Government support for tech startups – what’s available in your state?

Most of the state governments have some form of grant to incentivise entrepreneurs to innovate in their state. Below I provide a breakdown of the grants that specifically target early-stage tech startups in each state.

New South Wales

New South Wales has the Minimum Viable Product grant, this grant aims to assist pre-revenue technology startups in achieving market validation and their first sale.  Businesses must be registered and based in NSW and should be pre-revenue. It is important that the business can demonstrate that at least 80% of the development has occurred in NSW to qualify for the funding.

Eligible businesses can apply for funding to cover 50% of approved project costs up to $25,000. Successful applicants receive 35% of the funding up-front and the remainder once the MVP has been completed. This grant, unlike some of the other states’ startups grants, is always open for applications. The typical turnaround for this grant is 12 weeks.

 More information can be found hereMinimum Viable Product grants | NSW Government

Queensland

The Queensland Government’s Ignite Ideas Fund supports SMEs and startups to commercialise innovative products. This grant is only open for applications once a year, usually in July. Because of this short timeframe for access and the amount of funding on offer it is a highly sought-after grant that is notoriously competitive.

To be eligible for this grant businesses should be headquartered in Queensland and must have high-growth potential. There are two tiers of funding for this grant; Tier 1 offers up to $100,000 with a 20% contribution from the applicant, whereas Tier 2 offers between $100,000 and $200,000 with a 50% contribution from the applicant.

More information can be found hereIgnite Ideas Fund | Advance Queensland | Queensland Government     

Queensland also has the Small Business Entrepreneur Grants Program.  This smaller scale grant helps entrepreneurs access professional advice. The funding is limited in its use and must be spent on training, or engaging a consultant, advisor or business coach for a period of 3 months to assist the establishment or development of the business.  

Under the grant entrepreneurs can access up to $5,000 in matched funding. To be eligible the business must be based in Queensland, have less than 20 employees and have been registered in the last 4 years. This grant is not currently open for applications and it is not stated when it will re-open for applications. However in past years it has been open during the month of August.

More information can be found hereSmall Business Entrepreneur Grants Program | Business Queensland

Western Australia

Western Australia has the Innovation Vouchers Program. This grant provides funding for small businesses and startups to get access to professional services and knowledge that will aid the commercialisation of an innovative idea.

This program is for WA-based and registered startups that are developing an innovative or novel idea. Funding of up to $20,000 is available, with applicants required to contribute at a rate of at least 20% to that of the state funding. Applications for this program open once a year with successful recipients typically announced in mid-August.

More information can be found hereNew Industries Fund: Innovation Vouchers Program grants (www.wa.gov.au)

Australian Capital Territory

The Australian Capital Territoryprovides a grant in conjunction with the Canberra Innovation Network. The Innovation Connect program provides Canberra based tech startups with funding to develop and commercialise innovative new products or services. Matched funding grants between $10,000 and $30,000 are available.

To be eligible for this grant, the startup must be based in Canberra, have a registered ABN and have an annual turnover of less than $2 million. Applicants will be required to submit an EOI which includes a 60 second pitch video. This grant is currently open and applications will close on the 1st of November.

More information can be found here Innovation Connect Grants – Canberra Innovation Network (cbrin.com.au)

Victoria

In Victoria, the Small Business grant is available twice a year for startups located in the City of Melbourne council area. This program aims to support Melbourne-based startups grow and contribute to the innovative reputation of the state. Eligible applicants are able to access up to $30,000 in grant funding.

This program is currently being reviewed, and there may be changes to the program when it reopens for applications. Details will be published here – Small business grants – City of Melbourne, when they are finalised.

Tasmania

Tasmania does not have any specific tech startups grants available. However, here is a list of all grants available to Tasmanian businesses – Funding | Business Tasmania.

South Australia

South Australia’s Seed Start Grant provides startups with matched funding between $50,000 and $500,000. There are two tiers of funding, depending on the business’ stage of development. This grant aims to assist startups with the commercialisation and development of unique products or services that will benefit the state.

Applicants must have an annual turnover of less than $1 million in the 3 years prior to the application. Furthermore, applicants must be either be based in South Australia or be in the process of basing themselves in South Australia. Businesses can apply for this grant at any time, noting that the entire application process can take up to 6 months.

More information can be found hereFIXE • Seed-Start

Northern Territory

The Northern Territory has the Business Innovation Program which helps startups develop and commercialise innovative goods or services. Under this program businesses receive both mentoring and matched funding of up to $30,000. This program has 3 stages – planning, development and commercialisation. Applicants must progress through each of these stages to access the funding.

To be eligible for this program, businesses must be operating in the NT and have a permanent base there. Applications for the program are currently open until the funding has been exhausted.

More information can be found hereBusiness Innovation Program – NT.GOV.AU

If you would like to discuss grants that might be suitable for your business, feel free to get in touch to organise a tailored discussion.