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New technology-based ventures ready for a growth spurt have just nine days left to apply for a Germinate Grant from technology accelerator and business incubator, ilab.

Initiated and funded by the Queensland Government, ilab supports entrepreneurs and early stage, high-tech companies through the first few years of development.

ilab Program Director, Leigh Angus, said the second Germinate program for 2012 included a unique package of services designed to help start-up founders boost their business acumen and extend their industry networks, plus scholarships for university students to work on their business ideas over the summer semester break.

“Half the successful candidates for the first round of Germinate grants were students, so we are going to encourage this youthful entrepreneurialism by offering two scholarships of $4,000 each, in addition to grants of up to $20,000 to get new tech-driven businesses up and running,” Ms Angus said.

“The Germinate project grants have already helped several incubatees access qualified software developers and business consultants, as well as free IT services, office space and resources to help keep their operating costs down.

“They’ve also benefited from ‘how to’ boot camps, guest lectures and coaching for investor pitching, and now we want to make all these advantages available to another cohort of new Australian enterprises,” she said.

Sponsors such as Ninefold, Swayve, and Ernst & Young contribute services to the program, alongside a growing list of volunteer mentors and business coaches from Australia, the US and the UK who share their expertise in venture capital funds management, start-up development and directorships, technology commercialisation, and entrepreneurship.

Applications are invited from candidates in Queensland, other Australian states and overseas who can spend three months elaborating and validating their technology business ideas at the ilab incubator in Brisbane.

“The Summer Germinate Program will kick off with a Business Building Bootcamp held at ilab’s Indooroopilly premises from 19 – 22 November,” said Ms Leigh. 

“It’s an opportunity for workshopping ideas and presenting them to a number of technical and business mentors as well as the Germinate program selection panel. After the bootcamp, we’ll be inviting a number of participants to continue with us for three months with full support from ilab mentors and management as well as a grant of up to $20,000 for further technical and business development.”

Matthew Hennegan, one of the first to benefit from ilab’s Germinate program said, “the quality of speakers and information provided by ilab in the ‘boot camp’ weeks was well above what I could have expected, and has had a direct impact on the formation of Ample Entertainment”.

Mr Hennegan and his Germinate program colleagues will be ‘graduated’ on 15 November.

To apply for an ilab Germinate grant or obtain more information, visit www.ilab.com.au. Applications close on Sunday 11 November.