how it works

FoodLab Sydney is a three-month training program that empowers budding food entrepreneurs with the skills, tools, networks and resources needed to become a food enterprise in Sydney or an innovative leader within one. We provide participants with an introductory food business education, hands-on technical assistance, critical kitchen and safety skills, a food sustainability framework, connections and mentoring, guest speakers from around the Sydney food system and access to market opportunities.


Each year, FoodLab Sydney runs two programs of approximately 20 students who are carefully selected from a diverse range of different ages, backgrounds, cultures, minority groups, but each with a passion for food. Students take part in FoodLab’s structured orientation and induction, a food business and entrepreneurship course, and an optional but recommended kitchen operations qualification run through TAFE NSW at Ultimo.


As FoodLab alumni, participants receive continued unlimited access to the program’s resources and access to exclusive events.

Students gain access to

Experienced Mentors and Guest Speakers

Structured 3 Month Intensive

70+ Worksheets and Checklists

Weekly Workshops on Practical Business Skills

Strategic and Branding Focus

TAFE Certificate II Qualification

Food Business Consultation

Online Videos and Content

TAFE, University and City of Sydney Resources

A Comprehensive Food Sustainability Framework

Connections to 100s of local food businesses

Post-program support

Who can apply?

No prior education or experience is necessary to enrol in the program. The FoodLab Sydney program is ideal for people above 18 who:

  • Live in the greater Sydney area, particularly those in the City of Sydney council area
  • Have a food business idea and may be seriously considering launching
  • Have already launched their food enterprise (0-2 years old) and are looking for guidance, strategic support and connections
  • Have a number of different food business ideas and not sure which one is viable
  • Want to kickstart their career in food and use their passion for food to make Sydney a better place to live and eat
  • Will be 100% committed to the program and can attend at least 80% of the program dates


FoodLab Sydney is passionate about embracing:

  • People from all walks of life, ages, backgrounds, particularly those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
  • Anyone experiencing some kind of disadvantage in getting a job or starting a business
  • People who are passionate about food and are serious about starting their own food businesses or becoming a leader within one

Course Options

FoodLab Sydney’s program is flexible and tailored to the unique needs of our participants. We offer two options which are dependant on each individual business idea and level of prior hospitality experience:

  • OPTION 1 – Full Program – The Food Business and Entrepreneurship course (online) + TAFE NSW Ultimo Kitchen Operations Certificate II, OR
  • OPTION 2 – Food Business Program – The Food Business and Entrepreneurship course only (online)


Preference is given to applicants who apply for the Full Program. Our next program is currently being organised by the team, but to get an idea of the program structure including the course outline, key dates (for the current program), costs, FAQ’s and more, click on ‘more information’ below.

“FoodLab has honestly been game-changing for me personally, having started 2021 feeling lost and disconnected. Fast-forward to today and I have made new friends, feel part of an amazing community of passionate foodies and believe in my ability to action my ideas and have a purposeful career!”

- Charlotte


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