Up to $20,000 is available from the Foundry658 program to help emerging creative entrepreneurs, organisations and collectives turn their ideas into successful businesses.



Foundry658 is designed to support independent artists, small arts organisations, not-for-profits, commercial creative enterprises, early-stage entrepreneurs and creative industries practitioners.



Foundry658 aims to grow and scale creative ideas into sustainable and successful businesses, using a ‘start-grow-scale-connect’ model:

  • Start – build a group comprised of peers from related fields and develop early concepts.
  • Grow – provide business skills, resources, facilities and advice for real business incubation.
  • Scale – provide business development support and link projects with investment opportunities.
  • Connect – connect projects with Foundry658’s wider business and expert network.

A network of industry speakers, trainers and mentors will support the project, including:

  • Michael Agar, creative industries investor
  • Christine Christian, Kirwood Capital Group
  • Dominic Dirupo, Principal, Alphastation Communications
  • Jeremy Kraybill, co-founder, Dashcord and previously at MAP
  • Kevin Lim, Deputy Director, Co:Lab X (Singapore)
  • Anna Reeves, CEO & co-founder, That Startup Show
  • Tui Te Ha, General Manager at Mahuki Innovation Accelerator, Te Papa Museum (NZ)
  • Victor Tong, Co:Lab X (Singapore)
  • Seb Chan, CXO, ACMI
  • Helen Simondson, Head of ACMI X and Special Projects at ACMI
  • Dr Greg Turner, Chief Technology Officer, ACMI
  • Kate Torney, CEO, State Library Victoria
  • Justine Hyde, Director Library Services & Experience, State Library Victoria
  • Anna Burkey, Head of StartSpace, State Library Victoria
  • Simon Cronshaw, co-founder, REMIX &
  • Peter Tullin, co-founder, REMIX &



The Foundry658 program includes a range of business support initiatives, with:

    • Roadshow talks and information sessions across Victoria, starting in June 2018
    • Bootcamp sessions designed to test and support the development of a proposed business project
    • An Accelerator skills-building intensive offering tailored advice, networking opportunities and seed funding of $20,000 for ten selected projects.



The program is designed to support artists, practitioners and creative businesses living and working in Victoria. If your startup or company has a presence both in Victoria and interstate, you are still eligible to participate in the Accelerator. However, organisations must have a registered address in Victoria and teams must include at least one permanent Victorian resident and be based in Victoria for the duration of the program (at least three months).



The Foundry658 program runs twice over two years, so there are opportunities to apply in both years.

The first year of Foundry658 will run from July 2018 to June 2019:

  • July to September: Roadshow touring program
  • September: Bootcamp application deadline
  • October: Bootcamp 1
  • November: Bootcamp 2
  • December: Accelerator application deadline
  • March to May 2019: Accelerator program.

The 2019–20 program timeline will be announced in 2019.


More Information

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Media Release

The Andrews Labor Government has launched a new business development program to kickstart the next generation of creative and cultural businesses.

Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley today announced Foundry658 – an accelerator program that will help emerging creative entrepreneurs, organisations and collectives turn their ideas into successful businesses.

The program is an initiative of the Labor Government’s Creative State strategy and will provide free business development expertise and advice that will help creatives working across all fields – including arts and culture, film and television, media, publishing, fashion, digital games and design.

Led by State Library Victoria and the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, the multifaceted program will comprise an annual regional roadshow, bootcamps to help entrepreneurs and artists develop their business ideas, and an intensive three-month accelerator program for 10 high-potential creative startups.

Accelerator teams will each receive $20,000 in seed funding and mentoring support from leading creative entrepreneurs.

Participants in the program will be guided on how to develop a feasible business plan and strategy, refine their pitch, approach potential investors, and test or demonstrate their idea to future customers.

The program will start in July, but ambitious artists, practitioners and creative businesses can get a taste of what will be on offer at this year’s Creative State Summit.

The summit will feature a series of talks and workshops focusing on ways creatives can build a business, scale their ideas and attract financial support.

The 2018 Creative State Summit will take place on 14-15 June 2018 at Melbourne Museum – with the Creative Enterprise stream to take place on Friday 15 June.

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