Some of the successful ilab UQ's Germinate 10 start-ups with ilab UQ Director Bernie Woodcroft (standing left)
Some of the successful ilab UQ's Germinate 10 start-ups with ilab UQ Director Bernie Woodcroft (standing left)
21 June 2017

Women are rising to the start-up challenge, with half the early stage companies in the latest ilab UQ Germinate accelerator program led by female founders.

Ten start-ups have been selected from a strong pool of applicants for The University of Queensland’s leading innovation incubator, which assists a rich mix of future entrepreneurs grow their diverse business start-up ideas.

Ilab UQ Director Bernie Woodcroft said it was exciting to see five of the 10 were female-led.

“This is our 10th Germinate accelerator intake and one of the most diverse we’ve had at ilab UQ,” he said.

“There has been a lot of discussion about increasing diversity in the start-up and tech ecosystems, so it’s important to recognise and nurture these initiatives early with young founders.

“We are proud of the work we’ve done to create and foster an inclusive community that allows us to then invest time, funding and resources into supporting the best founders.”

The ilab UQ Germinate program runs twice a year, providing resources, mentors and funding in an intense three-month program.

The latest start-ups cover sectors including education, real estate, health and law, with a strong focus on technology and artificial intelligence.  They are:

  • Collabbee – A Software as a service (SaaS) platform that enables trainers and experts to create and share software tutorials that empower learners.
  • MatE: Math Editor – An app that allows students to explore math manipulation in a digital environment.
  • Vygo – A mobile platform that facilitates peer-to-peer tutoring for university students.
  • Spatial Estate – A SaaS platform that enables users to find their perfect property, tailored to the individual’s property requirements.
  • TheWhipp – An email newsletter and app for millennials to keep up-to-date with global news and events.
  • FemmeTrack – A searchable online database of female and diverse music acts.
  • Negotiation Automation - A business tool for efficient, autonomous and accurate contract negotiation using Artificial Intelligence (AI).
  • myk's F.F.F. kefir – An effervescent vegan probiotic drink.
  • Neurotech – Bringing nootropics supplements to improve cognitive function to the mainstream Australian market.
  • WiseBites – A worldwide database of safe, quality restaurants for people with food allergies, intolerances and special diets.

Mr Woodcroft said ilab UQ, established by the Queensland Government in 2000 and operated by UQ since 2012, had supported more than 140 start-ups through its Germinate and Incubate programs.

“They have gone on to raise almost $20 million in early stage capital,” he said.

Germinate runs twice a year as part of UQ’s broad commitment to entrepreneurship and innovation through programs such as the UQ Idea Hub pre-incubator and, student-led initiatives such as the UQ Innovation and Entrepreneurship Society (UQIES).

“We’re committed to improving diversity in the start-up ecosystem and will continue to measure our performance, while also putting the challenge out to other players in the start-up ecosystem to take more significant steps towards increasing diversity in the sector,” Mr Woodcroft said.

The Germinate 10 cohort’s journey can be followed on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Image caption: Melody Dobrinin, Founder of WiseBites

Media: Bernie Woodcroft,, 0402 893 117; Amra Naidoo,, 0404 705 937.