About Seedlab

Seedlab Tasmania is a unique incubator created specificall for Tasmanian  startup and early stage food, drink, agri-food and agri-tourism businesses with global potential, who need advice, assistance and introductions.

The Seedlab Tasmania incubator will provide expertise, resources and training to de-risk export and drive profitable growth.

Seedlab Tasmania will connect over 200 startup Tasmanian food, drink and agri-food businesses with recognised experts who will provide innovative and effective training and support, and vibrant events and connections.

What will we do?

Seedlab Tasmania is a fully-funded programme of support, training and events for Tasmanian startup (early stage) food, drink, agri-food and agri-tourism businesses with global potential. Seedlab involves access to local, national and global experts to help de-risk export and drive profitable growth.

Available by application to eligible Tasmanian startup businesses, with most costs covered by the Seedlab Tasmania program.

Led by Tasmanian Food Consultant, Dr Hazel MacTavish-West, of MacTavish West Pty. Ltd. and The Food Innovation Hub. Other partners include Business Growth and Export Experts Mike Harley and David Hall from XPotential™, and Karina Dambergs, CEO of Fermentasmania. Woolworths and the University of Tasmania are also valued partners.

Seedlab Tasmania is supported by the Australian Government, Woolworths, the University of Tasmania, MacTavish West Pty. Ltd., XPotential™, the Northern Tasmanian Development Corporation, The Regional Investment Corporation, and Cradle Coast Authority, plus cash and in-kind contributions from Davies Collison Cave, and private individuals.

We encourage other companies and regional authorities/local government to contribute to Seedlab Tasmania going forwards, indeed that’s an important part of the sustainability for the program. A range of sponsorship options are available. 

Nine out of 10 new products fail. In less well-known, larger, and potentially more lucrative export markets, these figures may be higher, with the added burden of higher costs to market test products. This limits the potential for new, startup businesses to access potentially valuable markets, in places where the Tasmania brand is valued. Seedlab Tasmania came about after we spoke with over 30 Tasmanian food and drink businesses at farmer’s markets about their interest in exporting, and were surprised to find how many already had done some exporting, and were keen to do more. Barriers to entry included perceived high risk, lack of deep insight consumers and customers in export markets, access to freight consolidators, short shelf-life products, a lack of protectable export brands and lack of information about correct labelling, no name just a few issues.  

What is an Incubator? Incubators are an economic development program that supports and guides startups and early stage businesses to start, scale and grow, creating jobs and growth. The Australian Government’s Incubator Support initiative provided over 60% of the total eligible costs for Seedlab Tasmania, with a focus on “startups to export”.  Startup businesses for this export-ready focused incubator are defined as being “innovative, adaptive, early-stage and scalable companies”. Eligible Seedlab Tasmania startups must have the intent that a significant proportion of the jobs and economic growth created by the new activity will occur in Tasmania, and an interest in selling product beyond Australia in the next 5 years. We have defined the type of startup businesses for Seedlab Tasmania based on Tasmania’s trade strategy and our expertise and experience: food, drink, agri-food and agri-tourism businesses.

This project is supported by the Australian Government Department of Industry, Innovation and Science through Incubator Support initiative funding as part of the Entrepreneurs’ Programme. In addition to sponsorship from other institutes/companies:

Download the seedlab brochure here.

Find out more about the Seedlab Tasmania program.