Cleantech sector roadmap for Australian startups

A concise guide to the renewables-focused accelerators, incubators, grants, and investors in the Australian startup ecosystem.

Australia has a chance to be a global leader in the production of renewable energy. Over 5 million Australians have already joined the renewable energy movement and installed solar on their homes (the highest density per household anywhere in the world). This transition not only benefits the planet, but it also presents one of the greatest economic opportunities in terms of job creation and economic growth over the next 10 to 20 years.

Startups definitely have a role to play in transforming our energy future for the better. This cleantech roadmap is an aggregated guide to the 1. Investors2. Accelerators & incubators3. Grants and 4. Membership orgs available for Australia’s up-and-coming cleantech companies.

In addition to the opportunities presented below, Innovation Bay is partnering with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) once again to present the Renewable Energy Founder Forum this October. This event highlights the rapidly-growing renewable energy industry, explores global trends, and showcases emerging startups in this sector. If your startup seeks to accelerate Australia’s shift to affordable and reliable renewable energy, apply to pitch here. Applications close 25 June 2021.

1. Investors

88 Green Ventures

88 Green Ventures is a private investment vehicle formed by Mike Fitzpatrick to invest in global early stage venture capital to assist in development and commercialization of green technologies. 88 Green Ventures has well established networks with developers, investors, governments and advisors across the globe to work with companies to achieve their goals and create a more sustainable environment.

Portfolio companies: ProterraMapAnything

Alberts Impact Capital

Alberts Impact Capital is working to scale businesses that are working to create a better world. Alberts invests early from pre-seed to series A. Four key focus areas include environmental sustainability, mental health and wellbeing, arts, music and entertainment, and women’s sport.

Portfolio companies: SendleGridcognitionAirRobeMusoLike Family

Clean Energy Innovation Fund

The Clean Energy Innovation Fund is the largest dedicated cleantech investor in Australia, created to invest $200 million in early-stage clean technology companies. The Innovation Fund has a dedicated investment team that invests using CEFC capital and draws on the technical expertise of ARENA.

The Innovation Fund targets technologies and businesses that have passed beyond the research and development stage and which can benefit from early stage seed or growth capital to help them progress to the next stage of their development.

Portfolio companies: RelectrifiyZen EcosystemsWattwatchersGreenSyncJET Charge

Giant Leap Fund

Giant Leap Fund is dedicated to investing in impact startups — rapidly scalable businesses that blend financial returns with real and measurable social and environmental benefits. The fund invests across three themes: sustainable living, health and wellbeing and empowering people. Check out this cheat sheet on how to pitch to their fund.

Portfolio companies: Future SuperAmber ElectricEvrnuFull CycleSendle

Grok Ventures

Grok Ventures is Mike and Annie Cannon-Brookes’ private investment company which backs world-class teams solving big problems to shape a better future. Grok participates in early to late stage funding rounds.

Portfolio companies: SunDriveBrighte, Drift, Pick My SolarGoTerraSparkfund

2. Accelerators & incubators


EnergyLab is Australia and New Zealand’s largest cleantech startup accelerator and innovation network dedicated to reaching net zero emissions. EnergyLab has a number of programs designed to help cleantech startups build and scale their businesses:

EnergyTech Hub

The EnergyTech Hub is designed to help the energy industry collaborate on the most challenging and pressing problems facing the sector. The Hub helps scaleups test, implement, and scale solutions into the Australian energy market.

HATCH: Taronga Accelerator Program

HATCH is a 14-week accelerator program designed to help you develop brilliant ideas into a not-for-profit or social enterprise venture that has a positive impact on the environment. The program involves two immersive events, weekly online workshops and a final pitch event.

The Impact Accelerator

Australia’s first urban life focused startup accelerator, supported by Mirvac and implemented by INCO. The 9-month program offers access to Hoist co-working space, monthly group workshops, individual mentor sessions and preferential access to funding. The Impact Accelerator is focused on sustainably solving the challenges of tomorrow’s urban areas.

Social Impact Hub — Scaling Impact

The Social Impact Hub’s Scaling Impact accelerator program is designed to help social enterprises and purpose-driven startups grow their business and prepare for future impact investment. The program looks for startups with a clear social or environmental mission aligned with one or more of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), at least $50,000 in revenue and an ambition to scale.

3. Grants


Advancing Renewables Program (ARP)

This grant is designed to aid the development, demonstration and pre-commercial deployment of renewables projects. Grant recipients can expect to be awarded between $100,000 and $50 million, with applicants typically expected to at least match the funding being sought from ARENA.

Recently funded projects: Tesla Virtual Power PlantAlice Springs Future Grid Project

4. Membership organisations

The Victorian Cleantech Cluster (VCC)

The VCC is a not-for-profit member driven organisation with a vision for Victoria to be the Southern Hemisphere capital for innovation, uptake and commercialisation of clean technology. The VCC provides support to Victoria’s cleantech sectors through creating stronger connections between organisations, holding capacity building events, providing business advice and export readiness support.


C4NET is an industry-led, not-for-profit company that brings together government agencies, industry and universities, to create new links across the sector and deliver collaborative projects that progress our energy system transition. C4NET serves its members, as well as a broad range of companies from start-ups to well established entities, market operators, networks, regulators and policy makers across all tiers of government, educators and the research community.