Applications to participate in ON Accelerate occurs once a year.
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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 accelerate your teams' capacity to create a disruptive, high-impact deep-tech venture.
This immersive, personalised and bespoke technology commercialisation acceleration program will:
- Equip, empower and energise teams to commercialise discoveries through start-ups.
- Develop entrepreneurial skills through engaging content, intensive coaching and peer-to-peer learning.
- Assist teams with identifying and validating unresolved problems so they can establish and connect with 'First Best Customer' and partner with velocity.
- Build and validate investment ready, innovative, sustainable and scalable business models.
- Introduce teams to venture funding opportunities and prepare them to succeed.
Throughout the program, you will be connected to a network of experts and coaches who will support (and challenge) you. The domain coaches you may work with are specialists in the following areas:
- performance coaching
- 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 broader network of experts, investors and supporters.
Teams will also be able to access ongoing coaching post program for a duration of up to 6-months.
Our end goal is that teams that complete the full ON Accelerate program will be attractive for external funding. See also, 'Incentive funding available for teams' section below.
These 10 tips will help research teams maximise the benefits of participating in a structured accelerator program, like CSIRO’s ON Accelerate.
Incentive funding available for teams
In addition to funding the total cost of participation (valued at over $150,000**), the ON Accelerate program offers several grant payments of up $180,000 per team based on performance and to fast-track their market traction during and post-program.
This figure includes:
- $20,000 per team, provided to TTOs at the outset of the program to enable the engagement of specialist expertise to support and enhance the team during the program. This may include the cost of hiring an interim CEO, CFO, entrepreneur-in-residence or other key specialist who can fill an immediate gap in the team’s collective skillset. It can also be treated as a co-investment with the team’s organisation to provide specific materials or services needed to progress advancement.
- Up to $10,000 for goals achieved in-program.
- A portion of a $100,000 total pool to be shared across all teams who achieve stretch targets approved by the program facilitators (max. award of $50,000 per team).
- Up to $100,000 Runway Booster available per team, awarded post-completion based on commitment and performance during the program.
- Bespoke coaching with domain experts throughout the program, plus 6 months’ additional coaching post-program funded for teams who fully meet the participation requirements.
Grants are available to reimburse travel and accommodation costs for participants following attendance at in-person program sessions.
** Value estimated based on calculations made over the course of 2022-2023 and takes into account the projected program budget for 2023-2024.
Who can participate in ON Accelerate and what time commitment is required
To participate in ON Accelerate, you must apply as a team of three to six people.
The program requires substantial effort and commitment from teams, and at least 3 core team members should be available to participate in the series of workshops and coaching sessions held over the course of the program. For the duration of the program, teams are advised to 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 are expected to have at least one team member available full-time.
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 university or research organisation
- a current or recently completed (<24 months) PhD students from an Australian university or research organisation
The rest of your team may include anyone else you think will add value to your team, for example:
- your colleagues
- people from other universities or 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 are also eligible to apply and participate in the program.
Teams wanting to attract venture capital will need to be established as a company with the rights to commercially transact using the IP.
If you have not completed ON Prime (or a similar innovation program) then you may be required to attend the ON Accelerate Pre-Bootcamp Workshop scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, 30 - 31 October 2023. Please email email@example.com for further information.
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.
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 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 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 15-week program.
ON Accelerate program
Over the 15 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.
It is anticipated that program dates for ON Accelerate 8 will be as follows:
- Bootcamp: Monday, 20 November to Thursday, 23 November 2023
- Immersion: Monday, 12 February to Friday, 16 February 2024
- ON Accelerate Program: Monday, 26 February to Monday, 3 June 2024
Meet our ON Accelerate facilitators
These facilitators 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 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.
Ian Brown is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at INSEAD, Chairman and Director with more than 20 years of board level experience with Australian and international innovation companies.
He has significant experience in areas of CleanTech, AgTech, FoodTech, MaterialsTech, MiningTech, Oil&GasTech, MedTech and HealthTech commercialisation and startups.
Joanne Jacobs is an experienced digital strategist and company director, and she is the Co-CEO (with Gavin Heaton) of Disruptors Co, a firm that facilitates innovation in enterprise.
She is an Industry Fellow at the University of Technology Sydney, and she is an active mentor of startups.
In her career, Joanne has worked in London where she ran a social media production house, and she was a consultant in social networking technologies, as well as a professional speaker, business coach, trainer and strategist. Joanne also has a long history in academia, lecturing extensively in strategy, technology, marketing and communications.
Andy has a career of doing things differently. Working from large global financial services and management consulting organisation through to starting and founding a number of his own software tech businesses. He has spun out technology from Swinburne University after completing his Masters of Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
An angel investor in his own right and a strong supporter of Australia’s startup and innovation ecosystem, Andy now focusses his time on providing leadership development and innovation services to deep tech and innovative startups. He is able to switch roles from facilitator, coach, mentor and MC.
He brings a unique focus based on startup thinking and creativity/growth mindset. He has filled roles such as Honorary Fellow of Innovation, Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Intrapreneur and of course as an Entrepreneur.
He currently runs his own consultancy, Innovation Studios and is a non-executive director of the IPS foundation focusing on providing developing indigenous entrepreneurship and business skills.
Applications for ON Accelerate 8 are now closed. It is anticipated that the delivery for this round will run from November 2023 to June 2024. To be notified of all future rounds, please subscribe to our mailing list.
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.
How to apply
Applying to participate in ON Accelerate is a multi-step process:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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. [NB. the session took place in early July, 2023.]
Interested in our alumni teams?
Visit our ON Program Alumni website to find out more.