Cicada innovations aug 2018 0365 2b2

Cicada GrowLab Crop 3

Aug 19 - Nov 28 | Sydney NSW, Australia
Building our future food system

About this Program

GrowLab is here to fire up your business. We invest in your business, surround you with expert mentors and provide you with the facilities you need to succeed and grow.

Part One - 12 weeks of intensive acceleration focusing on building your product, honing your path to market, refining your story, getting investor ready.

Part Two - 12 weeks of less structured support for you to build your business, implement your learnings from the program and raise your first round of capital.


0-3 MONTHS - Each week has a regular rhythm of catching up with the program team, covering a key topic (like financial modelling or field trials) and a regular all hands meeting with all of the teams. You’ll work with a network of mentors made up of business builders, industry experts and investors to set tough goals and then reach them.

You will also learn from and engage with your peers and the 70+ companies housed within Cicada’s community. During this period, we require teams to be based out of Cicada Innovations in Sydney. Your co-working space is rent-free and you’ll also have free access to our suite of technical equipment and prototyping labs.

What to expect day-to-day and to achieve during this period:
- Weekly ‘all hands’ with the other companies in your cohort as well as running alongside GrowLab’s sister program MedLab, to celebrate wins, share networks and advice with your peers
- Ask questions and receive advice from GrowLab’s mentors on everything from capital raising to distribution to navigating technical hurdles
- Using our wet labs and hardware prototyping space to build and test your product
- Craft your company’s story and develop that into investment pitch supported by a solid business plan
- Closing sales and locking in your distribution

To find out more about how the program will run in 2019, check out our blog post:

PRIVATE INVESTOR DEMO DAY - With an audience of investors you will pitch your business and kick off your capital raising process at the end of this first 12 weeks. We’ll bring Australia’s best investors to you in a private intimate event.

3-6 MONTHS - Finishing an accelerator program can be daunting. What to do next? How do I keep up the momentum? Where will we reside? So that’s why GrowLab teams can continue using our co-working space and shared prototyping facilities for a further three months after the program finishes. You won’t miss a beat during this critical period to raise your first round of capital and bed down your first customers.

POST-PROGRAM - At Cicada, our mission is to be Australia’s Home of Deep Tech. That means we want to have the best deep tech founders calling Cicada home. Cicada’s accelerator programs act as a pathway for these founders to become long-term residents so if your company is able to show the momentum and keep kicking goals, you’ll be invited to join the Incubator on a long-term basis. Some benefits include ongoing support and mentoring from resident founders, access to our facilities, talent and capabilities from Cicada’s shareholder Universities.

GrowLab is an intensive 12 week program designed to accelerate your business. We invest a lot more than just cash in your business, so to make sure you get the most of the program, we require teams to commit full-time during the program. We think it’s painfully hard to built anything great when you don’t give it your 100% focus.

Information Session - Tuesday May 21
Applications Close - Sunday June 16 9pm AEST
Invitations to Interviews - Monday June 24
First Round Interviews - Wednesday July 3
Second Round Interviews - Thursday July 4
Offers Made - Friday July 13
Off-site Residential - 2.5 days during week of August 19
Program Start - Monday August 26
Investor Demo Day & Program Finish - Late November

GrowLab invests $30,000 into your company via a convertible note; you can see the terms of this investment and a plain english explanation of what these mean in this document we wrote.

In addition, for participation in the program we ask for companies for 3% of the business in founders stock.

We expect our ownership to be around 3.2% - 4% of your business after you raise capital. Taking a stake in your business aligns our interest with yours and we know that we can add a lot more value to your business than 4%. To find out more about our thinking, check out this blog we wrote earlier:

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

Some of the technologies that we’re particularly interested in include:

TECHNOLOGY TO ACCELERATE AGRIFOOD R&D - 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.

ON FARM EFFICIENCY - 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.

SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT - Advanced technologies that support demonstrating quality, provenance or authenticity of a food product.

FOOD PROCESSING TECHNOLOGY - New food processing technologies to improve shelf life, derive valuable products.

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

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

Funding Information

  • Funds up to $30k per team
  • Takes up to 4.0% equity
  • Accepts 6 companies


Agriculture, Biotechnology, Chemicals and Chemical Products, Food and Beverage, Robotics