Yes, but only in the Incubate program. Unfortunately at this stage nonprofit startups are not eligible for the Germinate program.

Yes you can.

ilab’s programs are geared to support local and regional startup founders.  We assess applications on merit.  If startups are successful from outside of South East Queensland, then we support their participation through a combination of Skype, subsidised travel and accommodation and partnerships with entrepreneurial organisations and mentors local to those founders.

If you apply from regional Queensland, and you are successful in being shortlisted for the ilab Germinate Bootcamp, then we will subsidise your travel and accommodation costs to come down to Brisbane for the Bootcamp selection weekend.

If you are then one of the successful teams gaining entry into the full Germinate program, ilab supports your participation from your home location and augments this with travel subsidies for you to come down to ilab’s Brisbane facility at the start of the program.  This is important for Germinate founders to meet and get to know other founders and makes collaboration more effective during the program.  We also support a second trip to Brisbane later in the program.  For the rest of the time, we use Skype or Google hangouts to allow you to participate remotely with mentors and workshops and remain engaged with the program and the rest of your cohort.

This remote regional support is for those who really cannot make it to ilab.  If you are within an hour or two drive from Brisbane, we really like you to participate actively from ilab’s facility for the whole of the program.  While Skype is good, face to face is still better and you will benefit more from being actively engaged at ilab.

Note this remote support and travel subsidy is not available for non-Queensland residents.

If you live outside Australia and are accepted we expect you to attend ilab in person for the duration of the Germinate program and incorporate your company in Australia.

As we get a lot of applications, we’ll need you to apply to one of our programs to get feedback on whether ilab is interested in your idea.

ilab runs multiple programs for entrepreneurs with IT-enabled ideas, which you may read about here.

If you’d like to get involved with ilab, or check whether ilab is interested in your idea, we encourage you to apply to the program/s of your choice by clicking the “Apply” button in the top right hand corner of our website. Please remember that ilab is currently a centre for IT-enabled ideas only.

Our judging panel will then assess your application and we will get back to you.

ilab’s offices are open to the public every Friday from 10-11am. Please arrive before 10:45am. We are happy to give you a brief tour of the centre and talk with you during this time, and no bookings are required. Please note ilab will not be open to the public Friday 31st October for open hour.

If you’d like to schedule a personal meeting outside of this time, please contact us.

The next Germinate program will commence around mid 2015. Exact dates will be posted in early 2015.

It is important that applicants are actively thinking about their business idea several months ahead of this date as applications close 5 to 7 weeks ahead of program commencement. This allows time for application judging and the Germinate selection bootcamp for shortlisted applicants.

If you would like to be emailed when Germinate program dates have been confirmed and applications open, complete the Expression of Interest form here (make sure to tick that you are interested in the Germinate program).

Also make sure you subscribe to the ilab mailing list for regular updates and program information.

To apply for the next Summer Germinate program:

1. Register your interest at any time. Press the “Apply” button in the top right hand corner of the ilab website. Fill out the “Expression of Interest” form, and we will email you the application process. You can do this now. (Applications will formally open on the 14 September 2014.)

2. Applications will close on the 19th October 2014.

3. Your full application will be reviewed and you may be shortlisted to participate in a Business Building Bootcamp held at ilab from Friday 31st October to Sunday 2nd November, 2014.

4. At the Bootcamp, you will be provided an opportunity to workshop your idea and present to a number of technical and business mentors as well as a selection panel for the Germinate Program.

5. Successful applicants will be invited to participate in the Germinate Program for a period of three months with full support from ilab mentors and management as well as a grant of up to $20K to assist with further technical and business development. We anticipate the Germinate program to run for three months from 25th November 2014.

(Dates are subject to change)

ilab’s focus is on supporting teams to create their own self-reliant business, rather than making them reliant on us for their operations. As such, we do not have in-house developers, marketers or lawyers (or other professionals) who will do work.

The Germinate program provides workshops on a range of these business activities.

We do have staff that can support you with many of the questions you may have in starting your technology business, and the ilab community includes many people who have been through what you are experiencing and are willing to help. This includes our Entrepreneurs in Residence, our mentors, other ilab startups, previous ilab startups, and ilab staff.

Online applications for the Germinate program are assessed by a panel of external judges (i.e. No ilab staff are on this panel). The panel uses an internal set of criteria that ilab does not make public.

However in general, ilab looks for startups that:

  • solve real problems (customer validation is important)
  • have a strategy for execution and market entry
  • have strong teams with the capability to execute
  • operate in a market that has great potential

Starting your own company requires time and effort, and we encourage Germinate participants not to treat what they are doing as a hobby.

The Germinate program has weekly scheduled activities, often amounting to 2-3 days at ilab per week, and we do generally expect that participants are available during this time to gain the most from the program.

ilab also expects Germinate participants to contribute their own time outside of scheduled activities.