Up to $60M is available from LaunchVic to help accelerate startups, drive new ideas and create jobs in Victoria.
LaunchVic is a Victorian Government initiative to invest in the infrastructure of the ecosystem to support startups and entrepreneurs.
LaunchVic works in partnership with entrepreneurs, innovators, businesses, educational institutions and the community to accelerate startups, drive new ideas and create more jobs in Victoria’s startup community. LaunchVic’s role is to enhance competition, collaboration, and quality in the ecosystem, and advocate for the sector.
With a strong focus on effective collaboration and developing local and global networks, LaunchVic helps create a better community for entrepreneurs to develop and grow startups early. Using Melbourne’s reputation as the most liveable city in the world, LaunchVic aims to work with and attract businesses and entrepreneurs to the state, at both national and international levels.
The LaunchVic objectives are:
- Fostering a more collaborative and linked network of co-working spaces, incubators and accelerators.
- Enhancing diversity by improving access to, or participation in, the startup ecosystem for a currently under-represented grouping.
- Encouraging the clustering of infrastructure and activities (Launchhubs) that build capacity and connectedness within the startup community and focal points to lift global visibility and brand Victoria as a regional startup powerhouse.
- Building capability through improved education programs, mentoring and better access to global networks and capital.
- Supporting startup infrastructure in areas where Victoria has a unique cultural or competitive advantage on the world stage such as CreativeTech, SportTech, HealthTech, FoodTech and EduTech.
As with the first round, applications are sought for both large and small ideas from all sectors, including both existing and new organisations, which significantly enhance Victoria’s startup ecosystem – not individual startups.
For small ideas, a single stage process will be undertaken. Small ideas LaunchVic funding will support initiatives or projects up to $100,000 that build startup infrastructure in areas that are currently underdeveloped. Applications successful in the small funding round will receive one-off grants.
Organisations funded by LaunchVic will be expected to adopt important principles of openness, inclusiveness and transparency. They should be prepared to contribute to the wider ecosystem – e.g. by contributing to key events and common ecosystem platforms which provide greater information and access to all interested in the Victorian startup ecosystem.
Matched funding requirements for small ideas applications are not required but will be looked on more favorably if submissions can show other areas of financial contribution.
The large funding round is designed for a small number of sizeable proposals. LaunchVic applicants will be eligible for seed funding for up to three years, which must be matched by partner contributions (either cash or in-kind). Demonstrating high quality programs that will position Victoria as a leader and address key criteria of collaboration and diversity will be critical elements of this program.
Large ideas will also be expected to engage locally, nationally and internationally to enhance and forge new collaborations, drive services across the ecosystem and create new and robust networks.
For large ideas, a two-stage process will be used:
Stage 1 – Applicants will be invited to submit proposals identifying the range of services/ infrastructure they intend to provide (e.g. including mentoring, training, professional services, investor linkages, demo days, challenges, events, immersion programs, diversity initiatives and external partnerships).
Stage 2 – Successful applicants may undergo a facilitation or brokering process where LaunchVic will work with them to build on initial applications to refine proposals that will be formalised through a service agreement.
LOKE has developed a cloud-based mobile payment and loyalty platform that enables merchants to deploy and manage their own branded loyalty product. LOKE has just opened funding to raise $1 million that will help facilitate the creation of 50 new jobs over the next three years. This follows a recent announcement that the company will partner with leading digital payment giant PayPal to enable customers to connect their existing PayPal account with any of LOKE’s apps for both in-store and in-app purchases.
Timelio’s unique peer-to-peer lending platform enables Australian businesses to raise funds by selling their customer invoices. Timelio’s service is primarily designed for small to medium enterprises that require cash flow but typically have to wait up to 90 days for their corporate clients to settle invoices.
LaunchVic proposals should clearly:
- articulate what the funding will be used for and how it addresses the Key Assessment Criteria and one or more of the Round Two Funding Program objectives,
- outline the objectives of the initiative, how impact/success will be measured and the timeframe for delivery,
- specify all intended matched sources of funding and the total grant amount sought from LaunchVic;
- outline the core project team, highlighting any elements of collaboration and who the collaborating partners are; and,
- outline how the proposal for funding will deliver benefits to Victoria and the Victorian ecosystem.
