Accelerators and Incubators

24/05/23 02:38 PM Comment(s) By FIAL

Australia's Food and Agribusiness Accelerator and Incubator Industry

Australia's Incubator and Accelerator (I&A) industry is a crucial innovation and commercialisation partner for the Food and Agribusiness sector. 

Entrepreneurs have a unique opportunity to capitalise on Australia's natural strengths and help increase Australia's capability and brand as a preferred and innovative provider of high quality and differentiated Food and Agribusiness products and services.

Accelerator and Incubator Review

Dr Barry McGookin, Manager of Innovation at Food Innovation Australia Limited (FIAL), undertook a top-level review to update the Australian Food and Agribusiness I&A landscape post COVID-19.


This review will assist FIAL and the wider industry to identify gaps or duplication within the sector. It will also provide insights into the types of programs required to address the identified gaps so business can more effectively and efficiently develop and commercialise their products, technologys or services.

Key Insights

Accelerators vs Incubators - What is the Difference?

Accelerators "accelerate” the growth of an existing company, meaning they are often more suitable for start-ups with a validated idea and are ready to launch, or existing businesses planning to scale.


Incubators “incubate” ideas and promote innovation and peer business interactions to build a disruptive business. They are often suitable for companies that are earlier in the innovation process (typically working towards a Minimum Viable Product).

Where to Now?

Insight  Call to Action
SMEs (often not considered start-ups) have limited options available to join physical incubator communities that understand and support them.Broaden incubator and accelerator offerings to better accommodate SMEs with additional entrepreneur options or ‘side hustles’.
Although improving, Venture Capital investors generally lack an understanding of Food and Agribusiness models and require further education and awareness to increase their investor confidence levels. This creates a significant gap at Series A rounds and later follow-on investment rounds, meaning SME Scale-up funding is almost non-existent outside private investor funding

Increase understanding of the investor community about the Food and Agribusiness sector and types of entrepreneurs in the sector vs digital or technology sectors.


Additional longer-term funding and scale-up support are provided via public, or semi-public investment options and organisations as very few Food and Agribusiness companies can be system disruptive, nor have the potential for exponential growth and very high margin returns – often considered hallmarks of a ‘start-up’.


Broaden investor access to SMEs with ‘wider’ low capital investment networks seeking less elevated returns.
Accelerators and Incubators tend to be relatively fixed in their approaches and offerings.Food and Agribusiness I&As offerings adjusted to better tailor to each of the “Growth” and “Fixed” entrepreneur mindsets.


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