Mentoring to accelerate early-stage startups and impactful research.

ProtoX Pre-Accelerator Program is a free part-time mentoring program created to support individuals and teams from within the University of Sydney community and beyond who are committed to building a startup or delivering impactful research.

Delivered by INCUBATE, the award-winning startup program, ProtoX is backed by 1:1 mentorship with industry-leading professionals and facilitated by our Program Managers with a wealth of experience in startups and research commercialisation.

Our Pre-Accelerator Program has a range of specialised program streams:

ProtoX: Students – exclusively supporting early-stage founders who are current students at The University of Sydney.

ProtoX: Arts – in collaboration with Australia Council for the Arts to provide members of the Australian arts community with the knowledge, skills, and network to test and scale their startup ideas into businesses.

ProtoX: Ideation to Creation – supporting early-stage startup founders from the University of Sydney community (student, alumni or staff) within any sector develop their business ideas into businesses.

ProtoX: Research to Impact – supporting the translation and commercialisation of research from The University of Sydney.

ProtoX: First Nations – supporting Indigenous & First Nations entrepreneurs within The University of Sydney community with a focus on cultural awareness to amplify the impact of Indigenous-owned businesses.

  • Applications for 2023 Programs are now closed. Submit your EOI for 2024 now!

    Not sure which Program is for you? Watch our short ProtoX information session to learn more.
  • ProtoX: Ideation to Creation
  • ProtoX: First Nations

  • 2024 Key Dates: TBC
  • 2023 Key Dates:
  • ProtoX: Ideation to Creation
  • Applications Open: 21st August, 2023
  • Applications Close: 1st September, 2023
  • Cohorts Announced: 11th September, 2023
  • Program Dates: 19th September – 5th December 2023
  • ProtoX: First Nations
  • Applications Open: 21st August, 2023
  • Applications Close: 1st September, 2023
  • Cohorts Announced: 11th September, 2023
  • Program Dates: 27th September – 13th December 2023
  • Program Overview:
    • 12-week program comprising of 2-hour weekly workshops – in-person or online pending program stream
    • 1:1 weekly mentorship meetings with an Entrepreneur in Residence (EiR)
    • Key theoretical learnings
    • Hands-on customer testing and experimentation
    • Opportunity to pitch your business idea to the community and industry
    • Access to INCUBATE’s community of dedicated mentors, investors and industry professionals
    • Equity-free grant pending successful completion of Program
    Time Commitment:
    • 2-hour weekly workshop in-person or online – attendance required
    • 1-hour weekly meeting with EiR to discuss goals, updates and action items
    • Workshops, networking or community events hosted on alternate weeks – non-compulsory but attendance encouraged
    • At least 5 hours per week should be spent focused on completing theoretical workshop tasks & customer testing outside of abovementioned events

    Hear from one of our ProtoX Founders

    “I absolutely would not have made the progress I did without ProtoX. It gave me the confidence, opportunity and motivation to conduct my first customer interviews and get my first paying customers. The program made me accountable, and gave me an opportunity to pitch my ideas and demonstrate my progress.

    During ProtoX I was able to ask for support or ideas from the Program Manager and the other founders, who came from different industries, experiences, and stages of life. It gave me a more rounded view than just working alone.”

    Victoria Edghill, founder of Relievables (ProtoX Alumni; INCUBATE Accelerator Class 15)