What is FoodLab Sydney?

FoodLab Sydney is a for-purpose food business incubator that launched in 2019 as a partnership between The University of Sydney (Sydney Environment Institute), City of Sydney, TAFE NSW, and FoodLab Detroit.

FoodLab empowers people with the skills, tools, networks and resources needed to become a food enterprise in Sydney through a growing network of exceptional food artisans and experienced business professionals.

But we are not just another incubator. Our vision is to grow a new generation of food entrepreneurs who want to create a fairer, more sustainable food system in Sydney. We challenge and educate our community on issues of ‘good’ food: food security, food justice, diversity in food, sustainable farming practices, fair wages and treatment of staff, food waste, local food and traceability.

How does it work?

Each year, FoodLab Sydney takes on two cohorts of participants from all different walks of life, backgrounds, cultures, and with different food ideas, but each with a passion and desire to make a difference in their lives, or their communities, through food. 

Participants join FoodLab by application, and upon acceptance undertake a structured four-month program that includes an orientation and induction, 10 weeks online food business and entrepreneurship course, and 10 weeks basic kitchen skills taught through TAFE NSW. 

Participants get access to:

Experienced mentors and guest speakers

70+ worksheets and checklists

Hands-on and practical weekly workshops on business and kitchen skills

TAFE Certificate II Qualification

Food business consultation

Connection to 100s of local food businesses and suppliers

Advocating fair, local and sustainable food

Strategic and branding focused content

TAFE, Sydney University and City of Sydney resources

Online videos and content 

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 are:

Considering launching a food business and becoming self-employed,

Already launched their food business and looking for guidance, strategic support and connections to suppliers,

Wanting to better use their passion and love for food and help make Sydney a better place to live and eat.

FoodLab is passionate about embracing:

People from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds

Anyone experiencing some kind of disadvantage in getting a job or starting a business

People who live and breathe food, and want to learn more about where their food comes from