About the Program
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Learn, make, grow, sell.

FoodLab Sydney's incubator program helps entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds formalise and grow their food businesses. We walk alongside you to make your dream a reality.

New businesses in the program undertake a series of practical workshops in finance, marketing and operations, specifically tailored to the Sydney food context. We provide 1:1 mentoring, individualised growth plans, resources like graphic design, food photography and legal advice, and also connect our entrepreneurs to affordable kitchen space and market opportunities including catering, food trucks, markets and more. 

Step 1

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Application

FoodLab's program has limited places but opens registration throughout the year in order to work with participants on their applications. Qualified applicants must submit a completed application and business plan before being considered in the program. 

Please visit our application page for more information.

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Step 2

Program

A 5-month period where participants receive training and technical assistance to lay the foundations of their food businesses in the areas of finance, marketing, operations and product.

Step 3

Post-Program Incubation

Participants who have achieved the benchmarks set in the program will continue to receive technical assistance as the focus turns toward entrepreneurs' getting access to market opportunities and sales. 

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Qualifications

The FoodLab Sydney program is limited to qualified businesses who go through the application process. If you don't qualify for our program, you are welcome to join us for our free business plan sessions that we host to help people apply for the program. FoodLab Sydney screens applicants for the following:

Background and Barriers to Entry

Our mission at FoodLab is to support entrepreneurs facing high barriers to entry to foster a more localised and inclusive food system focused on gender, ethnic and racial equity. We work primarily with those from diverse multicultural backgrounds, women, low-income earners, or Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people. 

Local to Sydney

We want to build on the beautiful good food system in Sydney that is already thriving, so we only accept those who reside in the greater Sydney region. We welcome those in the Illawarra, Blue Mountains, and Hawkesbury regions, but you must be prepared to travel to Sydney to attend workshops. 

Business Ready

You must apply to FoodLab Sydney with a food business idea ready to put into action, at the very least. You can of course refine it during the program, but if you do not have a business plan or an existing business, you will need to attend one of our business plan workshops we run monthly - open to anyone. 

Entrepreneurial and Community Minded

Growing a food business is incredibly hard work! The food industry is extremely competitive, so entrepreneurs need to have a lot of passion, motivation and determination. Our program brings together a number of entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds, so we are also looking for those who are community-oriented, generous and willing to learn, help and work with others. 

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Step 4

Graduation

Participants who have reached all the required incubation benchmarks set in the program graduate and remain part of the network as FoodLab alumni. 

Testimonials

I loved every minute of the course at FoodLab Sydney. It gave me and is still giving me a lot of insights, practical tips and much-needed mentoring as I grow my market garden.

With FoodLab Sydney’s guidance, I learned about highlighting the value and uniqueness of healthy and sustainable produce compared to items bought in supermarkets.

The FoodLab course also helped me identify the different potential markets – which are the most suitable and most appropriate for my growing market garden and how to bring my customers into the journey.

Sarah, Founder of Popes Produce

I am so proud to have created a food business that introduces my own kids to my culture. FoodLab has just been a course that was so very relevant to what I'm doing. I've been through another course before and I didn't find it helpful. Whereas FoodLab has been spot on for me.

I've really appreciated the depth of knowledge and inspiration from the mentors. It helped me get through some really difficult times this year and I love that we get to stay in this community ongoing.

Zona, Founder of Thorny Fruit Co

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Want to learn more? Visit our free business plan workshops!
Program Supporters
Sydney Environment Institute
City of Sydney
USU