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ON Accelerate is a free program that gives teams the skills and support to validate and develop a high potential innovative venture. ON Accelerate is designed to launch research-driven companies into market.

The program focusses on business models, market validation, capital raising and storytelling. We provide support and integration with venture capital partners to bring capital and next-step runway into a company.

All IP remains the property of the team or their sponsoring institute, all participants are required to sign non-disclosure agreements for IP protection.

What teams will get out of ON Accelerate

ON Accelerate will provide teams with knowledge and skills in the areas they need to develop their high potential innovative venture. The program will connect you to a network of experts who will support (and challenge) you as you work to confirm customers, refine your business model, prepare for investment and grow your business.

We will develop a bespoke coaching and skill development plan for every team that successfully completes the ON Accelerate bootcamp and immersion sessions. Your team’s bespoke plan will match you with the experienced deep tech startup and domain coaches and mentors you need to move your idea forward.

The domain coaches you may work with are specialists in:

  • performance coaching
  • IP
  • finance and contract management
  • investor relations
  • media management
  • team building.

By the end of ON Accelerate, teams should have:

  • learned entrepreneurial skills to complement your strong technical expertise
  • confirmed first best customers and potential industry partners
  • developed a sustainable and scalable business model
  • strengthened your networking, pitching and investor engagement skills
  • developed a network of experts, investors and supporters.

Our end goal is that teams that complete the full ON Accelerate program will be attractive for external funding.

Who can participate in ON Accelerate

To participate in ON Accelerate, you must apply with a team of two to five people. All team members should be based in Australia for the duration of the program.

Your team must include:

  • one person who is a researcher at an Australian research organisation


  • a current or recently completed (<24 months) PhD students from an Australian university.

The rest of your team may include anyone else you think will add value to your team, for example:

  • your colleagues
  • people from other research organisations
  • community representatives
  • industry partners
  • university students
  • someone from your organisation involved in research services, technology transfer office (TTO), communications.

Teams from an Australian startup or SME that has IP licenced or acquired from an Australian university or publicly funded research organisation may also be eligible.

Teams wanting to attract venture capital will need to be established as a company with the rights to commercially transact with the IP.

How ON Accelerate is delivered

ON Accelerate is focussed on supporting teams to develop the skills and confidence they need to successfully take their research from lab to market.

We will provide individualised support for each team to meet you where you are and help you accelerate to market. Our end goal is that each team will leave the program with a solid business model, a clear path to commercialisation and a clear runway. 

Some teams that progress through the program will attract funding under a standard $120,000 SAFE Note through our venture capital partners. 

Image shows the flow of activity involved in ON Accelerate. Activity commences with a bootcamp, and follows seven stages, spread over 13 weeks.
Overview of ON Accelerate delivery


Up to 20 teams are selected from the online application process to participate in a two-day selection bootcamp, delivered face-to-face. Bootcamp will be an opportunity for teams to demonstrate their product-market fit, customer interest and team strength. 

As part of the bootcamp selection process, we'll work with Main Sequence to bring together a network of investors from the Australian deep tech venture capital community.

The top teams from bootcamp will be invited to participate in a week-long immersion program.

Immersion week

Immersion week will support teams to increase their knowledge of the entrepreneurial journey, develop skills, progress their initiative, and network with peers, mentors and startup experts. This will be delivered as a face-to-face session.

At the end of the immersion the top teams will be invited to participate in the full 14-week program.

ON Accelerate program

Over the 14 weeks of the program teams will meet regularly with facilitators and other teams in the cohort to share progress, key learnings and roadblocks, and hear from successful deep tech founders.

Teams will also have regular 1:1 sessions with domain coaches, investors, mentors and the ON Accelerate facilitators, who will both challenge your thinking and support your development. These sessions ensure the guidance and support is tailored to your team’s focus areas and challenges, to accelerate your venture faster.

We will work with teams that are accepted into the program to help identify additional capability that may be needed in your team, and work with you to bring in the additional skills needed.

The program culminates with an opportunity to showcase your team’s work to the ecosystem. Top teams will also have the opportunity to pitch to investors as part of an invitation-only event.

Incentive funding available for teams and TTOs

We will be offering up to a total of $30,000 per team to fund their participation and incentivise market traction.

