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Australia’s Top 9 Startup Accelerators You Should Know [2022]

Are you looking for capital for your startup? Australia’s startup accelerators and incubators are a great place to start looking. Beyond funding, they also offer entrepreneurs and founders incredible valuable support for product development, sales and marketing.

Whether you are looking for a startup competition free money prize or a place to find a co-founder and get the seed money you need to get started, accelerators and incubators are your best pick.

In this article we have listed Australia’s top 9 startup accelerators and incubators. So, if you haven’t yet started to apply, here is a good place to start learning about them.

Looking for Australia’s top startup venture capital firms instead? Check out our ranking here.

Accelerator vs. Incubator: What’s The Difference?

Using the terms “accelerator” and “incubator” interchangeably is a common mistake. Whilst they are similar and sometimes can be found under the same roof (organisation), they are very different.

Startup Incubators

As the name suggests, startup incubators are tailored more to startups still in their incubation period for their ideas. As such, incubators help startup founders turn their ideas into early working prototype versions of a product or service.

Joining an incubator comes with many perks for early stage businesses. For example, incubators will typically let you use office spaces for twelve months, and in some cases every several years. 

Yet, not all incubators are equal. Some might be specialised on a specific industry, and others on a specific expertise: do you want to work on your Minimal Viable Product (MVP), or are you looking for help to kick-start your sales and marketing efforts?

Therefore, if you’re interested in joining an incubator program, you should first ask for feedback from founders who are currently in the program. You should find out how long they’ve been with the program and what growth they have achieved with its help. 

Incubators are designed to turn business ideas into prototypes
Incubators are designed to turn business ideas into prototypes

Startup Accelerators

In contrast, startup accelerators are ideal for startups that have already gathered some momentum. That’s why startup accelerators are best for startups with a complete cofounding team, a MVP, and that are looking to accelerate their growth (commercialise their product / service). 

Accelerator programs usually take place between a few weeks to a couple of months. In that time, they’ll give you access to their network, connections, knowledge, and a relatively small amount of funding for your startup. 

When looking for an accelerator program, it is crucial to do your research. Identify the program’s list of alumni. Who among their startups experienced success? How many failed? Who are in their list of mentors, and what accomplishments do these people have that you think would help you succeed in your business?

Taking the time to find the best-fit startup accelerator for your business is essential. After all, you’ll be trusting these people to help your business succeed. 

startup accelerator pros and cons
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1. BlueChilli

Bluechilli's logo, one of the top australian startup accelerators

BlueChilli both is an accelerator and incubator. As such, it helps early-stage business investors to market/build their products, and provides access to capital to startup too.

As an incubator, BlueChilli helps startups find strategic partners and potential customers. The incubator is also particularly helpful for non-technical entrepreneurs where it acts as a technical partner for startups developing their MVP for example.

Yet, BlueChilli isn’t for any Australian startup. Instead, the incubator runs 3 separate programs, each with a specific angle:

Key stats

  • 150 startups incubated
  • $160 million raised

Where can you find them?

Sydney (headquarters), Brisbane, Melbourne and also in San Francisco.

2. H2 Ventures

H2 Ventures' logo, one of the top australian startup accelerators

Founded in 2013, H2 Ventures is a Venture Capital fund which operates the H2 Accelerator, Australia’s only dedicated fintech, data, and A.I. accelerator.

H2 Ventures backs 8 to 16 startups at a time which participate in a 6 month in-house pre-seed program. Successful applicants get access to $100k seed-funding for 10% equity as well as guidance and mentoring from an ecosystem of entrepreneurs, executives and industry experts.

Key stats

  • 55 startups funded to date

Where can you find them?

Sydney

Ready? Apply here

3. Founder Institute

FI's logo, one of the top australian startup accelerators

The Founder Institute needs no introduction. With over 200 cities and 5,000+ startups funded to date, it’s undeniable one of the most important startup accelerator worldwide.

As a pre-seed startup accelerator, the Founder Institute supports startups from various growth phases: from idea stage, to MVP, to early company stage. Its program runs for 4-month.

Interestingly, they use personality tests and aptitude tests to identify early-stage investors of high potential as part of their application process.

Key stats

  • 5,000 startups funded (worldwide)
  • $1 billion raised (worldwide)

Where can you find them?

Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and also Adelaide.

Ready? Apply here

Need a Pitch Deck?