LaunchVic proposals for funding either small or large ideas must address the following key criteria:
- How the project addresses the LaunchVic Round Two Funding Program objective/s;
- Demonstrated need for LaunchVic funding that’s also matched up to 50/50 (mandatory for large applications only) by contributions (cash and/or in-kind) from partner organisations, and does it demonstrate a genuine need for LaunchVic support;
- How the project will deliver maximum impact and support for Victorian entrepreneurs and startups/scaleups;
- How the proposal will strengthen ecosystem collaboration and diversity (including gender, cultural and economic);
- Clearly articulated measures of success;
- What the ongoing sustainability of the program is beyond any potential LaunchVic contribution; and
- Whether the project team meet can satisfy credible project planning, management, leadership experience and resourcing requirements (including financial and infrastructure).
Round 2 LaunchVic Recipients
|Edupreneur 2017||Education Changemakers||$87,000||Melbourne-based Education Changemakers is behind Australia’s growing movement of educational entrepreneurship through teacher led innovation. It has gained international recognition for its Educhange Festival and thought leadership through its book Edupreneur – an examination of change and opportunity at the intersection of education and entrepreneurship. In 2017 Education Changemakers will present the inaugural nation-wide industry event, Edupreneur 2017, in Melbourne as part of the annual Educhange Festival. The three-day major industry event aims to inspire innovation in education and facilitate clustering of education startups. It will also run a regional roadshow of the event in Geelong, Shepparton, Warrnambool and Mildura.|
|Outcome-Hub||Outcome.Life||$94,510||Outcome.life is a Melbourne based organisation focused on assisting Internationals transitioning from study to the professional workforce in Victoria. Outcome.life has established a co-working space, Outcome-Hub and in 2017 it will expand this hub to include an incubator that will support international student entrepreneurs. The hub will also match students interested in working in startups in internships at Victorian based startups through an online portal. A comprehensive events program will support the hub and inspire more internationals to get involved in the startup ecosystem.|
|The Frankston Foundry||The Frankston Foundry||$154,500||The Frankston Foundry was launched in 2016 to provide a co-working space and startup incubator for entrepreneurs and technical professionals across the bayside and Mornington Peninsula region. It is committed to actively connect within Victoria’s startup ecosystem by facilitating networks between its regional entrepreneurs and the Melbourne sector. In 2017, the Frankston Foundry will hire a dedicated community manager role, and develop a program of events, including an annual hackathon, to turbo charge innovation on the Peninsula.|
|#SheHacks Victoria||Girl Geek Academy||$300,000||Girl Geek Academy is a global movement encouraging women to learn technology and create startups. Currently operating in Australia and the United States, Girl Geek Academy is committed to increase inclusion and greater representation of women and female founders in the startup ecosystem. In 2017, Girl Geek Academy will present #SheHacks Victoria – a high profile hackathon event and startup competition for over 200 women. With a focus on University students, the first Victorian statewide program will offer participants the opportunity to attend bootcamps in Melbourne, Warrnambool, Warragul and Bendigo, join a startup team, build an MVP and receive ongoing mentoring. Finalists will showcase their startups at the #SheHacks Victoria Demo Day.|
|Startmate Melbourne||Startmate||$384,000||Startmate is one of Australia’s most successful startup accelerator programs with a deep, experienced technology mentor network, and a proven track record in connecting Australian founders to global knowledge and capital. Startmate has chosen to open its program and establish its operations in Melbourne, and will accelerate 16 local tech companies over 2 years including a regional roadshow program that will connect with tech entrepreneurs in Geelong, Shepparton, Albury/Wodonga, Ballarat and the La Trobe Valley. They will create a Melbourne Startmate mentor network of 50+ of the most successful technology founders and executives who will invest in Victorian Startmate companies.|
