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.

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

  • Stage 1. Kick-off evening
    Friday 9 August | 5:00-7:30pm | Level 2, Global Change Institute
    At this event, we will get you familiar with 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. We will facilitate the formation of small teams to work on each of the ideas put forward, based on the complementary skills and experiences of all participants. 
  • Stage 2.  Startup Bootcamp 
    Saturday 10 August | 9:00am-1:00pm | Level 2, Global Change Institute
    The following day you will attend a bootcamp to start working on a Business Model Canvas for your startup idea. During this event, you will get familiar with validation tools and interview techniques. 
  • Stage 3. Mentoring meetups and workshops 
    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.

    You will need to attend one of the Mentor Session 2 and 3 events. 
    Date Event Time Venue
    Aug 19 Lecture 1: market research 9-10am Ground Floor, Global Change Institute
    Sep 2 Lecture 2: market validation 9-10am Ground Floor, Global Change Institute
    Sep 9 Speaker/panel session 10-11am Ground Floor, Global Change Institute
    Sep 16 Registration for pitch   Online
    Sep 23 Lecture 3: pitch your hypothesis     9-10am Ground Floor, Global Change Institute
  • Stage 4. Pitch for prizes 
    Tuesday 8 October | 1:00pm-3:00pm
    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 Accelerator bootcamp.

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.

Startup Academy is an eight-week program designed to help you develop a sustainable business idea in an interactive learning space.

Applications for Startup Academy in Semester 1 have closed.

Applications will reopen in early Semester 2 2019. 

Don’t have a startup idea?

We can match you with a team based on your skill sets and interests. You’ll be provided with hands-on training and mentoring to test a startup idea and build a scalable business in a prototype environment.

Need more information

For more information about the program, please email