Build Your Innovation-ready Future with Startup Year at Western... more


15-week equity-free Startup accelerator

Getting >>>you off the ground.

Open to Everyone

Australia's Best Startup Mentors

Flexible & Agile

Founder Care

University's Integrated Facilities

Exclusive Community Benefits

Scale your ideas.
Scale your impacts.

At the #1 University in the world*.

What is Ignition?

The focus of Ignition Startup Accelerator is helping founders to refine their value proposition and business model. There is a strong emphasis on a rigorous approach to problem and solution validation

Participants should exit the accelerator ready to build their minimum viable product.

Focus: Startup Accelerator (Design & Validate)

Timing: 14 August – 20 November

Entry Criteria: Defined Idea (Business Model Canvas)


15 weeks part-time, each week will include:

  • Online clinics: Group mentoring with Jonathon Wolfe.
  • Office hours (optional): 1:1 mentoring with Adeline Chu.
  • Main sessions: alternating between 90-minute online sessions and half day in-person sessions at Launch Pad Parramatta.

Our experts will be covering all aspects of accelerating early-stage startups such as: Introduction & Idea Evaluation; Validation & Understanding Your Customers; Planning Your MVP; Building Your Founding Team; Launching; Growing; Strategic Planning; Building a Company; Structure, Legal & Accounting Basics.

Important Dates:

Early-offered applications close: 11.59 PM, Sunday, 14 July 2024

Final applications round close: 11.59 PM, Sunday, 21 July 2024

Demo Day: Week 15

Still unsure?

We will be holding an engaging and informative VIRTUAL info session with our Entrepreneurs in Residence, to dive deeper into the Startup Accelerator programs offered at Launch Pad and how you can benefit from such opportunities.

More information will be made available soon!

World-class mentors

Ian Mason

  • An experienced company founder of multiple influential brands.
  • Supported over 11,000 entrepreneurs  with over £35mil.
  • Managing director of Rainbow Bridge Education & Head of development Virgin Startup.

Entrepreneur in Residence

Adeline Chu

  • Australia’s best startup mentor in 2023, by Startup Muster.
  • Mentoring over 500 teams in programs across Australia and Singapore.

  • Experience with start-ups in nanotechnology, fintech, healthtech, and edtech.

Entrepreneur in Residence

Jonathon Wolfe

  • 30 years of experience in industry as the CEO of startups.
  • Led the commercialisation of 6 technology platforms from Australian universities.
  • Co-runs a management consultancy focussing on innovation and transformation.

Entrepreneur in Residence



Info Session


The Benefits

Why complete Ignition?

Open Access

You don’t have to be a Western student—as long as you are an entrepreneur at heart, and are driven to bring innovation to the startup ecosystem, we welcome you!

World-Class Mentors

Our entrepreneurs in residence (EIRs) who have launched many businesses. Learn from their success and failuresget access to a playbook resource of best practices.


Embark on your entrepreneurial journey while keeping your 9 to 5. A mix of virtual sessions and in-person workshops at the Parramatta Engineering Innovation Hub.

Founder Care

We take a holistic and personalised approach in accelerating both you and your business by providing support at each step of your growth journey as a founder, not just your startup.

Integrated Facilities

Get access to state of the art technology facilities (Makerspace, VR/AR, Podcast studios, micro-factories). Connect with the university expertise, researchers and students.

Discounts & Benefits

As a Launch Pad member, tap into a network of industry experts, fellow founders and like-minded community members. Get access to over $200k worth of partner perks.

By submitting an application, you confirm that you have read and agreed to our terms and conditions and code of conduct.


Hear from our past cohort

  • Megna Murali

    Convert Dial

    The Launch Pad program helped me go from an idea on a page and to MVP. The one-on-one mentoring and structured 6-month framework is personal and tailored to each founder. Unlike other programs that are short term, in 6 months you can achieve significant progress. There were plenty of opportunities to connect with the cohort and the mentors and I have made great friends through this program.

