilise University IP, to assist them in coordinating licensing and commercialisation discussions with The University of Sydney.

“Incubate helped me to find the right people and the right path to accelerate the commercialisation of my research project.” – Ali Fathi, founder TrimphGel

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between Genesis and INCUBATE?

Genesis is a business pitching competition, organised by the Business School at the University of Sydney. We encourage anyone thinking of apply to INCUBATE but still not sure about their idea to apply for Genesis first. Genesis runs over semester and is a great way to help validate your idea. Startups that have gone through Genesis have a better chance of being accepted into INCUBATE.

Will doing an entrepreneurship course before I apply help my chances?

Yes. Doing any entrepreneurship related course, particularly courses like Technology Venture Creation (ELEC5701), will help your chances in being accepted into INCUBATE.

What can I spend the $5,000 Grant money on?

Anything related to helping you build your business and first product. Startups that are accepted will receive guidance from INCUBATE but generally most teams spend the money on product development, contractors and sometimes a contribution towards founders salaries.

Can I just get help from INCUBATE’s Mentors?

At this stage no, but we recommend you attend our public events where we often invite mentors to attend or speak. We have no ability to coordinate external mentoring sessions but we do offer startup advice on-campus to aspiring entrepreneurs. Please get in touch:

I don’t have an idea, but can I join an INCUBATE startup?

Yes. Register your skills and interest here:

I’m a single founder with no technical skills but a great idea, should I still apply?

Yes. We welcome startup founders with limited technical skills but we want to see them become experts in their industry area and have a plan for building their first product within the program time frame.

Can I apply with an idea for a creative project, cafe or consulting company?

No. We only accept startup ideas that are innovative and based on scalable products or services. Creative projects are encouraged to apply to Kickstart:

Suggested Reading

Some selected articles from the INCUBATE team:

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