4. muru-D

D-muru's logo, one of the top australian startup accelerators

Backed by the Australian telecom company Telstra, muru-D is a recent startup accelerator that helps early-stage investors scale any tech business faster.

Their startup accelerator runs over six-month and offers early-stage tech investors global trips to startup hubs, masterclasses, mentors and alumni, international investor connections, seed funding, and co-working space.

Unlike other accelerators, muru-D has tailored its program as per the founder requirements in each cohort.

Yet, the accelerator do not accept idea stage founders: to apply you will have to get at least a MVP.

Startups that get funding through their accelerator program get $40,000 investment for 6% of equity.

Key stats

  • 140+ portfolio companies
  • 20+ startups funded
  • $1 million raised
  • 300 alumni

Where can you find them?

Sydney, Brisbane and also Perth

Ready? Apply here

5. Skalata

Skalata's logo

Founded in 2018, Skalata startup accelerator helps early-stage investors prepare themselves to scale and expand into sustainable businesses.

They use a model relying on regional best practices and in-depth research across the startup community in Australia to invest in and help early-stage businesses. Skalata’s startup accelerator program also makes it possible for early-stage startups to attain a product-market fit, create a growth engine, and develop a sustainable business model.

The accelerator runs a 5-month program, twice a year. Startups get access to $100-200k initial funding in exchange for 10% equity. At the end of the program, they may invest up to $1 million in separate rounds over the following 12 months.

Key stats

Where can you find them?

Sydney, Brisbane and also Perth

Ready? Apply here

6. Startmate

Startmate's logo

With over 150 startup funded to date, Startmate is one of the biggest startup accelerator focused only on Australia’s (and New Zealand) early stage ventures.

The Startmate startup accelerator runs a 12-week program, twice a year. Of the 200+ applications each year, only 8 to 10 get selected (2021 was an exception with a batch of 18 startups).

Successful applicants also get $75k funding in return for 7.5% equity. Unlike most startup accelerators, funding comes from Startmate’s own network of alumni and mentors.

Startmate is open to all types of ventures: from idea stage to MVP and later stage startups. Also, the accelerator helps the product-led and technical founder to plug any experience gap and find their missing co-founders. It also assists these founders in getting the experience and skills they miss.

Key stats

  • 150+ startup funded to date
  • $1.9 billion combined valuation

Where can you find them?

Melbourne

Ready? Apply here

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7. Melbourne Accelerator Program

MAP's logo, an australian startup accelerator

The University of Melbourne’s flagship entrepreneurial initiative, the Melbourne Accelerator Program is a 5-month accelerator program for early stage startups.

MAP’s aims to help kick-start 10 high-potential businesses per year. The program is also centered around several mentoring sessions and bespoke masterclasses.

Each early-stage investor also gets equity-free seed funding worth $20,000 and a dedicated space in the Melbourne Accelerator Program’s co-working space.

Where can you find them?

Melbourne

Ready? Apply here

8. Innovyz

Innovyz's logo, an australian startup accelerator

Innovyz is a one-of-its-kind startup accelerator, its program is actually called a Commercialisation Program.  

Yet, the program isn’t only for early stage businesses and startups. Instead, it helps individuals, universities, research centres and existing companies to commercialise their ideas, inventions, products or services.

The accelerator actually looks for already profitable tech companies with potential for further growth (ideas, prototypes, MVPs).

Their program runs for 9 months, every 3 months. Each cohort focuses on a different industry, from advanced manufacturing, resources, energy, water, agri-business and also applied technology.

Key stats

  • 80+ innovations projects
  • $140m+ funding secured
  • $490 million combined valuation of portfolio companies

Where can you find them?

Tonlsey

Ready? Apply here

9. Cicada Innovations

Cicada innovations' logo, an australian startup accelerator

Established in 2000, Cicada innovations is a startup incubator founded by 4 universities (UTS, University of Sydney, UNSW and the Australian National University).

Cicada Innovations focuses on Deep tech startups: businesses with unique and proprietary technologies built off the back of of highly complex scientific research.

They provide the resources, expertise, and mentoring required by engineering companies and science firms to thrive. They also offer top-notch infrastructure that encourages/supports firms developing tech products such as purpose-built laboratories and prototyping equipment and facilities.

Key stats

  • 300+ companies
  • $700m+ funding secured

Where can you find them?

Sydney

Ready? Apply here

Expert-built templates for tech startups

  • Investor-friendly
  • Easy-to-use Excel & PPT templates
  • CPA-developed financials
  • 30+ charts and metrics