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.

To find out more about Innovation Connect, book an intro meeting.

For early-stage innovative ideas

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.

Innovation Connect Grant now openBook a meeting with us to learn more


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 is the application process?

  1. Book an Intro Meeting with a Business Growth Advisor from the Canberra Innovation Network.
  2. After your Intro Meeting if you are eligible you will be invited to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) including a 60 second video pitch.
  3. 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. 
  4. Submitted full applications and 3-minute pitch will be assessed by the independent panel of business experts and grant recipients will be advised.
  5. 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.
  6. If successful you will be asked to enter into a Funding Agreement with the Canberra Innovation Network.
  7. 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?

  1. After signing the Funding Agreement, you will invoice us for the first 50% of the grant.
  2. Future grant payments are made on a reimbursement basis after meeting milestones. We will work with you to ensure reporting requirements are met.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

More information

  • 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.

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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