|ACMI X CreativeTech Laboratory||ACMI||$398,000||ACMI is the world’s busiest museum of the moving image and is highly regarded as an industry leader in the development and promotion of creative industries. In 2016, ACMI opened ACMI X – a co-working space for local digital creative professionals – and a world first for a major cultural institution. ACMI will now extend its co-working space to include a CreativeTech Laboratory to incubate and grow creative startups. The laboratory will support 8 new creative companies through mentoring and facilitating connections with industry and universities. The ACMI X CreativeTech Lab will give both ACMI X participants and the wider creative tech startups access to the Museum’s huge public audience to test, refine and promote projects, as well as showcase outcomes to the industry, investor and international audiences that visit ACMI.|
|Disability and Health Care Innovation Hub and Incubator||Seeva Plus Inc||$500,000||Seeva Plus Inc is a Melbourne based social enterprise committed to innovation in the disability and health care sectors. It actively supports cultivating creative and disruptive solutions, and aims to drive greater diversity within the startup ecosystem including entrepreneurs with a disability. Seeva will establish an incubation program and launch an innovation hub that supports startups and entrepreneurs to drive change within the disability sector. The hub will bring together community, consumers, businesses, entrepreneurs and startups to work collaboratively while offering a place for people with a disability, chronic health condition and older people to cultivate their own business ideas.|
Round 1 LaunchVic Recipients
|Bright Sparks||RMIT University||$100,000||Bright Sparks is a leadership program to inspire, connect and prepare the next generation of female entrepreneurs in Victoria. Female students, alumni and staff at RMIT will be given a head start in business through a network of Australian and international mentors and an intensive leadership program in San Francisco.|
|Digital marketing makerspace||Western BACE||$50,000||The only combined co-working space and business accelerator in Western Melbourne’s Growth Corridor will receive funding to create the “Digital BACE marketing makerspace”. Local startups will be given expert support to use 3D printing, virtual reality software, computers and video cameras for marketing activities.|
|Employment based social enterprise pipeline||Social Traders||$100,000||Focusing on jobs for people facing barriers to work – in Melbourne, Ballarat and Wodonga – this program will strengthen the pipeline of accelerator-ready social enterprise ideas through workshops, networking events, clinics and pitch fests targeting women, youth and multi-cultural groups.|
|Fintech Melbourne||Fintech Melbourne||$30,000||Fintech Melbourne is a community run organisation for the benefit of the Victorian fintech community. It is Australia’s largest fintech community with 1800 members and provides tremendous value and support to the local ecosystem. This has all been accomplished through volunteer efforts but due to the scale of events, support is required to make Fintech Melbourne sustainable in the long term.|
|Launch Clubs||The Foundation for Young Australians||$75,000||Launch Clubs aims to harness the energy and passion of young Victorians and build a network of local hubs, based in regional communities, where young people develop the skills and capabilities to test and launch their own enterprises. There is an urgent and vital need to support young people in regional Victoria to develop entrepreneurial skills that can open pathways to self-employment, job creation and the revitalisation of regional economies. Launch Clubs will be trialed in Bendigo and Traralgon and is designed so the model can be scaled State-wide.|
|Lemonade Stand: startups for kids||Collective Campus||$100,000||Lemonade Stand is a two-day business building and entrepreneur program for 9-12 year olds, currently run during school holidays. LaunchVic funding will help expand the program into schools and online, significantly increasing the scale and reach of the program and inspiring a new generation of young entrepreneurs.|
|Young Entrepreneurs Mentoring Scheme||iGen Foundation||$70,000||Young Entrepreneurs Mentoring (YEM) pilot provides 15-30 year olds with entrepreneurial skills and knowledge as well as the networks to help them unlock doors to new business opportunities.|
|A world class tech and startup destination||Convenory Campus||$200,000||Convenory Campus aims to build a world class tech and startup destination at the Abbottsford Convent featuring share-laboratories, conference facilities, hardware assembly, on-demand childcare and co-working zones. LaunchVic funding will lay the foundation for the Convenory team to bring their vision to reality.|
