Announcing UQ’s ilab Germinate PLUS startup accelerator program

26 October 2018

UQ's ilab Germinate PLUS


The University of Queensland (UQ) has been nurturing new startup companies since delivering its first Germinate accelerator in 2012 making UQ’s ilab one of the most experienced startup accelerator programs in Australia. Coupled with our Incubate program, ilab has now supported 185 startups companies and 500 founders who have collectively been awarded in excess of $57m in investment and grants

As can be expected from a leading global, comprehensive and research-intensive university, these startups have come in all shapes and sizes, bringing a huge variety of ideas and industries to the table, from data analytics to food technology, robotics and drones to web development, edtech solutions or healthtech, retail and enterprise, physical products and scalable software-based businesses, marketplaces and social enterprises.

UQ’s ilab is now announcing the next generation of its accelerator program - Germinate PLUS

UQ’s ilab is now announcing the next generation of its accelerator program - Germinate PLUS. It will operate longer with twice as much grant funding while remaining founder friendly with no equity taken. Eligible teams will include key founders with strong UQ ties, including students and recent alumni (who graduated no longer than 10 years ago)

With UQ’s ever-growing entrepreneurship offering, including Idea Hub and Startup Academy, UQ’s founders are now supported more than ever to really explore their ideas locally and internationally, access mentoring and really validate their startup proposition has a viable market.

This is enabling us to raise the bar of entry to the Germinate program and double down on our accelerator offering.

Germinate PLUS includes a number of key enhancements, in addition to the benefits of the previous program:

  1. Grant funding for each startup accepted into the program will increase from $10,000 to $20,000.

  2. Germinate Plus will remain equity free to ensure our founders have as much flexibility in later investments engagements.

  3. Redesigned from a three to a six-month program.

  4. An enhanced program structure will flexibly accommodate study commitments whilst supporting an extended product development timeframe.

  5. The Germinate Plus program will accept 12 startup teams (rather than 10 with the previous program)

  6. Eligible startups will include key founders who are current undergraduate and postgraduate students, researchers and recent UQ alumni who have graduated within the last 10 years.

  7. Access to desk space and amenities for the duration of the program

  8. Regular seminars in areas relevant to early stage startups

  9. Access to mentors, our Entrepreneur-in-Residence and a network of professionals and potential investors

  10. Access to a range of partnership benefits from Google, Microsoft, AWS, Hubspot, Matlab and other.

The UQ founders in the Germinate PLUS program will continue to challenge for UQ’s Shane Chidgzey Young Entrepreneur cash prize awarded at the end of the program.

UQ believes that the new Germinate Plus program, coupled with the growth of other UQ programs, will continue to make ilab’s startups an attractive proposition to the early-stage investor community.

Application are now open and will close on 25th November followed by a selection bootcamp from the 7th to 9th of December. Germinate PLUS will then operate from January through to July.


The program will have three phases.

Phase one will be intense two months on January and February in order to help the teams get their start right and pick up the pace in the early days.

The second phase will really allow customer centric MVP (Minimum Viable Product) build time and will accommodate student study.

The last month will again be intense and will really focus on becoming investment ready and culminate in an investment pitch event.



The Key Dates

  1. Applications are now open and will close on the 25th November 2018. To apply, follow the link at the bottom of this article to the main Accelerator page and submit a request to obtain the application form. Fill it and upload the requested documentation then submit 
  2. After the applications are closed, UQ's ilab will proceed to the pre-selection in the following week and make announcements to the selected teams and unsuccessful applicants.
  3. The selection bootcamp will then happen from the 7th to the 9th of December 
  4. At the end of the bootcamp, 12 teams will be selected and invited to join the Germinate PLUS accelerator program.
  5. Germinate PLUS will then operate from January 2019 through to July 2019



To apply, visit our accelerator page and submit a request for the application form: