At GrowLab, our aim is to fuel your innovator’s spirit and prime you as a business builder. We equip you with the tools and networks to give your business the best chance of breaking out on the global stage and coach you on how to navigate the dizzying world of commercial business.


Why GrowLab?


What makes GrowLab unique is that we provide a proven track record and commercialisation pathway for R&D-based agrifood tech startups. Based at Cicada Innovations in Sydney, we have partnerships with some of Australia’s leading research institutes as well as with regional and international hubs facilitating access to farms, supply chain participants and food manufacturers. We also have an amazing track record when it comes to attracting local and overseas capital into the ventures that we support.

Here’s how we invest.

How it works

Every year we spend three months surrounding six visionary startup founders with everything they need to build a strong, investable agrifood tech company.


(0-3 months)

  • Focus on customer validation, pathway to market and investor readiness

  • Engage with mentors made up of business builders, domain experts and active investors

  • Engage with your peers and the 60+ startups and scaleups housed within the Cicada Incubator

  • Work out of Cicada rent-free and again access to our suite of technical equipment and rapid prototyping labs.


  • Use our widely anticipated Demo Day event as a platform to pitch your business to investors, industry leaders and media

  • Your mission should you choose to accept it: to get investors interested in your product and open the doorway to discussions around raising your first round of funding.


(3-6 months)

  • Have the option of using our free co-working space and shared facilities for a further 3 months

  • Build on the knowledge gained and contacts made during the first half of the program

  • Receive ad hoc guidance from GrowLab mentors and program team as you continue to build your business and progress discussions with investors.


  • Have the opportunity to be invited to join the Cicada Innovations Incubator. We select only the cream of the crop into our deep tech Incubator, based on merit and community fit.

  • Access ongoing support and mentoring from other founders within Cicada’s community

  • Gain access to community knowledge sessions and talent sourced from Cicada’s shareholder Universities

  • Enjoy discounted rent for space for up to 5 years


Where we see the future

we help founders build businesses from technologies that cover the whole value chain: from the paddock to the plate.

Some of the technologies that GrowLab can help build great businesses around include…



Better plant and animal breeding technologies, herd genetic management and progeny matching, as well as new cultivars of crops, or rapid ways of developing new food products or processes.



Technologies to support farmers to manage their farm more efficiently, from quantitative monitoring of crops and livestock, to automation on-farm processes to improve on-farm profitability.



Advanced technologies that support demonstrating quality, provenance or authenticity of a food product.



New food processing technologies to improve shelf life, derive valuable products.

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Utilising synthetic biology for the production of meat alternatives, dairy replacement alternatives or fibres.



High value new food products that are differentiated and able to open up new global markets for Australian agriculture.

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 About Cicada Innovations


Cicada Innovations is the deep technology incubator behind accelerator programs GrowLab and MedLab, that offers early stage deep tech companies with long term support. Cicada has been called home to over 300 businesses, helping its portfolio companies raise over $344 million in capital, file over 500 patents, and has seen 14 businesses exiting through trade sales and IPOs.

Globally recognised as the Number One Incubator in the World by InBIA, Cicada Innovations is owned by four of Australia's leading universities: Australian National University, University of New South Wales, University of Sydney and University of Technology Sydney.