This figure includes:

  • $20,000 per team, provided to TTOs to enable the engagement of specialist expertise to support and enhance the team during the program. This could include hiring an interim CEO, CFO or other key position, or engaging a temporary entrepreneur-in-residence or other specialist as is most valuable to support the team’s progress. It may also be used as a co-investment with the organisation to advance the team in other ways.
  • Up to $10,000 per team performance bonus available - to be awarded based on team performance during the program.

Funding will also be available to support travel and accommodation costs for participating teams calculated according to the number of team members.

What time commitment is required

The program requires substantial effort and commitment from teams, and all team members should be available to participate in the workshops and coaching sessions. For the duration of the program teams should commit at least the equivalent of one full-time person to the project, with the workload shared across the team. Teams wanting to attract venture capital will be expected to have at least one team member available full-time.

Meet our ON Accelerate facilitators

Our program facilitators - Cameron Turner and David Ireland - have been integral members of the ON Prime facilitation team and will lead ON Accelerate.

Both are regarded as national leaders in innovation and commercialisation. ON Accelerate teams will benefit from their advice and support throughout the course of the program.

David Ireland: ON Accelerate facilitator

David Ireland

David Ireland is a co-founder and director of Radian Energy and The Growth Drivers.  An entrepreneur and design & innovation consultant motivated by creating sustainable, meaningful change, David has founded or co-founded a handful of innovation-focused businesses since graduating from tertiary education. These include Rocking Horse Group, ThinkAction, and PentaQuest.

David is a Board Member of Planet Ark, as well as a Governor of WWF Australia. David is also an adjunct professor in innovation and entrepreneurship at The University of Queensland’s Faculty of Business, Economics and Law.

Cameron Turner: ON Accelerate facilitator

Cameron Turner

Over the last 30 years Cameron has been a researcher, entrepreneur, CEO, inventor, management consultant and academic. He has commercialised multiple technologies and has helped form four university-based technology start-up companies - one of which he remains CEO of - Progel. All four start-ups are still selling products and remain active in the market.

Cameron was on the advisory board of the 2019 Mars food Australia Accelerator, SEEDS of CHANGE™, and is viewed as a national leader in innovation and commercialisation. He is the current Entrepreneur-in-Residence and an appointed Industry Professor at The University of Queensland’s Business School.

Next round

Applications for ON Accelerate are now closed. 

The current intake of ON Accelerate will commence with a bootcamp in late November 2022, with the program running from February to May 2023.

We anticipate opening another call for applications for ON Accelerate in mid-2023, for delivery late 2023 to mid-2024.

If you're a researcher or a startup/SME founder considering applying for a future round of ON Accelerate, here's a tip - assemble a team and review the evaluation criteria to maximise your chances of success. The clarity of your application will be assessed based on the following key points:

  • the solution and value proposition for their product or service
  • evidence of the problem that their solution addresses
  • the identified target market and customer segments of their product or service
  • strength and coverage of relevant skillsets within the team
  • demonstration of commercially relevant traction or uptake of their technology
  • alignment between the team goal and objectives of ON Accelerate
  • evidence that a startup venture is the most appropriate pathway to impact.

To be notified of upcoming rounds, please subscribe to our mailing list

How to apply

Applying to participate in ON Accelerate is a multi-step process:

  1. Submit an online application
    Each team is required to register via the online application portal then submit an application. Access to the portal will be made available when applications open.
  2. Application review and evaluation
    At the closure of the application period, all applications will be reviewed by representatives of their lead organisation. This is to ensure that each team has engaged their sponsoring institute and has full support to participate in the program. Each application is evaluated by multiple experts from our extended network. The highest rated applications will be invited to participate in the two-day selection bootcamp.
  3. Participate in selection bootcamp and immersion week
    The top teams participate in a two-day selection bootcamp, before progressing to immersion week. After immersion week, the final cohort are selected for ON Accelerate.

Have a question?

Watch a recording of our ON Accelerate information session.

If you have questions about ON Accelerate, please contact us on email

ON Accelerate Application Portal

ON Accelerate is a structured, full-time accelerator for research teams to validate and develop high potential innovative ventures.

Apply now

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