|Australian Sports Technologies Network||Australian Sports Technologies Network Ltd||$280,000||Melbourne is a world leader in sport – now the aim is to make Melbourne the world leader in sports technology. LaunchVic funding will enable an entrepreneur-in-residence – supporting 15-20 sports tech startups over a two year period – as well as development of a best practice playbook and hosting of a World Championships for Sports Analytics.|
|Cybersecurity Incubator||Dimension Data||$450,000||Dimension Data and Deakin University will set up a cyber security incubator in order to accelerate the development of unique cyber security solutions and intellectual property. Located at Deakin’s Waurn Ponds campus, the incubator will help address the burgeoning skills shortage in the Australian cyber security industry.|
|Dream Factory makerspace||Inspire9||$650,000||Co-working business Inspire9 will establish a makerspace in the new Dream Factory building in Footscray, providing startups, entrepreneurs, artists and hobbyists with access to facilities such as 3D printing, digital sewing, laser cutting and a virtual reality lab. The aim is to unlock digital manufacturing capacities in a region that has seen traditional manufacturing in decline.|
|Harnessing the experienced economy||Fifth Institute||$200,000||Startups aren’t just for the young. The Fifth Institute aims to lift the number and success rate of startups emerging from the experienced economy (those aged 50 and over). This will tap into the emergence of ‘seniorpreneurs” as the fastest growing segment of new business owners in Australia.|
|Launching agtech startups||Rocket Seeder||$675,000||A startup accelerator program focusing on supporting innovation in agricultural technology, Rocket Seeder will support motivated agtech entrepreneurs with a comprehensive coaching program and will connect them with mentors, industry partners, and investors. Linking city and country, there will be a Melbourne-based hub with programs initially in Shepparton, Sale, Geelong, Bendigo, Ballarat, Colac, Horsham, Wondonga, Mildura and Warrnambool.|
|Regional Accelerator Program||La Trobe University||$1 million||A regional accelerator program, led by La Trobe University and including Federation and Deakin Universities, will harness the best and brightest minds of regional Victoria to boost the economy and agricultural jobs. Participants will have access to funding, office space, structured mentoring programs, networking and local, national and international pitching opportunities.|
|Runway||Runway||$1.25 million||This major startup initiative in Geelong will act as a catalyst for innovation in the region, creating new businesses and jobs through the provision of mentoring, networks, training and access to venture capital. Its objective is to launch a startup culture in Geelong that will establish the city as a global centre for innovation and entrepreneurship.|
|StartupBootCamp Melbourne||Startupbootcamp||$600,000||Startupbootcamp, the world-renowned accelerator network has received LaunchVic funding to develop and scale startups in the fields of Internet of Things (IoT) and Data Tech. With a planned launch in 2017, Startupbootcamp will be inviting Asia-Pacific’s best IoT and data startups to come to Melbourne to join and boost the local ecosystem. Startupbootcamp accelerator programs offer startups access to a global investor and mentor network, which will encourage overseas corporations to look to Melbourne for IoT and data solutions.|
|Fintech Ecosystem||Fintech||$300,000||LaunchVic has entered into an exclusive partner arrangement with FinTech Australia to host the inaugural FinTech Australia conference in Melbourne in November this year. This will be the largest gathering of domestic and international FinTech players in the country and will be a major boost for the local community. In addition, LaunchVic in partnership with the Victorian Government and the FinTech community, will soon be developing a FinTech strategy to guide the development of, and investment in, the FinTech ecosystem in Victoria.|
|Startup Victoria||Startup Victoria||$300,000||LaunchVic has partnered with Startup Victoria to deliver two key projects for the Victorian startup community. The first involves developing a digital platform that will be a single source for the Victorian startup ecosystem to find information about events, jobs and funding opportunities. Startup Victoria will also undertake extensive mapping of the ecosystem providing deeper insights into the current state of the ecosystem and how we should direct our efforts to stimulate growth.|
Round 3 to open shortly. Check back soon.