Government grants for Australian startups
Save yourself the scroll through the Government's Grants and Programs finder and cut straight to the chase.

A little extra cash in the pocket never goes astray when you’re in the early stages of building your business. The process can be lengthy and tedious when it comes to Government Grants, but if your application is successful, it can give your startup a real leg up.

If you search the Government’s Grants and Programs finder, you’ll see that there are hundreds of opportunities opening and closing daily. So if you want to take advantage of these opportunities, you need to be aware of what’s on offer. 

We’ve rounded up a list of the grants most relevant to early-stage startups. 


Export Market Development Grants

Austrade’s Export Market Development Grants (EDMG) program helps Australian businesses grow their exports in international markets. Grants are categorised into 3 tiers, with each tier offering a different level of support:

  1. Ready to export
  2. Exporting and expanding
  3. Exporting, expanding and strategic shift


Your startup is eligible to apply if:

  • Your turnover for the financial year before the financial year in which the application is made is less than $20m
  • You have an ABN
  • You’re an Australian person as per the EDMG Rules 2021

What you can get

Cash reimbursements of 50%, up to $150,000 to claim on expenses related to:

  • Marketing consultants
  • Marketing visits
  • Overseas representatives
  • Samples and advertising costs
  • Trade Fairs
  • Overseas Buyers
  • Eligible IP

Find out more about Export Market Development Grants.

Research & Development Tax Incentive

The R&D Tax Incentive is not a straight cash grant but helps your startup grow and innovate by providing tax assistance for eligible R&D activities. 


Your startup is eligible if your aggregated turnover is less than $20 million.

You must be participating in genuine R&D activities. Check here to see if your core R&D activity is included.   

What you can get

The refundable tax offset is your corporate tax rate plus an 18.5% premium. If you’re running at a loss, you may be entitled to a 43.5% tax offset, paid as a cash rebate. 

Find out more about the Research & Development Tax Incentive.

CSIRO Kick-Start

If you’re looking to access the CSIRO’s research expertise and capabilities, CSIRO Kick-Start provides matched funding that will enable your business to:

  • Research a new idea with commercial potential
  • Develop a novel or improved product or process
  • Test a novel product or material


Your startup is eligible if you:

  • Have an Australian company number and are registered for GST
  • Can demonstrate your ability to dollar-match the funding
  • Have an annual turnover of less than $1.5 million, in the current and each of the 2 previous financial years
  • Have been a registered company for less than 3 years

What you can get

You’ll receive dollar-matched funding between $10,000 and $50,000. This funding may be used to cover the costs of undertaking a project, including:

  • Salary and on-costs of researcher(s)
  • Travel and accommodation (if required)
  • Administrative/overhead costs
  • External facilities access/services/contractor costs

Find out more about CSIRO Kick-Start.

Business Research and Innovation Initiative

The Business Research and Innovation Initiative (BRII) provides startups and SMEs with funding to develop innovative solutions for government policy and service delivery challenges. There are several different BRII grants that open and close during the course of a year. The most recent round is the Workplace Relations Usability Challenge Feasibility grant.


Your startup is eligible if:

  • You have an Australian business number (ABN) and are either an entity incorporated in Australia OR an individual or partnership, provided you agree to form a company incorporated in Australia to enter into a grant agreement
  • You have a combined annual turnover of less than $20 million for each of the three financial years prior to your application

Joint applications are acceptable, provided you have a lead organisation who is the main driver of the project and is eligible to apply.

What you can get

Up to $100,000 for a feasibility study. If your feasibility study is successful, you may receive up to $1 million to develop your proof of concept.

Find out more about the Business Research and Innovation Initiative.

New South Wales

MVP Ventures Program

The goal of the MVP Ventures program is to support businesses to increase the commercialisation of innovative products and services in NSW. Examples of projects include:

  • Prototyping and piloting studies
  • Development of current products through the implementation of new technology that will enhance competitive capability.


MVP grants are available to startups developing scalable technology solutions. To be eligible, your startup must:

  • Be based in NSW and demonstrate that core activities include research and development.
  • Have an aggregated turnover of less than $1m for each of the 3 financial years prior to the lodgement of your application
  • Have less than or equal to 20 full-time employees.
  • Hold IP or rights to commercialise your product

What you can get

Grants on offer are from $25,000 to $200,000.

Find out more about Minimum Viable Product grants.


Ignite Ideas Fund

The Ignite Ideas Fund supports you to commercialise an innovative product or service that your startup has already developed. 


You’re eligible to apply if:

  • Your startup is headquartered in Queensland
  • You have less than 50 full-time-equivalent employees

The Ignite Ideas Fund typically opens rounds in the second and third quarter of the calendar year.

What you can get

There are two tiers of funding available:

  • Tier 1: Up to $100,000 (excluding GST) for projects of up to 12 months duration.
  • Tier 2: Greater than $100,000 and up to $200,000 (excluding GST) for projects of up to 24 months duration. 

Find out more about the Ignite Ideas Fund.

Backing Female Founders Program

The Backing Female Founders Program assists QLD female founders at different stages of the entrepreneurial lifecycle. There are 3 initiatives you can apply for:

  • Female Founders Co-investment Fund available to female-founded businesses undertaking a new pre-seed or seed capital raise. 
  • Accelerating Female Founders Program available to eligible organisations to develop and deliver new or existing business support programs for Queensland female founders with innovative businesses. 
  • The Female Founders Advisory Board Program delivers skills and exposure to effectively engage with advisors and establish best practice governance to support business growth.


To be eligible for the Female Founders Co-investment Fund, applicants must:

  • Be a Queensland-based business
  • Have an ABN and be registered for GST
  • Be 100% female-founded business
  • Have no more than 50 full-time equivalent employees
  • Not received investment through previous capital raises, grant funding or accelerators totalling more than $500,000
  • Not be a current or past recipient of the Ignite Ideas Fund
  • Have secured pre-seed or seed eligible investment from an approved eligible investor

What you can get

The Female Founders Co-investment Fund provides grants from $50,000 to $200,000 matched at a 3:1 ratio over a period of 12 months, for either a single investment or a raise round led by an eligible investment entity. 

Find out more about the Backing Female Founders Program.

Western Australia

Innovation Booster Grant

The Innovation Booster Grant is part of the WA Government’s New Industries Fund, which assists WA-based startups and small businesses to commercialise their innovative ideas or projects and expand to create jobs.


Your startup is eligible if:

  • It is registered in Western Australia and will continue to be based there for the next 3 years
  • You’re developing an innovative project in WA
  • You’re willing to, and have the financial capacity to contribute at least 20% of the requested project funding costs 

What you can get

Funding up to $20,000 vouchers for eligible expenditure categories including:

  • Research and development
  • Product development
  • Technology transfer and intellectual property
  • Commercialisation support services 

Find out more about the New Industries Fund: Innovation Vouchers Program grants.

But wait, there's more...

Check out our Open Source VC list of Australian Grants

➕ Add a Grant to the list

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