Empower Women's Accelerator

Grow your startup through UQ's Empower Women's Accelerator program. 

Join UQ's first Empower Women's Accelerator and receive $10,000 in equity-free funding, mentoring, and support to develop and grow your startup. Across three months (September – November) you will join a cohort of inspiring women and gender diverse people and get access to workshops, mentoring, guidance from Entrepreneurs in Residence, partner incentives, desk space, and introductions to investors. Women and gender diverse founders from all disciplines are encouraged to apply – from social impact and fintech to mining and health. Open to UQ students, alumni, and staff.

Applications for Ventures Empower Women's Accelerator are now closed. 

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Ventures Empower Women's Accelerator program will run from September to November 2023.

Weekly contact days include:

  • Founder updates to the cohort
  • Talks from industry experts, founders and Entrepreneurs in Residence e.g. IP, agreements, marketing, team building, partnerships, founders’ stories, addressing challenges faced by women founders
  • Structured program and mentoring with Entrepreneurs in Residence and industry mentors
  • Founder health and wellbeing

Throughout the program your team will have access to:

  • 24/7 co-working space and makerspace
  • regular seminars supporting early-stage startups
  • mentors, our Entrepreneur in Residence and a network of professionals and potential investors
  • partnership benefits from Google, Microsoft, AWS, Hubspot, Matlab, Makerspace and more.

Each startup accepted into the program will receive $10,000 in equity-free funding. 

Pitch Night event to be held in late November to showcase founders to the ecosystem and investor network.

Get ready for Empower Women's Accelerator

Date: Wednesday 5 July 2023
Time: 11am-12pm
Venue: Online (Zoom)

Empower Women's Accelerator application tips

Date: Wednesday 19 July 2023
Time: 2-3pm
Venue: Online (Zoom)


We are looking for passionate and committed women and gender diverse founders who have validated their value proposition, an initial sustainable business model and a solution.

When you apply you will need to provide evidence of customer interviews, market research and business modelling. Having a minimum viable product is ideal, but is not required to join the program.  

To be eligible to apply, Ventures Empower Women's Accelerator teams must:

  • Have a woman identifying founder that has 51% or more ownership of the idea or business;
  • Consist of active and committed founders who are over the age of 18 years;
  • At least half of your team members must be a part of the UQ community by either being a:
    • Current UQ student
    • UQ alum
    • UQ staff member or researcher

Program overview and Terms and Conditions

View agreement

You will be required to sign the Ventures Empower Women's Accelerator Agreement to participate in the program. Please review the agreement document. Participating in the Women's Accelerator program is a full-time commitment.

Founders are expected to participate in at least 90 percent of the provided workshops and accountability sessions. Lower participation may result in the team losing their funding and being removed from the program.

Application Process

Places in the Women's Accelerator program are highly competitive. Founders must complete a four-stage application process to be accepted into the program. 

Stage 1. Online application and video
You will be required to fill out an application, due 12pm (AEST) Monday 31 July 2023, outlining evidence of customer interviews, market research and business modelling. Your team will also be required to submit a short video introducing the team. 

Stage 2.  Empower Women's Accelerator Selections: First round interviews
Shortlisted candidates from Stage 1 will be invited to participate in a selection process of first round interviews. Founders will pitch their business to our selection committee of experienced entrepreneurs and mentors. Followed by a series of interview questions. Interviews to take place 8-9 August 2023 on St Lucia campus, please note you only need to be available for your allocated interview time slot. 

Stage 3.  Empower Women's Accelerator Selections: Second round interviews
The candidates from the first round of interviews will be narrowed down further and the successful candidates will be invited to the second round of interviews during the following week. These interviews are designed to probe further into your company and provide advice and feedback on how the founders might fit in the Ventures Women's Accelerator program. Interviews to take place 14-15 August 2023 on St Lucia campus, please note you only need to be available for your allocated interview time slot. 

Stage 4. Successful startups notified
The selection committee will decide on the final cohort based on Stage 3. Startups will be notified on Monday 21 August 2023. Successful teams will be required to sign the ilab Accelerator Agreement prior to starting the program. 

2022 ilab Accelerator Winner: Eclipse (Siobhan Coster)

Listen to Founder of Eclipse, Siobhan Coster talk about her ilab Accelerator experience.