GrowLab – Agrifood Deep Tech Accelerator

GrowLab is Australia’s agrifood deep tech accelerator run by Cicada Innovations in Sydney Australia. This six month technology accelerator program provides everything to grow and scale an agrifood technology business including access to leading and experienced innovators, investors and business builders.

GrowLab Program Overview:

  • 3+3 MONTH PROGRAM: A three month structured program in Sydney followed by further three months incubation in Cicada’s incubator
  • INVESTMENT & PARTNER OFFERS: Over $250k in program value including $30k cash invested for 5% equity and partner offers from Salesforce, AWS, Google and more
  • MENTOR NETWORK: Mentoring by leading innovators, investors and business builders
  • TRAVEL: Structured visits to Australian and global agricultural ecosystems for a more expansive view of the market
  • FACILITIES: Co-working space, access to wet labs and hardware space for six months

In addition to all of this, participating startups in GrowLab are eligible to be invited at the end of the six month program to join the Incubator at Cicada Innovations for long-term support. This will provide ongoing support and mentoring from founders who have been through the process of building a startup themselves in addition to knowledge sessions, professional services and discounted rent at Cicada Innovations.

Mentor Network

A vital ingredient for early-stage startup CEOs and founders is accessing insights, experience and networks to guide them on decision making and open new opportunities. We’re building a special group of industry and investment mentors to help GrowLab founders achieve their ambition. These mentors have expressed a real interest in the agrifoodtech area and have the experience, networks and skills that can supercharge the founder journeys.

Francisco Caffarena
Co-founder, Sprout Stack
Investment Manager, Bridgelane Group
Director, Tank Stream Labs
Gavin Recchia
Partner, Davies Collison Cave
Jeremy Kwong-Law
Investments, Grok Ventures
Tony Holt
Partner & Co-Founder, Square Peg Capital
Sarah Nolet
Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Agthentic
Tristonne Forbes
Chief Executive Officer, Pathwize
Mike Zimmerman
Partner, Main Sequence Ventures
Kieren Parker
Partner, Addisons

J. Matthew Pryor
Chief Executive Officer & Chief Technical Officer, Observant
Duncan Veal
Commercialisation Manager, Meat and Livestock Australia
Gordon Black
Founder & Chief Executive Officer, East West Capital
Alfred Lo
Chief Investment Officer, Cicada Innovations
John Henderson
Partner, AirTree Ventures
Maureen Murphy
Commercialisation Adviser, Accelerating Commercialisation
Petra Andren
Chief Executive Officer, Cicada Innovations

Important Dates – GrowLab 2018

GrowLab Crop 2 Information Sessions – Roadshow Dates and Locations:

  • 11 April 2018 – Sydney at Cicada Innovations. RSVP
  • 16 April 2018 – Armidale
  • 17 April 2018 – Brisbane at Fishburners. RSVP
  • 18 April 2018 – Canberra at CBRIN. RSVP
  • 19 April 2018 – Adelaide at ThincLab. RSVP
  • 20 April 2018 – Melbourne at NAB rooftop. RSVP

Crop 2 Timeline:

If you would like to be kept up to date about GrowLab events, sign up to the GrowLab newsletter.

GrowLab 2017 Crop

GrowLab’s inaugural crop has six rising stars of the agrifoodtech world; all of these startups are bringing cutting edge technology to the Australian and global agriculture sectors. Since starting GrowLab in September 2017 the crop has raised more than $2m in private capital and $900k in grants.

Want more information?

Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

If you still need help, please email the team at

Program partner

MLA Donor Company Limited (MDC) is a fully-owned subsidiary of Meat & Livestock Australia.

MDC accelerates innovation across the value chain so the Australian red meat and livestock industry can remain competitive on the world stage. This is done by attracting commercial investment from individual enterprises and others that share a mutual interest to co-invest in innovation that will benefit the industry.

MDC has partnered with Cicada Innovations through its innovation and entrepreneurship connect platform, I+E CONNECT. I+E CONNECT ensures the Australian red meat industry is effectively engaged with the global AgTech/FoodTech/food innovation entrepreneurial ecosystem to accelerate the delivery of commercially viable solutions that create unique and competitive positions.


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