Apply to ilab’s Germinate Startup Accelerator Now – Deadline 22 May 2017

ilab UQ’s 10th Germinate Accelerator Program

Building entrepreneurs that build startups

ilab Banner Jan17-01 web page

ilab at UQ is delighted to announce that we will be conducting our 10th Germinate Accelerator program commencing late June 2017 and operating for three months over the winter period.  63 startup companies have graduated from ilab’s Germinate accelerator since 2012, making ilab one of the most experienced startup accelerators in Australia.  From retail and hospitality to healthtech, fintech, engineering, analytics, sports, education, entertainment, drone tech, agriculture and tourism, ilab has backed startups and founders across a full range of industries

Germinate includes intense mentoring and networking through a structured accelerator program including , startup basics education, co-working space, a supporting cohort of fellow founders and culminates in a pitch night with investors

On top of this, participants will receive $7.5k grant per team.  No equity will be taken for program.

Applications to ilab’s Germinate are are accepted from teams whose key founder(s) are UQ Undergraduate and Postgraduate students (including MBA’s), Researchers, UQ Staff  and UQ recent alumni (graduated from a UQ course within the last 4 years).

Following you will find details on how to apply, key program dates, a list of clarifying FAQs as well as some example ilab founders, startups and mentors.

Applications are now open and will close midnight Monday 22nd May 2017!

If you have any questions at all,  email ilab at ASAP.

Application Process.

The application process requires you to:

  1. Register ASAP if you think you will be applying for Germinate 10.  Please do this immediately (it takes 2 minutes) to help us understand how many applications we are likely to receive.
  2. Fill out an online application prior to the closing date.  You can submit as soon as you like. (Instructions are provided after step 1 above)
  3. Judges review the applications and select a shortlisted list.
  4. If you are shortlisted, you are invited to attend the Germinate bootcamp weekend where you will develop your startup proposition and pitch to the selection judges.
  5. Winners are notified the next day and commence the program one week later.

Start your registration at the bottom of this page.

Germinate 10 Key Program Dates

  1. Fri 21 April 2017: Applications open
  2. Q+A Sessions (Date TBC)
  3. Mon 22 May Midnight: Applications Close
  4. Fri 2nd -4th June : Bootcamp for shortlisted startups
  5. Mon 5th June: Notification to successful applicants
  6. Mon 26th June: Germinate program commences
  7. Late September (TBC): Investor / Stakeholder Pitch and Demo night


Questions and Answers

Please read these Question and Answers to hopefully clarify any questions you may have.

Who can apply?   This ilab at UQ Germinate program is accepting applications from startups where the key founders are UQ students (both under graduate and post graduate students from all faculties), UQ Researchers (both postdoc and PhD candidates) and UQ recent alumni (i.e. alumni who have graduated from a UQ course within the past 4 years).  If you are seeking clarification on your eligibility, then please contact us ASAP.

How much funding. We want you to be full time on this.  To assist, UQ allocates each successful team with $7,500 of  funding. This will be paid in three instalments of $2,500 throughout the program. Teams need to demonstrate continued commitment and progress during the accelerator to qualify for each payment.

(Note that if you have previously received support from UQ, you may not be eligible for funding.  This will most likely impact researchers or staff.)

Equity.  None. Nada. Zip. ilab at UQ is focused on building UQ entrepreneurs who can build companies.

What is the shortlisting bootcamp?  Following their applications, shortlisted startup founders will be invited to a Germinate selection bootcamp where they will evolve their proposition through several pitching rounds, will participate in several startup relevant workshops (lean startups, founder agreements, pitching tips, IP basics etc) and then present to a final selection panel on the last evening.  Selection founders will be invited to commence the Germinate program.  Whether you get through or not, ilab’s Germinate bootcamp weekends will definitely move your startup concept forward a lot and you will learn a lot.

What commitment is required? Startups rarely succeed without laser focus and 100 percent commitment from founders.

Germinate’s approach is to conduct weekly seminars on various aspects of startup development and regular checkins on progress both to ilab and to other startups in the group.We understand that for the Winter Germinate program, for students there is only one month of vacation before returning to studies.  We recognise this and will ramping up the intensity of the July weeks even more with less prescribed time at ilab later on to allow some flexibility.

With this as background, it is up to you to demonstrate in your application that the startup will have the necessary personal commitment to get the full value from the Germinate program.  If you have other outside specific commitments that overlap the program but would like to apply, please contact us.

What mentoring and networks are provided? You can expect to receive approximately 2 mentoring sessions each per week from external mentors as well as weekly mentoring from ilab.  These mentors also provide connections to their own relevant connections.  The mentors will be dependent on the cohort makeup and the progress.

