The Melt ENGAGE is a 3-day immersion event for high potential founders and early stage climatetech/ cleantech hardware startups looking to set the foundations for success. The 2024 event will be held from 22 to 24 May 2024. Registrations are now open. Places are strictly limited. 

What is The Melt ENGAGE Program?

The Melt ENGAGE is an exclusive 3-day immersion event for high-potential founders, startups and scaleups that are creating products. The Melt will introduce you to our network of tier one industry partners and proven processes to set you up for success, and attract customers and investment. This event will also showcase the incredible opportunities for you to utilise our world-class Modern Manufacturing Centre, that was recently opened by the Prime Minister, in the Hunter region - NSW's energy heartland. It is FREE for selected participants to attend.

What to expect

This is a 3-day program with invaluable workshops, coaching, structured networking and tours of highly innovative industries including energy, resources and agriculture. Throughout the program you'll:

Here's a guide for what you can expect in 2024:

Day 1

  • Tour the Hunter Innovation Precinct and see why PM Anthony Albanese said “We need these facilities all over Australia!

  • How to create world-class hardware with the help of The Melt’s 4P’s; prove, prototype, pilot and produce

  • Masterclass on successfully navigating the ‘unknown unknowns’ in prototyping, piloting and manufacturing

  • Coaching on the art of influencing and engaging with blue chip customers

  • The climate tech financing stack and securing investment – explore funding opportunities from Melt Ventures

  • Cleantech innovators panel featuring Melt portfolio alumni and local businesses including; Allegro, MGA Thermal, Resourceful Living

  • Behind the scenes tour of Ethtec’s pilot plant as part of the Hunter Pilot Biorefinery

  • Exclusive, private back of house tour of Muswellbrook Regional Art Gallery and their $75m collection of artworks

Day 2

  • Learn about Idemitsu‘s Muswellbrook Clean Industries Precinct which includes pumped hydro and large scale solar and energy storage projects

  • Tour Australia’s oldest coal mine to see how it is now being rehabilitated and transitioned to a major renewable energy site

  • Go behind the scenes at Beacon Automation in a “think global, act local” site visit hosted by Bruce Richards
  • Two Rivers sumptuous Hunter Valley wine, cheese and antipasto tasting and tour of this innovation and sustainability success story

  • Structured feedback sessions with investors, advisors and industry partners to provide feedback on your product, challenges and opportunities

Day 3

  • Learn about AGL and their partner’s plans for transforming the former Liddell Power Station into a state-of-the-art precinct, the Hunter Energy Hub, for renewable energy technologies

  • Get insight into how Allegro Energy is transforming long duration energy storage through their Redox Flow Battery technology and hear about the behind the scenes of their pilot 

  • Learn about NSW’s only Federal Hydrogen Hub, the Hunter Hydrogen Hub, and how it will create a leading hydrogen export pathway taking green hydrogen to the world

  • Witness how the world’s largest coal export port is planning to become the “Port of the Future” through its Clean Energy Precinct that will position Newcastle and the Hunter Region as a leading production, storage and export hub for products and technologies

Who is it for?

The Melt ENGAGE is for:

It’s FREE for selected participants 


Limited places – don’t miss out

3-Day Program

Dates: 22 to 24 May 2024

Location:  The Melt Modern Manufacturing Centre, Muswellbrook, NSW

Benefits to a Startup

Prototyping lab and productioneering support

Access to The Melt’s extensive range of productioneering equipment with support from skilled technicians, engineers and designers at affordable and even potentially at no cost!

Expert mentorship

The Melt’s dedicated team of high-quality mentors focus on product development, life cycle analysis, customer sales, commercial modelling, and pilots for large scale production to accelerate the success of your business.

Direct access to strategic partners

Access The Melt’s trusted group of strategically significant partners, alumni community and investors with connections to customers and capital.

Local and global network

Access Australian and offshore expertise to help you build competitively at scale. Unique pathways to access capital and mentorship in North America, Asia and the broader global markets.

What is a hardware pre-accelerator?

A hardware pre-accelerator specifically focuses on supporting founders who are creating a business that involves building physical products (usually mechatronic hardware). Physical product development has inherent risks related to the extra cost, time and complexity involved in building these products. The Melt's pre-accelerator, ENGAGE, supports early-stage hardware startups in their infancy, typically before they are ready to join The Melt Accelerate or seek significant investment. The Melt ENGAGE affords hardware founders the opportunity to connect with other founders and tier one industry partners, immerse themselves within the energy sector and learn about industry opportunities for their products.

FAQs for Startups and Scaleups

Typically, we are looking for electronic or mechatronic type products. Think IoT connected devices, cleantech solutions or products that require advanced manufacturing. But if you aren’t sure, pitch it to us! We’re open minded and we’re here to help.

Absolutely. The Melt is Australia’s only hardware focused pre-accelerator and this is a unique opportunity to leverage expert support to get your product idea off the ground.

Successful startups can receive up to $150k of investment following the program with the opportunity for further follow-on investment of up to $1m.

The Melt’s 4P process: Prove, Prototype, Pilot and Produce focuses on the least-riskiest path from ideation to product development success.

Tools and services
On-site access to The Melt’s extensive range of additive/subtractive manufacturing and mechatronic tools plus design software will bring your vision to life. Together with support from skilled technicians, engineers and designers, these services are often out of reach for most startup companies.

Networks and Expertise
Work alongside likeminded hardware startup founders and with our industry partners, mentors and trusted service providers during the product development lifecycle.

The Melt promotes a “home-grown” in Australia approach to development of hardware products, but we also have linkages to access offshore expertise to help you build competitively at scale.

You can enter at any phase and we’ll direct you to The Melt program that is right for you.

Read on for a cheat sheet:

Prove Stage = The Melt ENGAGE:
Your product / business is at the ideation stage. In this phase The Melt will first seek to validate the business model and understand the technical risks of the project. A comprehensive business case for further investment is developed.

Prototype Stage = The Melt ACCELERATE:
Your product idea is already validated and is now ready for a looks like/works like prototype to be developed.

Pilot Stage = The Melt NOVA:
You have a prototype that is now ready to be piloted with real customers to gain valuable insights and prepare for manufacturing at scale.

Produce stage = The Melt NOVA:
The product is ready for large scale, low cost manufacture and distribution. The produce stage ensures that input costs are optimised and all logistical aspects are considered, such as packaging, quality assurance, regulatory compliance and distribution efficiency.

Once your expression of interest form  has been submitted, The Melt will contact shortlisted candidates to request an introductory call. Following this call, startups are required to present a set of prerequisite deliverables to secure entry into the program.

You will be asked for key details to help The Melt get to know you such as overview of your company, team, the outcomes you are seeking from the program and a copy of your pitch deck.

No, you will own all of your IP.

The immersion event will be taking place from 22 to 24 May 2024.

When Startups apply, they are evaluated on their merits and suitability to join the accelerator program. Successful applicants will commence the program as soon as all prerequisite deliverables have been submitted.

Up to $150k of funding is available following The Melt ENGAGE program for those that join The Melt ACCELERATE program with the opportunity of further follow-on investment of up to $1m when the product is ready to scale.
More info on Melt Ventures

Yes, the expectation is that you will be available to work on your business full time once you are accepted into the program.

The Melt ENGAGE will be hosted in the Hunter Region (NSW) to immerse founders in the energy industry and provide an opportunity to connect with industry partners and explore innovation opportunities.

Registrations for the 2024 event close in mid May 2024.

If you have more questions, please reach out to contact us via or our contact form.

Program partners