Frequently asked questions

Below are some questions about the RISE Accelerator program.

If you have a question that is not addressed below, please email your question to (Australian applicants) or (Indian applicants).


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To be eligible for the Program, your Organisation must meet these eligibility criteria. If you do not meet all criteria, you will not be able to apply. The Program is also NOT suitable for:

  • Organisations who are not considering expanding into India or Australia
  • Organisations who are already actively exporting the technology/solution
  • solutions at TRL 4 or lower
  • sole traders or individuals.

Yes. However, please remember that the RISE Accelerator application process is seeking specific information and examples about YOUR business, technology and capabilities, not generic statements that might apply to any company. If you do utilise AI in the course of your application, please ensure that you include examples or scenarios from your Organisation or your/your team’s experience if you want to differentiate yourself from others and attract a higher score.

Startups and SMEs from all industries are welcome to apply as long as they meet the eligibility criteria and align to one or more of the Challenge Statements.

Yes – there will be further challenges announced in future rounds of the Program, all related to the overarching theme of environment and climate technologies. In the meantime, please subscribe to our RISE Accelerator mailing list so you will be first to hear about themes and challenges for future rounds.

Round 1 (now closed for application) seeks solutions to assist India’s and Australia’s transition to the circular economy. Future rounds will have alternate climate and environment themes such as AgTech or clean energy.

That depends on your licensing agreement. Program participants should either own, or be otherwise entitled to commercialise IP in respect of the technology or solution.

The RISE Accelerator has been specifically designed to support startups and SMEs with limited experience in international expansion. Before applying, please consider whether the Program Activities and curriculum, designed to support those without export markets, will be beneficial to you.

Yes. If you also meet all eligibility criteria and can address the assessment criteria, we welcome your application.

Not at this time. The RISE Accelerator program has been designed to support startups and SMEs with mature technologies in their cross-border expansion. While we will consider technologies at TRL 5-6, applicants must clearly demonstrate the potential to rapidly advance through expansion to Australia or India.

There may be other opportunities for you in the future, in this Program or others, so be sure to subscribe to the RISE Accelerator mailing list.

No, so long as the technology/solution is TRL 7+ (or TRL 5-6 if advancement will be secured by going across borders) then large and small companies can apply. Your revenue level does not need to reflect technology maturity.

Yes, as long as you meet the eligibility criteria and Challenge Statements of the Round to which you are applying.

No, however successful applicant startups/SMEs may choose to work with a university partner as part of their market entry and pilot activities. The startup/SME may choose to utilise grant funding to support such work. A reminder that applicants must be startups and SMEs, with country relevant incorporation, less than A$20m / INR 100 Cr in revenue and that have been in business for less than 10 years. Applicants must meet all eligibility criteria.

We do not accept joint applications. If the Indian and Australian startup/SME meet all the respective country’s eligibility criteria, each company is welcome to apply as stand-alone application/s.

A Section 8 company or non-profit organisation, with a DPIIT registration as a startup, is eligible to apply.

Yes, for both Australian and Indian applicants. Your Organisation must be registered for GST in your country (Australia or India).

As long as you meet all the eligibility criteria and align with the Challenge Statement you may apply. However, you should consider, and include in your application response, how your small team will manage if your business is selected to participate in the Program. For example, how will the team manage business operations when one or more members of the team are undertaking Program Activities, including domestic and international travel?


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A total of 12 to 16 organisations will be selected per round, comprising 6-8 from India and 6-8 from Australia. This number may change for future rounds but will be kept small to preserve quality interactions and outcomes.

It is recommended that a total of 6 hours per week be set aside to undertake the learning activities required during the Accelerate Phase. This does not include in-person Program Activities which will require travel and immersive learning within/to Australia and within/to India.

Yes, your business and demonstration needs might require you to work with several pilot partners in-market. Your pilot project will be shaped up by you, with support from RISE mentors to help you meet your business’s needs.

The RISE Accelerator seeks applications from companies NOT yet in the Indian (if you are an Australian company) or Australian market (if you are an Indian company). Whilst companies who have had only preliminary/exploratory engagement in or with the new market are welcome to apply, our Program is designed to help guide your first steps and build up your cross-border capacity.

Australian companies will be supported to meet and network with industry, innovation and other connections most relevant to their solution. Depending on the solution, this might mean certain States are more relevant for them to focus on than others. The Indian market and States present much opportunity but also much variance of need/s – we will support companies to focus on the region, sector or similar that is most relevant to them.

Yes, the Program curriculum includes topics, material and mentoring on IP strategies and commercialisation strategies. You will be provided with learning material and the opportunity to seek general advice on these topics from our domain experts.

Yes. The RISE Accelerator program respects the often time-poor nature of startups and SMEs and encourages collaboration within each Organisation, across the cohort and the broader ecosystem. Organisations must nominate two people from the Organisation, such as co-founders or executives, to participate in aspects of the Program, but only one person needs to participate in each Activity (session, workshop, travel) at a time. There are obvious benefits in having more than one participant maximise the learnings and share the workload required to meet all Program milestones. Bear in mind that any travel expenses incurred by additional participants in both the home and target country (e.g. travel, accommodation, etc.) will need to be met by the Organisation (or using the Grant) as the Travel Allowance will only fund one participant per Organisation.

The Expert-in-Residence (EIR) is a vital role in the Program and there will be at least one in India and one in Australia. As a strategic advisor and coach for the Program participants, their role is to directly support participant progress through the Accelerate and Pilot Phases, while challenging their thinking along the way. With strong cross-border and entrepreneurial experience, and a deep understanding of the startup and SME landscape the EIR provides valuable guidance, insights and opportunities to all participants in the Program. Participants will engage regularly with the EIR, including a formal one-on-one meeting in each sprint phase, and will also have access to EIRs in the target country.

There will be three travel opportunities funded for one participant from each Organisation: twice in the home country, and once to the target country.

Participating startups and SMEs from both countries come together for immersive learning and Program Activities in Travel 1 and 2. While most of the Program is delivered virtually, the opportunity to connect in person with participating startups/SMEs from the alternate country enables valuable peer-to-peer learning and growth of your network.

Both Travel 1 and 2 will see you take part in a curated program of site visits, immersive learning and workshops, and networking with industry, academia, research institutions, innovation catalysts and government representatives.

Travel 3 occurs in your home country at the end of the Program, for a wrap-up showcase with a virtual overlap across the two countries.

A travel allowance (by reimbursement) will be provided to fund reasonable transport and accommodation costs for one participant per Organisation to attend the three travel components.

Travel allowance is paid only after the travel has occurred. You must be able to fund that travel up-front.

Travel costs associated with the Pilot Phase are to be met by the Organisation directly or by using their RISE Accelerator Grant.

If you can’t attend one of the Program travel events the other/alternate Nominated Participant from your Organisation (co-founder, CEO, CTO, COO, for example) should attend. Ideally, the Participant best suited to the modules of learning/travel experiences at hand should participate. All Organisations selected for the Program must have at least one person at any given time taking part in each aspect of the Program, including travel, learning events and mentoring.

The RISE Accelerator Grant does not have to be matched. The grants are provided to support Program Activities and Pilot Phase activities, and only for eligible expenses incurred after the commencement date of the Program. You will be responsible for any costs including those that are greater than the Grant or travel allowance amounts. Refer to the Australian Program and Grant Guidelines and Indian Program and Grant Guidelines.

No, there is one Grant – paid to the successfully selected RISE Accelerator startups and SMEs. That Grant is paid to you to support the costs of your participation in the Program, Program Activities and to execute a pilot project in/for your target market.