Do I need to be in a team? While we have had successful single founders, startup teams with founders with balanced skill sets, naturally make faster progress and therefore get more benefit from the program.

How do you choose successful applicants?  Germinate 10 is focused on teams whose key founder(s) are UQ Undergraduate and Postgraduate students (including MBA’s), Researchers and UQ recent alumni).  Successful applications in addition to the above criteria will also demonstrate unique commercial ideas that create value with demonstrated market need and the potential for high growth in this competitive process. The idea’s judged to be the most viable by our industry panel of experts will progress to bootcamp for shortlisting and through a second judging panel to ultimate selection.  Social Enterprises are encouraged to apply.

Meet an ilab founder – Monica Davis, founder of Rumbl Meet an ilab Germinate alumnus startup

Monica Davis at Germinate 6 Investor Pitch NightMonica Davis came to ilab as a UQ marketing student. She entered the UQ Idea Network’s Pitch Competition, sponsored by ilab, with her vision to decrease the world’s waste of good food. Success there gave her automatic entry into ilab’s bootcamp where she successfully gained entry into the ilab’s 6th Germinate program. She accessed mentors, professional networks, entrepreneurial education, tech development contacts and grant funding as part of the ilab program to build the early stages of her Rumbl business. Through this personal entrepreneurial journey, Monica was announced as winner of the prestigious winner of The Australian Innovation Challenge – Young Innovator national award in 2015.

movus-logoOne of ilab’s Germinate 7 alumnus startups, MOVUS is developing a “Fitbit” for industrial machines – a compact data collection and communications device, combined with powerful data analytics and a user-friendly dashboard application. The solution provides cost-effective remote condition monitoring and reporting across a wide variety of fixed, portable, mobile machines and equipment.  MOVUS have received substantial investment post their Germinate program and are now a 6 person company.  Read more about MOVUS and ilab here.

What level of maturity should my startup be?
  We are targeting the program at very early stage startups and founders. We are looking beyond ideas however, and look for proof of market validation in applications.

What type of ideas are appropriate? Germinate 10 has no real restriction on types of startups.  They can be tech, or non-tech, for profit or social enterprise, consumer or business.   They should however demonstrate a unique value proposition with committed founders.

What about Social Enterprise startups? Social Enterprises with multiple bottom lines including fiscal sustainability are welcome and encouraged to participate.

What about IP?  It is useful to work from the premise that someone, somewhere else in the world has already had your idea. Accelerators such as ilab always focus attention on execution. The winners will be those who get to the right market with the right product fastest. Having said that, we also recognise that by focusing on UQ related founders, the likelihood of unique IP that needs appropriate protection is significant.  In these cases, we will discuss individually specific treatment of your IP.

We also seek clarification that any IP supporting the startup is either fully owned by the founders, or there is transparent support by the IP owners for the startup to use the IP in the Germinate program.

Are there other perks? Absolutely. Startups who are selected for the Germinate programs enjoy access to over $400,000 of services from ilab’s business partners including Google, Microsoft, Amazon and Mathworks.

Meet an ilab Incubate Company Meet an ilab Mentor


Redback Technologies is currently resident at ilab’s Long Pocket facility. They are one of Australia’s hottest startup companies in the renewable sector with some compelling intelligent hybrid inverter technology.  Read more about their recent $9.3m Series A raise here“ilab gives us that passionate, connected and entrepreneurial environment that really helps us establish the innovative company culture we need. It is a place where we can build a serious global business.” – Phil Livingston, Managing Director, Redback Technologies

Tony-Keating1One of ilab’s Germinate mentors and judges is Dr Tony Keating.  Tony is CEO of ResApp Health recently was award Australia’s most valuable technology venture capital deal in the Unleashed Awards after their stunning valuation increase to $200m in a little over one year. ResApp Health uses breakthrough research from Associate Professor Udantha Abeyratn at UQ into the analysis of cough sounds as a respiratory diagnosis tool, to under pin a startup disruptive new health business. This has huge disruptive potential as doctors will be able to use patient’s smart phones as a remote telehealth diagnosis tool.

Register for Germinate 10 here

Applying to Germinate is easy. Start by completing the following initial details on this page to register that you intend to apply.

We will then send you an email with the full application process and a link to the full online application form.

Please make sure you have read the above Q+A to help clarify any questions you may have.

If you do not receive an email, then read the following:

You can now access our online application form.  BEFORE you fill this in however, please note that we have also created an application overview google document here which you can download.  This will help you draft your responses prior to completing the online form.

Click HERE for the actual Germinate full application form.  You should try to complete this in one session.

If you have any questions in regards to the application process that are not answered in the Germinate 10 application blog, please contact us at


ilab UQ Germinate 10 Application Registration

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