Innovation Connect Grants
ICON offers eligible early stage innovative entrepreneurs and startups matched-funded grants between $10,000 – $30,000 to kick-start their growth journey.
Funding rounds for 2023 are now closed. The next round will open on 7 February 2024 and close 16 April 2024.
For Canberra based innovative ideas, prototypes and projects.
The Canberra Innovation Network facilitates on behalf of the ACT Government to deliver the Innovation Connect (ICON) Grant program and provide matched funding between $10,000 and $30,000. The program supports the thriving startup culture in Canberra and empowers entrepreneurs to develop and grow their innovative ideas.
What is this grant for?
Supports innovative, entrepreneurial ideas to a market ready position including market testing.
Funds projects that prove the technical or commercial feasibility of a concept.
Supports the development of product prototype or functional software.
Assists with development and testing of effective marketing approaches, and with legal, IP and patenting advice.
The next round of funding will open on 7 February 2024 and close 16 April 2024.Subscribe to our newsletter to stay in the loop.
Can I apply?
In order to be eligible to apply for funding you must:
- Have an annual turnover of less than $2 million;
- Be Canberra based;
- Have an ABN (you will need this to enter a funding agreement); and
- Agree to enter into a Funding Agreement with the Canberra Innovation Network
See Past Innovation Connect Grant Recipients
What other grants are available
For more information on other grants and programs go to business.gov.au/grants-and-programs
What is the application process?
- Book an intro meeting with a Business Growth Advisor from the Canberra Innovation Network.
- After the Information Session if you are eligible you will be invited to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) including a 60 second video pitch.
- An independent panel of business experts will review your submitted EOI and if shortlisted, you will be invited to submit a full application and prepare a 3-minute face to face pitch.
- Submitted full applications and 3-minute pitch will be assessed by the independent panel of business experts and grant recipients will be advised.
- CBRIN staff do not make any decisions regarding the selection of applicants and are not members of the panel. Panel members who may have a conflict of interest take no part in the decision-making process for that particular applicant.
- If successful you will be asked to enter into a Funding Agreement with the Canberra Innovation Network.
- Congratulations; you’re ready to make an impact! The Canberra Innovation Network will work with you to determine achievable milestones.
What happens if I get funding?
- After signing the Funding Agreement, you will invoice us for the first 50% of the grant.
- Future grant payments are made on a reimbursement basis after meeting milestones. We will work with you to ensure reporting requirements are met.
- You will need to provide evidence of all paid expenditure (Innovation Connect and matching-contribution) eg. receipts, paid tax invoices and bank statements. In-kind time and commitment to the project should be recorded through timesheets.
- Milestone claims require an online written report of activities undertaken and outcomes achieved. You should also provide relevant evidence to demonstrate the completion of the milestone.
See the Terms and Conditions of this grant.
What if I missed the deadline to submit?
Please ensure sufficient time to submit before the deadline as late applications cannot be accepted (note that a draft cannot be saved on the application page).
There are two funding rounds per year. If you missed out submitting before the close date or were unsuccessful, you will be able to reapply in the following round.
What are the key dates for the grant program?
5 July 2023 – Round opens for expressions of interest
11 September 2023 – Round closes for expressions of interest
26 October 2023 – Shortlist Pitch Day
How are decisions for funding made?
- Submitted full applications will be assessed by an independent panel of business experts from a variety of industries from the local innovation community.
- CBRIN staff do not make any decisions regarding the selection of applicants and are not members of the panel.
- Panel members who may have a conflict of interest take no part in the decision-making process for that particular applicant.
- All reasonable efforts are made to provide a fair process and we welcome feedback.
- Applicants must familiarise themselves with the relevant funding rules and grant agreements.
- Grants can only be made to Canberra based applicants who have a current ABN.
- See Past Innovation Connect Grant Recipients
The Canberra Innovation Network administers the Innovation Connect Grant on behalf of the ACT Government. All submissions are assessed by an independent panel of business experts who make the decisions based on the applications.
What is the ICON Grant process?
We're here to help
Whatever stage your business is in, there are a range of opportunities in Canberra.
Find out about additional funding pathways, training & skill development opportunities and connect with a like-minded innovation community.
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