Start NT Program - Darwin Innovation Hub


A DIH program for early stage start-ups

StartNT is an in-house program, designed, tested and run exclusively through the Darwin Innovation Hub. StartNT provides a “life-cycle” commercialisation pathway for companies looking to scale and become “investment ready” in the Northern Territory.

*StartNT is an approved program of grant funding from the Northern Territory Government.

How to access the program


Kickstart your journey by registering your interest in the StartNT program through our online form. It’s essential to note that applicants must be current Northern Territory residents. Following this, we’ll schedule a meeting to delve into your business aspirations. Our team will thoroughly evaluate your application against our investment criteria, and if you are among the competitively successful applicants, you will seamlessly progress to Phase 1 – gaining entry to our incubator.



Competitive eligible applicants enter the StartNT Incubator, receiving three months of dedicated support at the Darwin Innovation Hub. This includes a personalised co-working desk, providing direct access to expert facilitators, extensive networks, and top-notch facilities. Throughout this immersive period, our Experts-in-Residence will not only guide and prepare you for potential government funding applications but also assist in crafting a compelling pitch for the StartNT Safe Note—a significant $50,000 investment in your company. Upon a successful pitch, you will seamlessly transition to Phase 2 – the Accelerator, well-equipped and poised for the next stages of entrepreneurial growth.



In this pivotal phase, strategically leverage your $50,000 Safe Note investment to propel the further development of your business. Over the next potentially 9 months, plan your project milestones, and diligently refine your go-to-market strategy and business model with support from our experts-in-residence, setting the stage for the subsequent step—Pitching for Seed Capital. To successfully pitch for Seed Capital, align your proposal with the Paspalis Innovation Investment Fund Criteria, demonstrating both the potential for business success and the value your venture brings to the Territory. This step marks a crucial stage in your entrepreneurial journey towards sustainable growth and success.


    Life-cycle support from Ideation to Exit



    Define Value Proposition

    Competitor Analysis

    Market analysis

    Define assumptions



    Validate assumptions

    Design & Test customer experience

    Get User Analysis

    Create Business Plan

    Define Budget, financial and legal structure

    Define Business model

    Apply for grants



    Develop Product (Service)

    Create a product roadmap

    Define market

    Design Marketing Strategy

    Build your team

    Develop partnerships

    Formalise company and legal structure



    Explore new markets

    Employ efficiency and management systems

    Scale team

    Expand on business model

    Begin new product development



    Identify funding sources

    Plan Investment rounds against projected company growth



    Pathways to exit: Why? When? How?

    Investors receive their return



Early-stage entrepreneurs with an innovative business idea looking for expert advice to begin their commercialisation journey.

Established Businesses & Industry

Our program provides expert advice to businesses wanting to incubate and accelerate internal ideas for potential spin-off’s.

Research Outcomes

The program provides a commercialisation pathway for academics and entrepreneurs seeking to commercialise research.

StartNT Case Study

HoldAccess is a customer of the DIH’s StartNT program. Jason Davis (Founder, HoldAccess) has moved his business into the DIH and secured a safe note from the Paspalis Innovation Investment Fund. Being at the DIH has exposed HoldAccess to critical and strategic networking opportunities in international supply chain and technology development.

Croc Pitch guest speakers

Jason Hold Access

We asked Jason how the DIH’s StartNT program has helped his business…

“For Hold Access—a startup up technology company—building a concept from the ground up has been a commitment to a vision fuelled by passion, experience and innovation. The vision for a new technology that offers a solution to age old business problems. Gaining the support from the professional team within the StartNT program has enabled Hold Access to grow and build faster with the essential ingredients required to seed, grow and scale as a software solution.  The team at StartNT have provided the critical advice essential for any early stage startup, helping the business to move faster with sharper insights from proven professionals.” Jason says.

About: HoldAccess enables individuals to hold and easily access their identification and verified information, including existing proof of heritage certification for First Nations’ people.  Users can access and control their information any time in any environment, solving a problem for people who live regionally or without safe digital access. HoldAccess also offers integrated Enterprise Software so employers connect faster to their workers, building industry safe work cultures and improving government tendering on procurement conditions.  

StartNT Ambassadors

“We found that manufacturing was hampering innovation because commercialising required enormous capital expenditure. Many inventions just didn’t make it to production… The DIH’s StartNT program will provide invaluable local help to early stage innovators looking to commercialise…”

About: SPEE3D has developed a revolutionary high speed, 3D printing process for metals that makes parts in minutes.

“If you have an idea or a concept and you are passionate about it and believe it is worth pursuing, the Darwin Innovation Hub is a great place to find guidance, pathways to commercialisation, and investment opportunities”

About: Corrosion Instruments designs, manufactures and sells cathodic protection monitoring and measurement equipment. De-mystifying the art of CP measurement with highly accurate, simple, automated instrumentation.

“Since basing our business out of the DIH offices in Darwin, the DIH has facilitated numerous networking opportunities to grow our business into international markets. The DIH is constantly buzzing with energy and opportunities, and we’re excited to be a part of it.”

About: Manufacturing and through-life support of the G-111T AAI Turboprop Albatross Amphibian Aircraft.

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