Got a startup idea you want to explore? The Swinburne Pre-Accelerator Program is for you.

This program is designed to help founders take an idea or early-stage startup to the next level.

You’ll learn the fundamentals of launching a startup, including how to set up a business, source initial funding, refine your lean canvas, define your customer and develop a go-to-market strategy.

At the end of the six-week program, participants will have an opportunity to pitch their startup idea to a live audience. 

The program includes:

  • workshops
  • guest speakers
  • networking opportunities
  • pitch coaching sessions  

Program prizes: 

  • Winner prize: 3 months of incubation at the Fire Station + $2500
  • Two Runner-up prizes: $1000 each
  • Best Pitch prize: $500

The Pre-Accelerator Program is perfect for teams with an idea, either in the early stages of your startup or moving towards MVP stage.

Pre-Accelerator Program Pitch Night 2023

Pre-Accelerator Program Pitch Night 2023
View video transcript [PDF 183KB]

Frequently asked questions

Info Night: 2 February 2023

Applications Open: 2 February 2023

Applications Close: 2 March 2023

Program Period: 14 March – 20 April 2023

Upon completing the program, participants will pitch their startup idea to a live audience.

Pitch Event: 20 April 2023

The Pre-Accelerator Program goes hybrid in 2023! It has a mix of both virtual and face-to-face sessions.

A maximum of 15 startup teams will be accepted into this year’s program.

The program is open to all Swinburne staff, students (including Pathways and Vocational Education) and alumni.

Yes, we encourage solo founders to apply for the Pre-Accelerator Program.

Yes, you can participate in the Pre-Accelerator Program if your startup has already taken investment. We would love to have you apply for our program.

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Want to know more?

If you have any questions, need more information or you're wondering how Swinburne Innovation Studio can help turn your big idea into a real thing, contact us via email at

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