Australia is an incredible country brimming with start-ups and celebrating a great startup culture. It is only natural, then, for support systems around it to show up as well. A startup reaches out to a startup accelerator or a startup incubator in order to get a head start in the market. Young and innovative companies can find mentors in startup accelerators that help them gain years’ worth of knowledge with the help of their intense training programs. Before we get to our list of the top 12 startup accelerator and startup incubators, here is a quick rundown on the main benefits of such programs.

The many advantages to these short-term growth programs offered by startup accelerators and startup incubators include

  • Seed capital: Many startup accelerators offer some initial capital to help you wade through the first few years in exchange for equity. 
  • Rigorous training program: You get to learn the ‘hows’ and ‘whys’ of business from the experts themselves. Successful founders and investors impart their wisdom to help your business flourish.
  • Office/coworking space: Some startup accelerators also provide private offices or coworking spaces for you to plan your way forward.
  • Cohorts: This is a great opportunity for networking as you get to meet like-minded people and fellow innovators. You can also get connected to an alumni network. 
  • Pitch/Demo day: You get to pitch your startup idea to potential investors. 

Cities like Melbourne and Sydney are flourishing global startup hubs and draw founders and investors from all over the world. Here are the best startup accelerators and startup incubators in Australia that are dedicated to helping new startups succeed.

1. BlueChilli: Startup incubator Sydney 

BlueChilli is a Sydney-based startup incubator/accelerator that assists early-stage startup founders to build their product. Their accelerator programs and corporate partners help to break the big barriers that stand in the way of new tech startups.

Blue Chilli Logo

What do they look for

Early-stage founders aiming to build and scale global startups.

What do they offer 

They help you in finding your first customer and partners. This startup accelerator puts money in tech IP, expert skills and early-stage funding along with helping you raise capital of your own. 

What makes them stand out 

Taking note of the fact that Sydney falls short of engineers and developers in technology, this startup accelerator acts as a technical and advisory partner to non-technical entrepreneurs and gets them off the ground.   

Where can you find them

BlueChilli’s headquarters are located in Sydney with other offices in Melbourne, Brisbane and San Francisco.

2. Founder Institute: Startup Accelerator

With the vision to “Globalise Silicon Valley”. Founder Institute helps startups grow and learn by doing. They have a structured training course and practical business building assignments in place that must be joined at the pre-seed stage. The company has raised over $950M and are worth an estimated $30B. They’ve also helped launch 4,500 companies worldwide earning their rightful place as the largest pre-seed startup accelerator in the world. 

Founder Institute Startup Accelerator

What do they look for

Solo founders, as well as teams in the pre-seed or idea stage, are sought by The Founder Institute. This includes pre-incorporation. If you already have the initial funding you may want to reach out to other startup accelerators mentioned here.  

What do they offer 

Their idea is to help all tech and tech-enabled businesses to build an enduring business with the help of assignments and expert feedback. 

What makes them stand out

Unlike most other startup accelerators they work on a part-time basis. This means that future founders don’t need to quit their old job to get a start here. 

Where can you find them

The company’s headquarters are in Palo Alto, California with other offices in Sydney and Melbourne.

3. muru-D: Startup Accelerator  

Backed by Telstra, which is a world-class tech company, muru-D helps businesses grow by making them work smarter and faster. With over 300 active alumni, they have helped more than 20 companies raise over $1mn. 

muru-D: Startup Accelerator

What do they look for

Startup accelerators such muru-D are seeking entrepreneurs who are looking to solve global problems. They are open to both tech and tech-enabled businesses.

What do they offer  

A six-month training program by muru-D is an intensive course which provides masterclasses, mentorship as well as alumni networks and investor connections. 

What makes them stand out

They are the largest accelerator in Australia, with programs in Sydney and Melbourne and partner programs in Brisbane with River City Lab and Perth with Spacebud.

Where can you find them

They can be found in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth.

4. Incubate: Startup Accelerator Sydney 

The brainchild of two university students back in the year 2012, the idea behind INCUBATE was to help students of the University of Sydney turn their startup dreams into reality. They gave room to students to explore their entrepreneurial skills and forge their career path. A few years on INCUBATE has built a community of over a 100 mentors and helped to get 125 companies off the ground.

INCUBATE Startup Accelerator Sydney

What do they look for 

Young and energetic university students who wish to make an impact in both business and the society. 

What do they offer

Coworking spaces, access to office resources and advice from the best in the industry so you can create an impact on your market with scalable solutions. 

What makes them stand out

This award-winning startup incubator Sydney is run entirely by student entrepreneurs who also set a great example for all aspiring applicants. INCUBATE funds over 15 promising teams per year.

Where can you find them 

The startup accelerator is based out of University of Sydney.

5. Startmate: Startup Accelerator Melbourne

Backed by few of the most successful venture capitalists in Australia, Startmate has invested in 130+ startups and created a collective portfolio of $1 billion. They are known to only back future companies that show real potential—about 200 applications come in each year, out of which 25 are shortlisted and eight selected. 

Startmate, Logo

What do they look for 

Ambitious founders of Startmate are looking for equally ambitious entrepreneurs. They focus on both tech and tech-enabled businesses. 

What do they offer 

A 12-week-program with personal coaching, coworking space, content sessions and even a week-long trip to San Francisco. 

What makes them stand out 

At the beginning of the program all startups receive an investment of $75,000 for a 7.5% equity. 

