Incubators help innovative startups to rapidly transform their ideas into globally competitive businesses by giving them mentorship, funding, resources, knowledge and access to business networks.

More high-performing incubators will mean more startups can realise their economic potential. To support existing incubators and to encourage development of new ones, particularly in regions and sectors of high innovation potential, the Turnbull Government is adding a new component to the Entrepreneurs’ Programme—an $8 million Incubator Support Programme.

What is it?

The Incubator Support Programme will offer competitive matched funding to:

  • support development of new incubators and accelerators in regions or sectoral areas with high innovation potential
  • boost the effectiveness of high performing incubators including support to expand their services and engage a Commercialisation Adviser to help them access other government services and programmes
  • provide access to top quality research and technical talent through three to 12 month secondments of national or international expert advisers
  • coordinate and promote support for entrepreneurs and startups through the Australian Innovation Network—an online portal will help entrepreneurs to access information on startup support opportunities, activities and events across Australia.

When is it happening?

Support for new and high-performing incubators will start from 1 July 2016. Incubator Support is being implemented under the Entrepreneurs’ Programme and is scheduled to open to applications from 1 July 2016. It will provided matched funding support to new incubator proposals, activities of existing incubators, and an expert-in-residence component that supports secondments of experts to build linkages and networks.

Discussion paper and consultation

A discussion paper describing the draft programme parameters of Incubator Support was prepared for consultation and responses were due on 31 March 2016.

What to do

Key role of incubators in startup success

Incubators are a vital part of any effective innovation ecosystem. Australia already has over 30 incubators and accelerators, with many of them located in capital cities or focussed on information and communications technology. This compares to 1250 incubators in the United States, around 130 in Europe and 24 in Israel.

For example, Australia’s ATP Innovations has helped more than 300 software, hardware and life science startups since its establishment in 2000. 

By providing mentoring, office space, professional services and finance, the incubator has helped many startups validate their ideas and achieve success.

Some of the successful businesses ATP Innovations has provided essential support to include the Ingogo taxi booking and payment system, which launched in 2011, and Breathewell, a technology that assists cancer patients in breathing predictably during a course of radiotherapy.  



Information courtesy