Venture Matching at Cicada GrowLab

At GrowLab, we want to help teams that already have great science and technology with some that commercial magic and marketing pizazz that’s needed to build a great startup.

So we are running this pilot program, to see if we can either:

  1. Bring teams together than wouldn’t otherwise startup; or

  2. Supercharge teams that already exist

Step 1. Finding the best agrifood breakthroughs

There are so many amazing technologies, concepts and curious people throughout the Australian innovation ecosystem. It can be tough to identify these technologies, and even tougher to identify the right way to get these technologies to market.

In 2019, we are doing a few things to help you answer that.

Firstly, a pivotal question: is a startup even the right way to get your technological breakthrough to market?


For technologists (honours, PhD or academic) that don’t know where to start, we will be coming to centres of research excellence in agriculture and food and providing free half day workshops to see if this could be the right path for you.

In just a few hours you’ll learn the basics of Lean Startup Methodology, meet like-minded people and sharpen your idea.

You’ll come away with a clear set of next steps to take if a startup is right for you and your technology.

  • Foodtech workshops

Sydney Foodtech startup masterclass — February 6, 2019

Melbourne Foodtech startup masterclass — February 21, 2019

Adelaide Foodtech startup masterclass — February 27, 2019

  • Agtech workshops

Melbourne agtech startup masterclass — February 22, 2019

Adelaide agtech startup masterclass — February 28, 2019

Sydney agtech startup masterclass — February 26, 2019 

Step 2. Bringing technical and commercial people together

Ok. So now we’ve identified all the coolest technologies and -ists. Next up we will make it easy for commercial gurus to matchmake with these amazing inventors.

We’re looking for curious, passionate and experienced commercial people looking to make their mark on the world. If you’re wondering why agrifood is so exciting check this out.

  • Are a serial tech entrepreneur looking for a truly ‘meaty’ problem to solve?

  • Or maybe you’ve spent the last decade or more in an executive role in a corporation and have always harboured a desire to launch your own venture?

  • Are you just finishing an MBA from a top uni and want to forge your own destiny?

We are looking for you!

Now the fun begins! It’s time for us to play cupid and make it super easy for you all to find each other and create some seriously game-changing teams.


Through meetups (as well as with the help of the GrowLab mentors and alumni) we will be bringing together the best and brightest commercial and technical minds that want to get into agrifood tech startups. If that sounds like you let us know!

  1. We are setting up a Synthetic Biology Meetup network across Australia (Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide). If you’d like to to partner with us to make this a reality, drop us a line!

  2. Supporting Foodtech meetups across Australia

  3. Supporting Agtech meetups across Australia

Once we have vetted both technologies and commercial people we’ll help bring these groups together in two ways:

  1. “Speed networking” style events where hand-picked commercial and techies come together.

  2. One-to-one matchmaking where we think it’s appropriate to make individual introductions.

So, are you a technical guru? A commercial expert passionate about agrifood? Now is the time to let us know, we would love to get to know you! 

Step 3. Taking the first steps as a newly formed team

So you’ve found your match made in heaven and now have the basis of (what could become) a company. Great! What’s next?

We won’t lie: there’s a ton of possible ‘next steps’. There’s incorporating a company, applying for grants and… well you get the drift. Where do you begin?!

We are laying out the steps to make life as easy as possible for your new team to have the confidence to leap in full time or decide it’s not the right thing for you just yet.

A weekend bootcamp will start things off to help you and other teams think through the highest priority matters and set you on a track to build an awesome startup.

Now you’ll be on track to build a world class agrifood tech startup with so many resources at hand including Cicada GrowLab that will help take your fledgling venture to world-changing company.

Have we got your interest? Are you keen to get involved? Great! Click here to let us know a little about you and one of the GrowLab team will be in touch to learn more about you and match you up with the best and brightest in Aussie agrifood.