  • Lucas Cox


    The WSU team have provided invaluable guidance into the intricacies of problem and solution validation and capital raise preparation. GeoJob has gained many valuable contacts and resources from legal advice from Frank Law through to eligibility for start up discounts from the likes of HubSpot and AWS.

  • Priyadarshini Das


    The mentors came with rich experience in the start-up ecosystem and had an answer to every question.

  • Belinda Chapman

    Quantal Bioscience

    The Launch Pad program has greatly expanded my understanding of business and start-up processes, introduced me to great mentors (who have introduced me to even more mentors), and opened my eyes to the idea of a long-term entrepreneurial career and better equipped me for this. In addition, the Launch Pad program has introduced me to an interesting group of founders, and a peer support network with whom I anticipate remaining in touch, continuing to learn from, and perhaps even collaborating with as we grow our business in Western Sydney.

  • Andri Selamat

    DigiCity for Kids

    Launch Pad had equipped me with the skills on how to progress an idea into the next tangible steps, and be aware off the common pitfalls. It’s been a program where you can feel welcomed and share with like-minded people, at the same time supported by incredible team and guided by experienced mentors.

  • Wayne Larsen

    PT Blink

    The WSU Launch Pad program was an integral part of the evolution of PT Blink. Throughout the program, we received valuable insights from the mentors and EIR team, which readied our business and founding team for acceleration. We also met and engaged with a community of other startups; the collective passion and enthusiasm was contagious. I would recommend the Launch Pad program to any startup.

  • Sandra Pires

    Yesterday Stories

    Launch Pad gives you insight into the founder's journey from a deeply personal perspective and with founder well-being at the core. The emphasis on the scientific method for all experiments makes you accountable.

  • Gemma Colbran


    Launch Pad accelerator pushes founders through the startup ecosystem, as opposed to "pulling" them like other accelerators. They supply you with the support, knowledge and tools you need to validate (or invalidate), build and grow your business..

Learn More

Frequently asked questions

Haven’t found what you were looking for?
Contact us here or at launchpad@westernsydney.edu.au.

Do I need to be a WSU student or alumni?

No. We are proud to be one of a few university incubators that are open to the community, meaning you don’t have to be a WSU student or alumni to join our programs.

Can I apply with just an idea?

Yes, but be prepared to prove your idea is viable and demonstrate how you will be executing this.

Do I have to participate in Pre-flight to qualify for Ignition?

No you don’t. However, we focus on you, the founder as much as we do on ideas. So the best way for us to know YOU or founding team is to get involved.

Pre-flight is a great way to get a taster of our accelerator program and immerse yourself in the comunity!

What kind of startups should apply?

We support startups on a wide range of industries. While our selection criteria are not based entirely on your idea/startup but rather on you as a founder, you still need to have a clearly selected and defined product or service to join ‘Ignition’ Startup Accelerator.

Does it have to be tech?

No. Although we are more interested in the problem you’re solving than the technology itself, we are looking for businesses with high scalability and we recognise that this is difficult to achieve without leveraging technology.

Do I need customers to apply?

You do not need to have customers before applying. We are interested in what traction you’ve achieved though.

Do I have to pay to be part of the program?

No, the program is free for selected participants. Plus, once you’re in the program, you’d get access to the co-working space and some other membership benefits as part of the program. Find out more: https://launchpadlive.com.au/launch-pad-membership/ 

Will the program be in person?

The program will be delivered through a blend of in-person engagements at our Parramatta Incubator, as well as online.

I'm overseas/from interstate. Can I join?

Unfortunately, no. Unless you can make it to the monthly face-to-face sessions in Parramatta, NSW, you’re not eligible to join.

What does part time mean?

Our programs are flexible – meaning you can still keep your other full-time commitment while participating in the program and working on your startup/side-hustle idea. It’d be short regular online sessions each week throughout the program, and a few planned face-to-face sessions in particular weeks.

By submitting an application, you confirm that you have read and agreed to our terms and conditions and code of conduct.