Hatching brilliant ideas for the planet.

Taronga is committed to conservation, and we believe innovation is a key part of securing a shared future for people and wildlife.

Hatch: Taronga Accelerator Program logo


Welcome to HATCH: Taronga Accelerator Program. HATCH aims to inspire, support and launch innovative ideas and actions to help address some of the most pressing environmental and conservation challenges currently facing our planet. 

We are calling on innovators, thought leaders, disruptors, developers, passionate individuals and everyone in between to help develop and implement brilliant ideas for the planet. 

One simple idea could change the future. The future starts today. What’s your brilliant idea?

Applications for the HATCH 2020 Program have now closed.

To keep up to date with the progress of our teams and HATCH news, follow us on LinkedIn and sign up to the HATCH newsletter.

Program overview and structure

HATCH is a 14-week accelerator program designed to help you develop your brilliant idea into a not-for-profit or social enterprise venture that has a positive impact on the environment. The program will involve two immersive events, weekly online workshops that you can attend from your home location, and a final pitch event.

HATCH program overview.
HATCH program overview.

What is an accelerator?

Think of an accelerator as similar to a University or TAFE unit – a structured, fixed term development program. However, the purpose of an accelerator program is not only to educate, but to help participants to develop and refine their initiative or business venture.

During the HATCH program, you will undertake education sessions, peer collaboration, and have access to mentors from a range of different expertise. You will also undertake work on your game changing idea or product for the planet in your own time. 

Accelerators often provide seed capital to participants as well. HATCH: Taronga Accelerator Program will provide $2,000 to each participating team. 

At the end of the structured program, participants will present their ideas to a panel of experts. The panel will provide feedback and determine which idea or product is the overall winner and recipient of the major funding. 

If you have an innovative idea, an accelerator such as HATCH is a great place to develop your idea with the support of experts, and to meet and collaborate with like-minded people. 

HATCH program inclusions

  • The opportunity to receive up to $50,000 to bring your brilliant idea to life 
  • $2,000 seed funding for each team participating in the program (at zero equity)
  • A blended approach of face to face workshops, online sessions and digital modules to provide you with the knowledge to develop your initiative 
  • Expert learning, guidance and support from mentors and subject matter experts including Taronga experts, industry professionals, and not-for-profit and social enterprise leaders
  • Co-working space during the program, subject to availability 

Your brilliant idea is...

  • Targeted to address a key conservation or environmental challenge
  • An innovative approach to address the issue you’re targeting 
  • Designed to make a positive impact on the natural environment
  • Aligned to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Taronga’s 360 degree approach to conservation
  • Early stage – you bring the concept, we’ll help you to assess, test and validate it
  • Is established as, or plans to develop into, a not-for-profit or social enterprise organisation 
  • Ideally it has potential to scale up for ever greater impact over time

Taronga's 360o approach to conservation

Taronga's 360-degree approach to conservation.

At Taronga we recognise that to achieve successful conservation of species we must also consider and support the habitat in which the species live, and the communities that interact with the species and habitat. Below are some examples of activities that Taronga undertakes under each area that may help you to consider how your initiative aligns to these areas.

  • Monitoring of wild populations
  • Breed for release programs
  • Rescue and rehabilitation of injured native wildlife
  • Research and development of suitable nutrition 
  • Habitat restoration, e.g. tree planting for Regent Honeyeaters 
  • Ensuring suitable habitat for native species within our two Zoo grounds
  • Researching and monitoring habitat use
  • Guest, student and community education programs
  • Tools to enable the public to protect wildlife, e.g. the Wildlife Witness app
  • Working with local communities to address challenges and be self-sufficient, e.g. Beads for Wildlife

Key dates

We are excited to confirm updated dates for the HATCH Program 2020!

Applications close5pm on Tuesday 9 June 2020
Application reviewJune 2020
Short-listed applications to provide additional informationEarly July 2020
Short-listed applicants panel interviewsSecond-half July 2020
Program participants confirmedEnd July 2020
Program welcome session (online)
5pm - 7pm Sydney time
Tuesday 11 August 2020
Immersive One - Day 1 (online)
Full day
Saturday 15 August 2020
Mentor introduction session (online)
5pm - 7pm Sydney time
Tuesday 18 August 2020
Immersive One - Day 2 (online)
Full day
Friday 21 August 2020
Weekly workshops (online)
Tuesdays 5pm - 7pm Sydney time
Tuesday 25 August to Tuesday 15 September 2020
Immersive Two - Day 1 (if run in-person, in Sydney)*
Full day
Friday 18 September 2020
Immersive Two - Day 2 (if run in-person, in Sydney) OR Day 1 (if run online)
Full day
Saturday 19 September 2020
Immersive Two - Day 2 (if run online)*
Full day
Tuesday 22 September 2020
Weekly workshops (online)
Tuesdays 5pm - 7pm Sydney time
Tuesday 29 September to Tuesday 3 November 2020 and Wednesday 4 November 2020
Pitch event run through (online)
Monday 9 November 2020
Pitch event (online)
Tuesday 10 November 2020

*We hope to bring all participants together at Taronga Zoo for Immersive Two, if the situation allows at that time. If we are unable to run the immersive in-person, it will be run online.

Eligibility criteria

  • Open to Australian citizens and permanent residents only
  • All applicants must be 18 years and over
  • Teams can be a maximum of 5 people per team; individual applicants are welcome
  • Initiatives must align to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to Taronga’s 360 degree approach to conservation 
  • Initiatives must be delivered in Australia to benefit/support the Australian environment
  • Not for profit and social enterprise initiatives are welcomed; for profit initiatives are not eligible for this program
  • If applying as an organisation, the organisation will likely have an annual revenue of less than $150,000  
  • All participants must comply with the Terms and Conditions associated with the HATCH Program
  • All participants must comply with Taronga’s Code of Conduct 

Header photo: Shunsuke Ono

Additional information

Frequently asked questions

Interested in the HATCH program and want to know more? Keen to apply but have a few burning questions?

HATCH newsletter

Sign up to the HATCH mailing list to receive important information and updates to your inbox.

Success stories

Taronga has supported innovative conservation ideas since 2011 through our Green Grants program. Read about our past winners and the great work they are doing to support the conservation of our environment.