Our vision is to empower creators. And with Pause Incubator, we’re doing just that. The Incubator is a safe, encouraging series of events, classes and exhibits that enable you to show off, workshop, and develop your potentially world-changing ideas.

We’re talking intense skill acceleration across three days. We’re talking access to some of the best local and international experts. We’re talking conversations with Australia’s leading accelerators to help you find the right pathways.

Ultimately, we’re talking tomorrow’s success, today.

Over 150 startups apply for Pause Incubator each year. Of those 150, only 30 are shortlisted to exhibit at the Startup Expo, and the best seven are selected to pitch to VCs.

Apply for the Creator Ticket



When applying for a Creator ticket, you can also apply to be considered for the Pause Incubator, which includes the Startup Expo, Pitch to VC, Speed Date Experts, Accelerator Tasting and Inventium Online Courses.

Accelerators: Startmate, StartupBootcamp, BlueChilli, Cyrise, MAP, Monash, muru-D, Collider Accelerator, ACMIX


Applicants will be shortlisted by Pause HQ. If you have applied for the Pause Incubator you will be notified if you are being considered for it before you receive an official invitation.


If successful, you will receive the official selection invite to participate in the Startup Expo on 7th January 2019 and the Pitch to VCs on 15 Dec 2018.

The winner of the competition will get to represent Australia at the Creative Business Cup global finals which will take place in Copenhagen on 24-25 June 2019, alongside 60+ countries. Courtesy of QUT Creative Enterprise Australia and ACMIX. More prizes TBC.


You will be briefed on the Startup Expo ahead of time. The briefing will include what you need to bring and what will be supplied on the day. All startups will only exhibit for one day. Your exhibit date will be shared with you after 1st December.


Online booking for Speed Dating Experts will be open from 9th January 2019 to Creator ticket holders; from 11th January 2019 for Explorer ticket holders; and from 13th January 2019 for Leader tickets holders.


The Startup Expo is now part of the Tech Garden at Pause Fest 2019.

When you apply to exhibit through the Creator ticket application, you’ll incur a small additional cost but gain the opportunity to engage with the boldest and brightest startups in the country. Being part of the Startup Expo means you’ll also be in the running for a chance to pitch to VCs.


In 2019, we are only accepting 10 startups to exhibit per day.
That’s 30 startups in total. If you don’t exhibit, you can’t qualify to pitch to VCs.


The whole Tech Garden, inclusive of the Startup Expo, is open to the public at the Fed Square Atrium. It will allow you to catch the event attendees, over 3,000 of general public per day but also invite your friends, family and future clients along without the need for them to purchase a ticket.

A proven platform for success, the Pause Fest Startup Expo is a real acceleration point – whatever stage of the startup journey you’re at. Past exhibitors have had their products validated and promoted, they’ve cemented investor relationships, and more besides. Zero Latency, for example, went global just a few years after exhibiting at the Startup Expo

You can’t miss this.


If you opt to exhibit in the Tech Garden Startup Expo in your Creator ticket application, you’ll be in the running for the Pitch Competition opportunity.
It’s a mixed pitch competition with three heats with the final pitch on Friday 8th Feb. In each heat, two startups will be shortlisted by a panel of judges.
The final competition will have six startups going for the grand prizes.

Invite to represent Australia at the Creative Business Cup Global in Denmark by Collider Accelerator and ACMIX. Fully paid trip (4 days)
Invite to participate in the final competition of Australian Singularity Global Impact Challenge and win place in the 
SingularityU Global Impact Challenge (GIC) (Initial 4 weeks in Denmark, then another 4 weeks at NASA Ames,
in Cupertino Silicon Valley. And full year support online)

Deadline for submissions is 19 December.
The selected startups will be notified in early January 2019.


Get up close and professional in a one-to-one session with an expert in your field.

Test out a startup idea, troubleshoot industry issues or practice your pitch – however you choose to spend your ten minutes of fame, the insight you gain will stay with you forever.

Slots are highly coveted and by booking only – online booking will be open from 9th January 2019 to Creator ticket holders; from 11th January 2019 for Explorer ticket holders; and from 13th January 2019 for Leader tickets holders.

Keep refreshing this page for the incredible, soon-to-be-announced list of experts.


Pause is a place where everything is virtually possible. It’s where you’ll see world firsts launch and graze the sun.

Ever wondered what it would be like to go on one of the world’s best startup accelerator programs? Don’t even know what an accelerator program is?

Either way, if you have an idea, this one’s for you. This year, we’ll be bringing together some of Australia’s top accelerator experts to run a 3-day Bootcamp – giving you a taster of what the global startup accelerator hype is all about.

You’ll get access to insider knowledge and workshops normally only available to elite thinkers, creatives and business owners.

This program is organised by StartupBootcamp. They support early-stage tech founders to rapidly scale their companies by providing direct access to an international network of the most relevant mentors, partners, and investors in their industry.

Taste the following accelerators at Pause Fest 2019: Startmate, StartupBootcamp, BlueChilli, Cyrise, MAP, Monash, muru-D, Collider Accelerator, ACMIX



Victorian-based founder? You’ll want to hear this: Inventium Online Learning is full of practical tools (that are all backed by science) for you to put to use in your startup.

If you’re selected, you’ll get a fully-funded spot on Inventium’s Online Learning program (thanks to LaunchVic)!

The program is jam packed full of science-backed tools and frameworks you can start using in your startup straight away. Over three modules, you’ll learn:

  • How to identify profitable customer-led opportunities for your startup
  • Generate highly-disruptive ideas
  • Quickly and cost-effectively learn how to refine your ideas to maximise the chances of success.

Apply before 23 November to be in with a chance for a spot on Inventium’s Online Learning. Open to Victorian business founders only.