Are you a budding entrepreneur, want to do something better, or just have an idea? UQ's business incubator and startup accelerator ilab is launching its Germinate 9 accelerator program. Applications are currently open and close on the 13th of November.
The Basics: How Do I Come Up With an Idea?
Ideas can come anywhere, anytime. Sometimes they can come from brainstorming sessions, other times they can just pop into your head; you never really know when! It's often in moments where you notice that there is not product/service available for what you are seeking, or that the product/service you currently use not is not to your standard. In normal day-to-day talk, these moments can be heard like this...
"I wish there was..."
"There should be..."
"Someone should make..."
All these statements correspond with the fact that you've noticed a gap in the market. Take a moment to actually critically think about it; could you actually solve the problem? How would you do this?
Plan Your Idea
Think of a rough plan for your idea. Ask yourself some questions to see if you can actually formalise your idea.
Are there already competitors in the industry?
What's the market like?
Are there things you could do better than your competitiors?
Is there demand for your product/service?
How much would it cost to produce?
How much would you sell it for?
Where would you sell it?
Who would use it?
If you can answer some of these questions, you're on your way to making your ideal reality!
How Do I Know If My Idea Has Any Interest?
First of all, make sure you know your own idea and have a plan for how you would materialise it. Once you've done this, it's time to seek some validation. Ask everyone you know; friends, family, teaching staff. The more understanding and interest you can gather from your own research and surveys the better!
What Is ilab?
ilab is a Brisbane based business incubator owned by UQ after in was acquired from the QLD State Government in 2009. In 2012, its business model changed to introduce Germinate - a new accelerator model for startups - while maintaining complementary incubation and co-shared office capability for more established companies.
ilab at UQ has funded, guided and supported 120 startups in Queensland since 2012. In the past two years, ilab startups have successfully secured over $8 million early stage investment. ilab also partners with organisations from the Queensland Startup ecosystem and some big global players offering ilab startups cheap stuff as they prove their businesses.
What Services Does ilab Provide?
ilab provides a number of services, including:
Funding - Germinate programs typically offer funding and other services.
Mentoring - Mentors frequently give their time to help startups at ilab. In the Germinate program, startups usually meet with one or two new mentors every week.
Partner deals - ilab has relationships with partners like Stripe, Braintree, Paypal, AWS, Google, and more, so our startups are able to use much needed services more cheaply, or free.
Facilities - We have lots of space spread over two levels, with open office and cubicle areas, and fast internet. We’re serviced by shuttle bus, council bus, bike paths and plentiful car parking.
Training - During the Germinate program, weekly workshops cover topics such as the lean startup, design, tax, legals, investment and more with some workshops to all ilabbers for free.
Networks and support - We actively foster the connections between startups that lead to ideas and knowledge sharing. Startup peers are ready made trusted sounding boards for your new ideas.
Founder friendly terms - ilab’s equity terms are currently under review.
Intern support - Through our strong Uni affiliations, we enable access to smart, dynamic tech and marketing interns looking for experience with real startups.
ilab runs two core programs each year:
Germinate - ilab’s premier early stage accelerator program, offering mentoring, partner deals, office space, workshops & more
Incubate - for early founders/growth stage tech startups needing focused, low-cost workspaces energised by other startups building new paradigms.
Now That I Have an Idea, Will ilab Be Interested?
As ilab get a lot of applications, ilab will need you to apply to one of our programs to get feedback on whether ilab is interested in your idea. ilab runs multiple programs for entrepreneurs with IT-enabled ideas, which you may read about on the programs page.
If you’d like to get involved with ilab, or check whether ilab is interested in your idea, we encourage you to apply to the program/s of your choice by checking out the ilab website. Please remember that ilab is currently a centre for IT-enabled ideas only. Our judging panel will then assess your application and we will get back to you.
How to Apply for Germinate 9
The application process requires you to:
Register ASAP if you think you will be applying for Germinate 9. Please do this immediately (it takes 2 minutes) to help us understand how many applications we are likely to receive.
Fill out an online application prior to the closing date. You can submit as soon as you like. (Instructions are provided after step 1 above)
Judges review the applications and select a shortlisted list.
If you are shortlisted, you are invited to attend the Germinate bootcamp weekend where you will develop your startup proposition and pitch to the selection judges.
Winners are notified the next day and commence the program one week late.