Introducing Changes for Cicada’s Accelerator Programs

Running in parallel for a richer experience and a new investment approach for flexibility

Alfred Lo
May 2 · 4 min read
Photo by Daniel McCullough

Aligning GrowLab and MedLab to run in parallel

In 2018, our programs were run distinctively separately, GrowLab between May and August and MedLab between October and February. Founders loved the program (founders gave NPS of 85 and 82 for GrowLab and MedLab respectively which we’re very proud about) but we know that there’s things we can do to make it even better.

  • More (friendly) competition Seeing others winning is a great motivation to push harder. More companies gives more chances for big wins to inspire one another. In fact, we’ll be having a weekly all hands with all 12 companies (six from GrowLab and six from MedLab) to share networks, celebrate wins and put our heads together to overcome challenges.
  • More energy A dozen startups sharing space and working on their businesses together gives an unreal buzz.

Changing how we invest

We are changing how we invest into two components: a Program component and a Cash Investment component. We’ll explain how this works further below but it will essentially mean Cicada investing its time and money to receive between 3.6% to 4.8% of each business that participates in a program.

Program equity

We back ourselves in how our programs adds value to each of the companies that participate in them. Across three cohorts, over $16m has been raised by companies from Cicada’s accelerator programs and the increase in valuation has been in multiples from the time of our initial investment.

A new way of investing

Valuing a company at an early stage can be hard, sometimes even harder in deep tech when validation of science or customers can take longer. In the past we’ve made a straight equity investment ($30k cash for GrowLab and $50k cash for MedLab) with a standard valuation for each company (A$600k post-money for GrowLab and A$1m post-money for MedLab). This means really early-stage companies feel very happy while companies who might be a little further down the track may not apply.


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Alfred Lo

Written by

Alfred Lo

In pursuit of deep tech amazing at Cicada Innovations.

Cicada Innovations

Australia's Home of Deep Tech.