Germinate Accelerator ROI



The Germinate applications are now open and close 25 May!

Register below and you will receive the full application form for ilab UQ’s Germinate 12 accelerator program.

This will be the winter edition of our startup accelerator program.

After a selection bootcamp gathering pre-selected startups from the 1st to the 3rd of June 2018, it will officially start on the 25th of June (after the university exams) and run for 3 months.

Read more details on the program below.

Register at the bottom of the page

by filling in your name and email so we can send you the link to the application form



Over 150 startup companies have been supported by ilab UQ’s programs 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.

This program alongside other ilab’s initiatives demonstrates UQ’s strong commitment to educating and empowering students towards the future of work.

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 grant money.  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).


  1. Register your interest. We’ll send you an application form for the Germinate Cohort.  (Note just registering is not applying.  You will need to fill in the full online form to be considered for Germinate 12)
  2. Fill out the full online application
  3. Judges will review the applications and will create a shortlist.
  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 (10 teams) are notified the following week and commence the program immediately following exams.

See key dates below


  1. 01 May 2018: Applications Open
  2. 25 May 2018: Applications Close
  3. 29th May: Shortlisted teams announced for bootcamp
  4. 1st to 3rd June: Bootcamp for shortlisted startups
  5.  Notification to successful applicants
  6. 25th June: Germinate program commences
  7. 3rd October 2018 (TBC): Investor / Stakeholder Pitch and Demo night


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?

To success, you need to be full time on your startup.  To assist, UQ allocates each successful team with $10,000 of  funding. This will be paid in three instalments of $3,333 throughout the program. Teams need to demonstrate continued commitment and progress during the accelerator to qualify for each payment.

We also have an Entrepreneur in Residence working directly with the teams during the 3 months of the program and bring in professionals as speakers and mentors.

Note that ilab UQ reserves the right to cease future payments for reasons that include lack of progress, lack of commitment and any significant change of founders from that proposed during the application process.

Note also if you have previously received support from UQ in relation to the startup, or are being paid by UQ for other reasons during the program, you may not be eligible for funding.  This will most likely impact researchers or staff.


How much equity do you take?

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.

With this as background, it is up to you to demonstrate in your application that the startup founders 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 is focused on teams whose key founders (2 expected) 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.

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 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.



Our program differences

Benefit Germinate Startup Builder
Funding Up to $10k services only
Mentoring approx 20 broad mentors some
Facilities, WiFi Internet + Desks yes – permanent desks 3 mths Hot desk whenever available
Term Pgm Duration approx 3mth per agreement with ilab
Investor introduction yes yes
Partner deals access all partner deals access some partner deals
Startup seminars yes limited
Cohort benefit yes limited
Progress oversight weekly as requested


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