Incubator Support

Incubator Support – Provides new and existing incubators with funding to help start-ups develop the capabilities to succeed in international markets.
This grant is currently closed to applications
Application detail:

The Incubator Support Initiative is no longer accepting applications.

What do you get?

From $13,000 to $250,000 of funding for up to 2 years. Funding covers eligible project value of up to 65% in regional areas or up to 50% in major cities.

Who is this for?

Australian incubators supporting start-ups, including those with first-generation migrant and refugee founders, to help them achieve commercial success in international markets.


Incubator Support – New and Existing Incubators gives incubators the help they need to assist start-ups, through:

  • delivering high quality services to start-ups to improve their chances of commercial success in international markets
  • partnering with first-generation migrant and refugee support organisations to assist migrant and refugee founders to establish their business both nationally and internationally
  • assisting start-ups with a regional focus to expand and scale their business

We also assist successful applicants to access public data through the DataStart program and will promote start-ups through case studies on the portal.

Incubator Support Initiative is one of 4 elements that form the Entrepreneurs’ Programme.


What are the eligibility criteria?

To get a New and Existing Incubators grant, you must be either:

  • operating an existing incubator
  • establishing a new incubator

Your incubator must foster and facilitate the development of innovative start-ups focused on international trade.

You must have an Australian business number (ABN) and be one of the following:

  • an entity incorporated in Australia
  • an incorporated trustee on behalf of a trust
  • an incorporated not for profit organisation
  • a publicly funded research organisation (PFRO)
  • a local government agency or body

You must provide:

Your project must:

  • include eligible activities and expenditure
  • have an eligible project value of at least $26,000 for projects in major cities
  • have an eligible project value of at least $20,000 for projects in regional areas

Read the Grant opportunity guidelines for more information on the eligibility criteria.

You are not eligible to apply if you are:

  • an individual, partnership or trust
  • a Commonwealth, state or territory government agency or body

We consider your project to be regional if you can attribute at least 80% of your eligible project value to activities in a regional area.

You can use the mapping tool to work out the regional location of your project. For this initiative, we consider Inner Regional, Outer Regional, Remote and Very Remote locations as regional areas.

Examples of eligible activities include:

  • expanding mentor networks to those with national or international expertise
  • providing or facilitating access for start-ups to new knowledge (such as customer acquisition and/ or business development methods) to promote or facilitate international trade
  • helping start-ups to access new international trade resources, such as purchase of technical equipment
  • helping start-ups to access new international trade knowledge, such as customer acquisition or business development methods
  • helping start-ups to access new international networks, such as investors or customers peer firms

This is not an exhaustive list of eligible activities.

The program delegate decides if an activity is eligible.

An incubator is an organisation that supports innovative start-up businesses focused on international trade. It provides services such as:

  • seed funding
  • co-location
  • mentoring
  • professional services
  • access to networks


The New and Existing Incubators grant is no longer accepting applications.

We assess your application against the eligibility criteria and then against the assessment criteria. Only eligible applications will proceed to the assessment stage.

If your application is eligible, we’ll refer it to an Innovation and Science Australia committee. The committee will assess your application against the merit criteria and compare it to other eligible applications before recommending which projects to fund.

We will assess your application against the following assessment criteria:

  • Assessment criterion 1: Management and business capability (50 points).
  • Assessment criterion 2: Benefit to your incubator, start-ups and the broader innovation ecosystem (40 points).
  • Assessment criterion 3: Impact of the grant funding on your project (10 points).
  • Assessment criterion 4: How your project will support first-generation migrant and refugee founders to expand internationally (additional 10 points).

You will receive a written offer if your application is successful.

From there, you will enter into a grant agreement with us. The grant agreement will specify the reporting requirements, payment schedule and milestones necessary to receive payments. A sample grant agreement is available to view.

If your application is unsuccessful, we will notify you in writing. You will be able to discuss the outcome with us.

Need help?

Let us answer your question via phone, email or live chat. And if we can't help, we'll put you in touch with someone who can.

  • Phone:
  • Open Hours:
    Monday – Friday, 8am – 8pm across Australia
  • Website:

Entrepreneurs’ Programme

The Incubator Support Initiative is part of the Entrepreneurs’ Programme. It aims to help businesses to:

  • improve their growth capabilities and networks
  • engage with researchers
  • foster innovation
  • encourage commercialisation of novel products, processes or services

Key documents

Grant opportunity guidelines

pdf · 0.68 MB docx · 0.47 MB

Fact sheet Incubator Support Initiative

pdf · 0.18 MB

Sample application form

pdf · 0.37 MB docx · 0.18 MB

Sample grant agreement

pdf · 0.46 MB docx · 0.15 MB

Sample board or CEO approval letter

pdf · 0.02 MB docx · 0.03 MB

Accountants Declaration for grants over $50,000

docx · 0.04 MB

DataStart program information sheet

pdf · 0.11 MB

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