Startup Academy

We address the main reason why most startups fail — a product or service that doesn't solve a big enough problem for the right customer.

Validate the fit between your ideas and market needs while developing a business model for your product or service with Startup Academy. You can come with your own idea or we have a bank of ideas from UQ researchers that may have disruptive startup potential. Your product or service could be the launch of a business, an app, or a social venture. 

With access to leading academics in entrepreneurship and innovation and industry mentors, you’ll develop an extensive network of contacts to help you on your entrepreneurial journey.

Applications for Startup Academy will open in March 2019. 

The Startup Academy program will run over three months will be broken down into four stages.

  • Stage 1. Startup Ideas Showcase
    You will be invited to the inaugural Startup Ideas Showcase. At this event, the program process will be outlined and a range of UQ scientists will present their new startup ideas based on their research. Following the presentations, there will be an intensive exercise where participants can discuss and explore startup ideas with the inventors and researchers in quick two minute sessions. 
  • Stage 2.  Lean Startup Bootcamp
    The following day you will attend a boot camp to start working on a Business Model Canvas for your startup idea. We will facilitate the formation of small teams to work on each of the new ideas, based on the complementary skills and experiences of all participants. We use the Lean Launchpad Program (LLP), developed at Stanford University to discover the best first customer, the problem the idea solves and a sustainable and scalable Business Model Canvas.
  • Stage 3. Mentoring meetups
    Each team is required to interview at least 100 customers over the two months of the SUA program. The skills necessary for these interviews will be provided at the boot camp. Teams will come together every two weeks to discuss what they have learnt and receive feedback from startup experts and mentors. As the teams progress the value proposition and business model will become more clear, compelling and competitive.
  • Stage 4. Pitch for prizes 
    The program concludes with a pitching event to an invited audience of entrepreneurship experts, founders, investors and industry leaders. The teams will be pitching for a share of $10,000 in prize money to take their idea to market. Teams will also be pitching for entry into the ilab Germinate PLUS program where successful teams get $20,000 and six months of intensive coaching to launch their startup.


Startup Academy is open to all current UQ students, alumni and staff. You do not need an idea or background in business or tech to apply, just an interest in entrepreneurship and innovation.

You can apply as either an individual or as a team. If you are applying as an individual we will assist you in finding a suitable team based on your experience and skills.

Need more information

General enquiries about the program can be directed to the Startup Academy Coordinator Cameron Turner at