Calling all brilliant researchers ready to make an impact

EnergyLab’s Climate Tech Ignite for Research Program is an 8-week journey connecting individuals with the resources and mentorship to understand how their research might be commercialised through entrepreneurship - that is becoming a founder, and launching a startup. Paving your path for success, this is your entry point into Australia’s largest network of climate tech entrepreneurs and investors.

Key dates

  • Applications open: 11 December 2023 - 16 February 2024
  • Interviews: 12 - 23 February 2024
  • Program runs: 27 February - 19 April 2024

Meet some of our alumni

Ignite for Researchers is a new program. Here are some of the university spin out startups we have supported through our later stage programs. Having supported these companies, we’ve identified the need for more support at the earliest stage of research commercialisation.

Shalini Divya (Co-Founder & CEO, TasmanIon)

Shalini Divya (Co-Founder & CEO, TasmanIon)

Michael Short (Co-Founder Engineer, Economical Energy)

Michael Short (Co-Founder Engineer, Economical Energy)

Thomas Nann (CEO, Allegro Energy)

Thomas Nann (CEO, Allegro Energy)

Erich Kisi (CEO, MGA Thermal)

Erich Kisi (CEO, MGA Thermal)

Why take the leap with us?

We offer expertise in climate tech entrepreneurship. When you join our community, we’ll provide you with the resources and mentorship you need to recognise and build commercial opportunities for your research as a founder. Here’s what’s on offer.

Entrepreneurship as a commercialisation pathway

You’ll learn about how to bring your research to life by creating products and services that create meaningful impact.

Learn the foundations of entrepreneurship

What does it take to start a startup? We’ll show you the different stages of the entrepreneurial journey, and guide you through the first one - coming up with a good idea.

Hone in on the problem you’re aiming to solve

You have an idea of a problem you want to solve - we’ll support you to collect valuable information, and test your assumptions.

Brainstorm impactful ideas

We’ll workshop startup ideas with you and share some useful methods for picking the best ideas to pursue.

Explore an idea that creates meaningful value

We’ll help you understand how your startup idea creates value, and for whom. We’ll share methods of learning about your potential customer’s needs, and how to go about validating your idea.

Thrive with dedicated mentorship

You’ll receive personalised support from EnergyLab’s network of over 370 mentors spanning professionals and founders striving towards reaching net-zero and with expertise in leadership, management, operations and more.

Community for life

EnergyLab is home to the largest virtual community of energy entrepreneurs in Australia. You’ll meet other researchers eager to make an impact and on graduating the program you’ll join a pool of over 170 alumni that get access to events and opportunities.

A path forward

EnergyLab’s portfolio of programs span every stage of the entrepreneurial journey, supporting you with the expertise and networks you need to reach every growth milestone.

Program mentors and presenters

To be announced - keep an eye on this space!

Program structure

This 8-week program will spark your first steps towards building a startup opportunity. One module is delivered each week, with a one-week break. You’ll spend 3 hours in workshops and 1 hour of at-home work each week.

Module 1: Entrepreneurship as a commercialisation pathway

26 February - 1 March 2024

You'll start the program by getting to know the other participants in the program, and hone in on understanding how you can make an impact with your research. You’ll meet some founders who have successfully commercialised their research.

Module 2: Identifying a problem to solve

4 - 8 March 2024

You’ll share your research with the group, identify the problem space you’re solving for and start to come up with some ideas.

Module 3: Generating solutions

11 - 15 March 2024

We’ll work through frameworks to generate human-centred solutions and start to pick some ideas to explore further.

Module 4: Customer discovery & value creation

18 - 22 March 2024

We’ll deep dive into understanding how your solution solves real-world problems. You’ll learn some customer research tools and shape up a value proposition.

Break: Customer interviews

25 - 29 March 2024

You’ll spend the week refining your value proposition and validating your idea by undertaking some customer research.

