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Announcing our partnership with Sydney University

The University of Sydney has announced it will provide significant financial support for on-campus startup accelerator INCUBATE, to help it double its size over the next five years.

The University has committed over $1m to the award-winning program, co-founded by two entrepreneurial students in 2012 and developed by the University of Sydney Union (USU). The funding injection is a major boost for the initiative.

Open to University of Sydney students, researchers and alumni, INCUBATE currently accepts two intakes of up to eight startups each year; this will increase to over 30 startups per year supported by INCUBATE by 2018.

The extra funding will also be used to develop new outreach and support activities, including programs for community mentoring, legal advice and development to assist teams to refine their innovative idea so they’re ready to apply for the INCUBATE accelerator program.

Chancellor Belinda Hutchinson AM said: “Since its formation I have been impressed by INCUBATE and its achievements, in particular its commitment to ensuring strong partnerships with industry and genuine diversity amongst its entrepreneurial intake.”

“The University of Sydney is proud to be associated with this program that has demonstrated positive impact and supports the broader University community to develop and realise bold and innovative ideas.”

– Chancellor Belinda Hutchinson AM

Tyrone Carlin, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Registrar), said: “The University considers INCUBATE a first-rate program for its track record in bringing together teams of people from different disciplines to work collaboratively on challenging projects. We congratulate the USU for developing such a terrific initiative.”

“Our strategy commits us to ensuring students have the opportunity to undertake project work, and entrepreneurship is a vital component of this endeavour. INCUBATE neatly aligns with this strategy and provides an invaluable opportunity for our students to develop their skills and engage with the business and investing community.”

James Alexander, INCUBATE Program Manager and co-founder, said: “The USU is grateful for the University’s support and belief in our vision for fostering more entrepreneurs. It sends a great signal to students and researchers. We have big plans for the extra funding, and expect to significantly increase our scale and reach across campus over the coming years.”

As well as direct financial support, the University will also provide new co-working space for the expanded program in the Wentworth Building on City Road.

“This will enable all INCUBATE staff and startup teams to be located in the same area aiding collaboration and development,” Alexander said.

The announcement comes as Startups Class 8 prepare to present their projects at the Demo Day tonight.


Following a 14 week incubation program – including the receipt of $5,000 seed funding; working space on campus; mentoring, advice and guidance from some of Australia’s most experienced mentors; and access to professional networks of the University and supporting organisations – the budding entrepreneurs will pitch their startups to an audience made up of investors, entrepreneurs, students and graduates.

Rose Hartley, co-founder of startup ProjectHUNI that supports graduating high school students to make decisions about their future, said of her time with INCUBATE: “It’s been an intense and rewarding few months and ProjectHUNI is a much stronger proposition because of it. The ready access to experienced mentors and advice has been incredible – and we’ve loved having the time and space to really focus on our offer and define the problem we need to solve.”

The Class 8 Startups and the issues they’re addressing:

People usually discover breast cancer when it is already at a late stage and more complicated to treat.

Health Copilot
Weight loss and maintaining a healthy body can be difficult with daily lifestyle and activity being completely different for each person in addition to everyone having a unique body.

There is a shortage of mathematics educators in Australia and students are slipping behind in mathematics skills. 

40% of Year 12 students are found to have anxiety of clinical concerns. Graduating high school students lack the support and knowledge in making the right choices.

The Sorting Hat
Chinese students are dissatisfied with commission-driven agents and their lack of knowledge in actual details about study programs in Australia.

Social media advertising can be tedious with every segment being manually composed in each platform, repeatedly for different campaigns.

Traditional car washes are inefficient, requiring plumbing connection or massive water storage in addition to wasting 150 – 200 litres of water per wash.

Demo Day:

5.45-8.45pm, Tuesday 18 October
MacLaurin Hall, The Main Quadrangle, University of Sydney

INUBATE’s eighth Demo Day, open to industry and students, will showcase seven early-stage startups founded by the top student and researcher entrepreneurs from the University of Sydney.

Register online.
Media welcome, on request.


INCUBATE is now receiving applications for its Class 9 Accelerator program. Apply here.

Media enquiries:
Rachel Fergus, 02 9351 2261, 0478 316 809

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