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Government Triples Size of its Incubator Fund

Friday, 23 Sep 2016


Jacks original $8m investment up to $23m.

The Government has almost tripled its investment in a new initiative designed to part-fund the set-up of new incubators across Australia.

Launching the initiative at the Stone & Chalk fintech hub in Sydney this week, the Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science Greg Hunt talked up the increased commitment from Canberra.

“The Incubator Support initiative is a new element of the Entrepreneurs’ Programme and is one of the measures under the Turnbull Government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda,” Hunt said.

“Originally announced as an $8 million initiative, the Turnbull Government has committed a further $15 million over four years to ensure more innovative businesses, especially those in regional and rural areas, can access the resources and networks needed to grow.”

The increase in support came in part after pressure from the industry to raise the Government’s planned contribution.

Rohan Workman, director of the Melbourne Accelerator Program at the University of Melbourne, lamented back in April that government innovation funding was missing accelerators and incubators, which “take early-stage start-ups and transform them into venture capital-worthy businesses.”

“There's no denying that there's still a significant element of risk to what incubator and accelerator programs do – anyone playing in the start-up ecosystem knows it's a risky space,” Workman said.

“However, if Australia is going to transition to a knowledge economy the bigger risk is to not take these risks.

“To create a vibrant start-up ecosystem with scalable businesses, we need quality of accelerator and incubator programs over quantity.”

With the initiative now better-funded, Workman said his organisation was “delighted” and planned to apply for the grants.

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