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.

Register for Startup Academy pitches

 You must be a participant of the 2019 Startup Academy to register to pitch. Startup Academy Semester 2 2019 commenced August 9. The next program will be held in Semester 1 2020. 

The Startup Academy program will run over three months, broken down into four stages:

  • Stage 1. Kick-off evening
    Friday 9 August | 5.00-7.30pm | Level 2, Ventures space 
    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-2.00pm | Level 2, Ventures space 
    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 time-slot within each of the three Mentor Sessions. 
  • All lectures and mentor sessions will be held at the Ventures space, Ground Floor, Global Change Institute. 
    • Date Event Time
      Aug 19 Lecture 1: problem definition and solution 9-10am
      Aug 19 Mentoring session 1: problem definition and solution 

      10-11am; 12-1pm; or 1-2pm

      Sep 2 Lecture 2: market validation 9-10am
      Sep 2 Mentoring session 2: problem definition and solution

      10-11am; 12-1pm; or 1-2pm

      Sep 9 Speaker/panel session 10-11am
      Sep 16 Registration for pitch opens  online
      Sep 23 Lecture 3: pitch your hypothesis 9-10am
      Sep 23 Mentor session 3: market validation 

      10-11am; 12-1pm; or 1-2pm

      Oct 8 Final pitch     1-3pm
  • 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.

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.