How it works

At the start of the 3 month core program we complete at $25k investment in your business, you move into our free shared office space and you continue working on your startup. At all times you should be working to grow and improve your business.

Every monday we meet as a group to share progress and challenges. We set goals and figure out how to achieve them.

We run a weekly seminar which introduces an important topic, some key highlights from a few mentors, then discuss how these ideas apply to each team in detail with mentors. Topics covered will include:

  • startup basics
  • pitching and strategy
  • lean customer validation
  • business systems basics
  • KPIs and metrics
  • competitor landscape and research
  • advanced pitching
  • practical marketing for startups
  • sales
  • business models, strategy, IP and defensibility
  • financial projections

GRIFFIN accelerator is driven by our experienced mentors and everything is tailored to the needs of the businesses in the current cohort.

At the end of the 3 month core program you’ll pitch to investors. Raising capital is not the primary focus, but in most cases it is a necessary step and will enable faster growth. The next three months will include assistance with investor relations – finding the right investors, the right deal terms, and completing the right investment rounds.

All startup businesses who are ambitious and innovative should apply. If you believe your startup is ‘too advanced’ to fit GRIFFIN, come and talk to us anyway! If you think you are ‘not ready’ – apply to GRIFFIN anyway!


  • All year – lean startup workshops, First Wednesday Connect networking, etc
  • Feb-April – pre-program events
  • applications close 22 April
  • shortlisted applicant pitches and decision 5 May
  • DD and term sheet by 29 May
  • program start 30 May
  • Pitch to investors 22-26 August
  • GRIFFIN stage 2: 1 Sept – 30 Nov

How to Apply

Apply now by creating an Angel List profile and completing the application form at this link:

Please keep your answers short and focus on the key points. We don’t need to know everything, focus on the essentials.

Applications close 22 April.

If you are shortlisted to pitch to the mentors it will be on 5 May and you will have 5-7 days notice. You will have 5 minutes to present and 5 minutes for Q&A. The 10 minute slot is strictly enforced and its up to you to start promptly and use the time effectively.


What actually happens in the program?
You and your co-founders work on the business full time in office space we provide. You work to refine your product and talk to customers about it. We give you advice and mentoring. We give you an entrepreneurial education and targeted assistance such as introductions to potential customers. We aim to help you succeed.

What are the evaluation criteria for selection?
The GRIFFIN accelerator mentors look for teams with the potential to succeed in creating high growth innovative businesses. There is no formula for a successful application.

What will the mentors do to help me?
That will depend on what you need; we tailor our help to each business. At the minimum we will meet with you regularly to review progress, set challenges and provide advice to ensure you’re on the right track. The GRIFFIN accelerator mentors are people who know how to help entrepreneurs succeed, and as successful entrepreneurs we understand what you’re going through in starting an innovative new business. Our mentors have extensive networks of contacts they can draw on. GRIFFIN mentors will get their hands dirty when you need help.

What should I do to prepare for GRIFFIN?
Work on your startup!

What does the perfect team look like?
The composition of the perfect team really depends on who you are and how you solve your customers problem or unmet need.  Ideally your team will have deep expertise in the problem you’re solving (eg former teachers working on an Ed-Tech startup). Your team needs people with the potential to develop your product and sell it. Sole founders are welcome to apply, but its hard work for one person!

What time commitment is required?
Full time for at least three months, and the ability to extend this if you’re heading to success. The first three months after the core program is usually an intensive phase raising capital and if you are going well you’ll need to keep going full time. Of course, you will want to be in a position to keep going on the business after that, as this will just be another step on your startup journey.

What resources do I need to contribute?
Your time, ideas and passion to succeed.

Where will I be working?
The GRIFFIN accelerator is located in the CBR Innovation Network in central Canberra.

Who will own the equity in my business?
The GRIFFIN accelerator will own 10% of your business in return for its investment in you of $25,000. This equity is in turn owned by the GRIFFIN mentors. We add a lot of value in addition to the cash investment in return for the equity stake. The investment aligns mentors with your interests to make a valuable business – we don’t see this as a valuation of your business instead we will be looking to establish a market valuation for your business through the process of pitching to investors at the end of the core program.

Where does the money come from?
The GRIFFIN accelerator is funded by its mentors.  They are investors in your business! The operation of the accelerator program is supported by the CBR Innovation Network plus many contributions by our mentors and partners (see the about us page).

When will GRIFFIN want to sell their stake in my business?
We have no requirement to sell by a certain time. The mentors will encourage you to run the business in a way that grows its value.

Is GRIFFIN an incubator?
The terms incubator and accelerator are used in different ways by different people, so some might call GRIFFIN an incubator. Our view is that incubators work on a longer timeframe like 2 years and offer less intensive support during that time. One outcome for a GRIFFIN participant might be to then enter an incubator, or an applicant might already be in an incubator – we’re flexible, its all about results.

Why is the time for pitches so short?
We don’t give you much time to force you to focus on the most critical points. This discipline will serve you well. If you can’t tell someone why your startup is great in a full five minutes do you really understand it yourself? Finally, if you come to the pre-program startup workshops and interact with mentors there, the pitch won’t be the only thing we know about you!

What will happen at the end of the accelerator program?
Our road show will get you in front of potential customers, partners and investors. We know how to raise money and sell to clients and will support you in that. For example the five teams participating in the 2014 program received 46 expressions of interest following their presentations to investors in Canberra and Sydney.