Where can you find them 

The company headquarters are in Melbourne, Australia.

6. The Melbourne Accelerator Program

Also known as MAP, the Melbourne Accelerator Program runs in collaboration with the University of Melbourne. Inviting young and bright minds to enroll for their five-month university program they are committed to creating businesses with high impact. MAP was ranked the 8th best University-aligned accelerator in the world in the year 2016. 

The Melbourne Accelerator Program Logo

What do they look for 

Tech or tech-enabled businesses that are ready to commit full time for their extensive five month long course. It is not necessary to be affiliated with the university in order to apply for the program. 

What do they offer 

Workshops, coworking spaces and masterclasses. Their velocity program is a part-time program that is ideal for early-stage founders. Franklins, which is a female-founders network is also worthy of mention. 

What makes them stand out 

$20k seed-funding to 10 startups that is equity free. 

Where can you find them 

The startup accelerator is based out of University of Melbourne.

7. Springboard: Startup Accelerator for Female entrepreneurs

One of the few startup accelerators dedicated specially to the growth of women entrepreneurs is Springboard Enterprises (SBE). According to president and co-founder Amy Millman, entrepreneurship is not  a “solo piece” and businesses cannot be built in isolation. She understands the special hardships women face while building a business and helps them to overcome it. Creating over $27 billion in value, Springboard Enterprises’ Women Innovators raised a whopping $1.5 billion in 2020 alone.

Springboard Startup Accelerator for Female entrepreneurs

What do they look for 

Future female entrepreneurs who are brimming with ideas and are keen to develop their business model. Their application process is known to be rigorous but well worth the effort.

What do they offer 

Programs that include a 3-day Sydney bootcamp and 8-week long coaching so you can get access to a wide network of investors and domain experts.

What makes them stand out 

This is a not-for-profit community that helps women build high-growth tech companies with the help of innovators, investors and advisors, all of whom are also women. 

Where can you find them 

The startup accelerator is based out of Sydney.

8. CyRise

CyRise startup accelerator focuses on Cyber Security and is on a mission to become the best cyber security accelerator in the Asia-Pacific region.

CyRise startup accelerator

What do they look for 

Startups in the Asia-Pacific region that are dedicated to working on cyber security innovations and solutions.

What do they offer

This Melbourne startup incubator offers a six-month long program and $50k seed funding, along with access to Deakin University researchers.

What makes them stand out 

They offer a trip to Israel and the US where you can get a new understanding of the cyber security landscape.

Where can you find them 

The startup accelerator has partnered with Deakin, Dimension Data and LaunchVic and runs its programs in Melbourne

9. The Good Incubator: Melbourne Startup Incubator 

Supported by LaunchVic and the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), The Good Incubator looks specifically at supporting startups in the disability, health and well-being sectors. 

The Good Incubator Melbourne

What do they look for 

People with any kind of disability who are either already running a business or looking for ways to start and grow one are welcome by the Good Incubator. Those who are looking to make a positive impact on their community.

What do they offer 

12-week long programs where you can learn the ins-and-outs of the trade, develop a growth mindset and scale your business. 

What makes them stand out 

With their markets of focus being disability, health and well-being, they make an impact like no other. 

Where can you find them 

The Good Incubator conducts its workshops in Melbourne.

10. Cicada Innovations: Startup Incubator Sydney 

Delving into the areas of deep tech, agtech and medtech, Cicada Innovations is owned by four of Australia’s leading Universities namely, Australian National University, University of New South Wales, University of Sydney and University of Technology Sydney.

Cicada Innovations Startup Incubator Sydney

What do they look for 

Startups that are involved in agriculture and healthcare are welcomed by the startup incubator Sydney.

What do they offer 

Access to prototyping labs so you can build and test on your tech. Their two main programs are Growlab and Medlab which look at transforming agriculture and healthcare respectively.

What makes them stand out 

They were awarded the Global Incubator of the Year in 2018 by the International Business Innovation Association. 

Where can you find them 

Cicada Innovations Incubator is based out of Sydney.

11. H2 Ventures

Creating huge impact in Fintech, Data and AI, H2 Ventures put their money in people with a strong sense of purpose, and emerge as a global Fintech leader. Associated with 55 companies, they have $200M+ portfolio value and over a million customers. 

H2 Ventures

What do they look for 

Budding entrepreneurs who want to make it big in Fintech, Data and AI.

What do they offer 

$100k seed-funding for 10% equity and  an ecosystem of entrepreneurs, executives and industry experts.

What makes them stand out 

They have a strong presence of female founders in countries such as Mexico, Argentina, Columbia and Vietnam. 

Where can you find them

The startup accelerator is based out of Sydney.

The Final word on Startup Accelerators and Startup Incubators in Australia 

You might also find the following articles useful – “Top 12 Venture Capital Firms in Australia” and “Top 12 Angel Investors in Australia“.

If you are an entrepreneur thinking of turning your business idea into a reality or someone running an early-stage startup, then approaching one of these accelerators/incubators is a no brainer. As a startup, you should try and explore all possible avenues for help. 

We at Elegant Media have helped turn dozens of App ideas into a profitable business by building Apps and websites that customers love. If you have an idea for an App or if you have a business and want to build an App or website to expand your business, then get in touch with us for a FREE consultation with one of our experienced App strategists.

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