Australian startup accelerators and incubators

13 May 2020
Kate, copywriter
As there’s no light without the darkness, there’s no success without failure. Accelerators minimize mistakes and help you to get the lesson out of them.
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Things you need to know about startup pre-development

We believe that each startup worth to be written a book about, and it doesn’t matter was it successful or not. In fact, the stories of failures are even more useful in terms of sharing the experience. Before knowing how to do something, you need to find out what you shouldn’t do. Failures are a pre-requisite of success. As there’s no light without the darkness, there’s no success without failure. However, it’s painful because there’s not only your self-esteem at stake but also the ideas and money. To avoid burning out and minimize the failures or losses from them, it would be good to attend some sort of school that would prepare you for all pitfalls of the tech world. Fortunately, since 2005 there was a spread of startup accelerators. They did not only educate young idea-cherishers but also made the initial investments and helped to find the potential funders.

Now, there are plenty of such companies all around the globe. In the previous article, we talked about the North American startup accelerators and compared how they differed from startup incubators. Their key working principles are FIND, INVEST, TEACH, SUPPORT. First, accelerating companies choose a certain amount of promising ventures. The numbers differ — some choose to work with a small number of clients and invest more time in them, others invite from 50 to 300 startups per quarter or year and aim to show as many projects as it is possible. Then, they teach — some choose a 5-day-based study, others — 1 intensive day per week. Usually, accelerators invite the best professionals in tech whose startups turned out to be hit in the past. Then, they help the ventures to detect and fix their weak points — it can be design, navigation, business plan, or lack of employees. Then, on your demo day, you rise and shine, showing the investors how the world could adapt your energy by using your app. That’s the process. However, remember, it does not prevent you from failures. Although all the companies write on their websites about wins only — the numbers of failures may also be high. Accelerators only improve some aspects of your work and help you show yourself to the tech world. To make your project launch be prepared for fails and remember these things:

  • There will always be competitors, and they may be the alumni of the same accelerator;
  • Consider your studies as a way of improvement, not a magical pill. There is a lot of work after launch;
  • What’s more important when you start your venture, apart from money and knowledge? Network. The more people you know and communicate with, the more possibilities are open to you. However, to establish truly trusting relationships with the community, be patient — it may take a year or two (if not more);
  • If you target the wrong target audience, you fail, inevitably;
  • Embrace your failures, even if you are not proud of them. In fact, now people who failed several times and still tried again are more precious than those who succeeded from the very beginning. When you make mistakes, you are bound to analyze them to keep moving. Thus, you have a valuable experience to offer.

Now, let’s continue to develop a variety of startup accelerators around the world. This time, we target Australia’s most successful and professional startup alma maters.

List of startup accelerators and incubators from Australia


The team of professional entrepreneurs from Innovyz is dedicated to making each community-valuable idea to grow and spread around to make the life of many people easier. They target not only startups but many non-profit organizations and even universities. Basically, we will not be wrong that at the core of Innovyz lays the value of the idea, and it doesn’t matter where it comes from. What counts is its application to modern world issues.

Their Circular Economy Commercialization Program involves the idea-makers for “obtaining, processing, using and then returning for alternate use”. They choose 10 best ideas and inventions that must solve some of the global problems, like global warming, lack of sustainable energy, post-production pollution in manufacturing centers, water pollution, recycling waste, and not-reusable materials. For the development of startups based on such ideas, they provide you with a 9-month-program. 10 companies in less than a year – that’s a lot of dedication in terms of time and effort. After they choose you as the right candidate for the program, you get the reference to the manager who will work with you on your project every day, First, Innovyz helps you to validate your idea, choose proper technologies and decide upon the right members for your team. Then, it’s time to build a business plan and create a risk mitigation plan. The second stage is the company creation. Finally, you scale it and get your first revenue or first aim achievement.

Melbourne Acceleration Program

It’s based at the University of Melbourne who invests 20 thousand dollars in 10 promising ventures every year. The program officials provide idea-creators with office space and a strong community of tech and business professionals who are willing to share their growth. Among their successfully launched startups are Carbar, Brosa, PHORIA, Nura, Acusensus, and Mimictec. Since they’ve launched in 2012, they’ve helped 150 startups to create 1400 new jobs and generate revenue worth more than 100 million dollars. They provide different types of programs: for inexperienced funders, female-founders, etc.

MAP also targets not only profitable projects but also those that aim to improve the world regardless of the revenue. Masterclasses and investors network, resources, and facilities of the Melbourne University – you get all of it if you begin your startup path with MAP. The process of admission happens in 5 steps. Step 1 – Online application, where you write about your motivation and startup’s purposes. Then, MAP invites you for a Pitch Night, where you get 3 minutes to share the info about your project and entice 50 individuals to choose you for the program. If you go through this step, you will have an interview with MAP tea. Final Panel Interview will decide whether you are suitable to be among 10 startups to be developed this year.  If 5 members of the panel decide you are, welcome to the accelerator launch. Then, you begin your work.


Founders helping founders – this is the credo of this company because its CEOs used to be idea-creators themselves. Since its launch, they have helped to create a soothing environment for the set up of 110 thousand companies with 800 million of revenue. They adopted the idea of radical honesty, meaning that they will teach you everything as they once have been, without revealing the information. Startmate provides 2 types of programs: a 12-week accelerator program for startups and a 3-month fellowship for professionals. With more than 80 mentors and 74 thousand dollars of initial investments for each company, they will not tell you what to do, but give the instruction and allow you to learn yourself in practice. Also, they have free offices in Sydney, Melbourne, and Auckland, so you have a flexibility of place.

It begins with an immersion trip where you get to know your team of mentors. They set you a list of goals for 12 weeks and then you get the investment. Surrounded by professionals, you start working on your project and fully dedicate yourself. Having no distractions, you fully immerse yourself into the pre-development process like business plan outline, team accumulation, product improvement, and market targeting. Startmate provides its ‘students’ with weekly lunches, mentor dinners, and investor meetings. As in the traditional way of leading a startup accelerator, they conduct a Demo Day when the program ends. You pitch your startup to investors and get your second round of funding. What’s also important is that Startmate supports New Zealand’s startups as well.


Incubate’s Accelerator Program lasts for 14 weeks, supported by constant professional workshops, mentorship, and 5 thousand dollars of investment (equity-free). The whole working process will be helpful on the University of Sydney Union’s campus because Incubate is their project. They have requirements regarding the candidates:

1) They must be studying at Sydney University, or

2) They must be teachers there, or

3) They must be the alumnus of this alma mater.

That creates a lack of flexibility, however, it also helps this University to create a strong community of its students and apply their knowledge in the solution to the world’s issues.

What’s interesting is that Incubate started as an experiment. The founders did not know whether it will work. It then grew into the Higher Education entrepreneurship, resulting in the development of 100 mentors who accelerated the development of 115 startups. Imagine, being enrolled in the University that gives you not only the knowledge and profession but also money for the launch of your business. Not many cities and educational institutions have that. Among their successful projects are Bioscout, Green Atlas, ShopGrok, and Earth AI – all sustainable.

Australian startup ecosystem

Canva, Freelancer, Gleam, 99designs, Airtasker, Clipchamp  – all these companies were founded in Australia. America is well-known for its Silicon Valley, so there are no doubts about its conditions for startup launch. What about Australia? It has approximately 1700+ founders with 935 highly profitable ventures. The most popular investment type is 1) Accelerator, 2 ) Venture Capital, 3) Co-Working Space. Australian Government also provides grants. There are many events with entrepreneurs who share their knowledge – StartCon, Spark Festival, Startup&Angels.

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