Module 5: Validating your idea

1 - 5 April 2024

You’ll get to meet a range of mentors to get some feedback on your idea and guidance on the way forward

Module 6: Creating a business model & legal considerations

8 - 12 April 2024

You’ll start to workshop how your idea can create, deliver and capture value. We’ll also explore the steps to launching a startup, and how you can protect your key asset - your intellectual property.

Module 7: Pitching & graduation

5 - 19 April 2024

The program culminates with an opportunity to pitch to EnergyLab mentors and angels and an overview of next steps including types and sources of capital to get you started.

Program cost

The program costs $990 (including GST).
We're a non-profit organisation and your contribution goes towards program delivery costs. The price includes:

  • 8 weeks of workshops, panel discussions and Q&As
  • Frameworks and course content you can keep and use again
  • 1-1 startup mentoring from one of our exceptional mentors (2x one-hour sessions)
  • Individual check-ins with our Ignite Program Lead
  • Access to Sydney coworking space

If you're not happy with the program, email us within a month of graduating and we'll give you your money back, no questions asked.

Testimonials

Finally - the programme that we all needed to put some structure around our wild ideas, and get some candid feedback along the way. Are these ideas any good? How will I test this? What didn't I think about? What should I do next to hit play?

My biggest takeaways from [the program] come from the ideation and validation stages - what I previously saw as a very complex and confusing stage of starting a business was made very simple and easy to solve. Overall, anyone enrolling in this course can expect to learn all of the necessary basics to starting a business in the climate field.

The ignite program was a great way of testing and researching my ideas, I came out of the program with some clear directions of what I needed to progress my ideas into a start up. There is a wealth of knowledge available on many different types of industries and it has given me a lot more confidence and how to navigate many difficult situations.

It has been a brilliant experience. Working with like-minded people encourages you to do better and be bold. The course has challenged many of my assumptions and helped me to focus on important items in my start up

Apply now!

Applications open

11 December 2024

Submit your application and we’ll get in touch to let you know next steps.

Interviews

From 12 February 2024

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to a short virtual interview before offers are made.

Offers

From 14 February 2024

Successful applicants will be invited to join the program shortly after the interview process.

Program kick off

27 February 2023

You'll be onboarded in the week prior to kick off.

Selection criteria

We support ambitious individuals in Australia or with links to Australia who are eager to explore commercialising their research through entrepreneurship. We’re looking for established researchers, PhD students, and early to mid-career researchers (EMCRs) with research that can contribute to decarbonisation. These are the qualities we’ll select for:

Vision

Are you driven to solve the world’s most pressing climate challenges? Are you eager to learn how your research can make impact?

Spirit

Are you ambitious, comfortable with ambiguity and not afraid to take calculated risks (or become more open to it)?

Hustle

Do you have the tenacity and determination to achieve ambitious goals?

FAQs

The program is delivered entirely virtually, over Zoom. You can dial in from anywhere. There will be opportunities to connect with the EnergyLab community in Sydney and Melbourne.

Not at all. Having a diversity of experience in the cohort makes for rich conversation and learning experiences. All you need is an interest in climate, energy and decarbonisation and a related research project.

No. The aim of this program is to give you the know-how, tools and confidence to take your first steps into the entrepreneurial path. If you already have a startup idea, that's a bonus!

There are 20 spots in each cohort. Participants are selected based on the program criteria.

About 32 hours in total over 8 weeks.
During the program period 27 February - 19 April 2024 workshops will be run on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 17:00 - 18:30 AEDT. This amounts to 3 hours of workshop time each week, with the exception of the break week, where you’ll spend roughly 3 hours on customer research.
You'll also have 2 one-hour mentorship sessions, and to make the most of the program, you’ll be required to do a few hours of work in your own time.

Climate tech: Technologies that are explicitly focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions or addressing the impacts of climate change. Climate tech applications can be broadly categorised into 3 groups, those that:
1) directly mitigate or remove emissions,
2) help us adapt to the impacts of climate change, and
3) enhance our understanding of the climate.

Yes! Email our program manager Caity for the link.

Please email [email protected] if you have any other questions.