Up to $500,000 is available from LaunchVic to help accelerate startups, drive new ideas and create jobs in Victoria.
LaunchVic is an initiative investing in ideas and solutions to grow Victoria’s startup ecosystem for entrepreneurial success.
LaunchVic’s fourth funding grant round will focus on building capability and excellence, by funding organisation(s) to deliver world-class accelerator program(s) that will further enhance the Victorian startup ecosystem.
While LaunchVic has invested in a number of accelerators to date, LaunchVic is seeking to invest in a world-class acceleration program that will support global excellence in the provision of services, and global connectivity to help accelerate the very best startups to achieve on an international scale. The program must be delivered in Melbourne, and help contribute to the growth of the local ecosystem, beyond simply offering an accelerator program.
LaunchVic was established in 2016 by the Victorian Government to support the development and growth of the local startup ecosystem. Since its establishment, LaunchVic has run two successful funding rounds, supporting 26 projects that will help grow the ecosystem and ensure the right startup infrastructure is in place for Victorian startups and startup entrepreneurs to grow their businesses.
LaunchVic has also reviewed its strategy to ensure the company is best placed to provide more support to stakeholders and address identified market failures that inhibit the growth of the startup ecosystem. In developing its forward strategy LaunchVic has identified key areas of focus that include: engaging the Victorian community in the startup ecosystem to address market failures; and positioning Victoria as a world-class internationally recognised startup ecosystem.
As a part of its revised strategy, LaunchVic will provide frequent funding opportunities, including grant rounds, for stakeholders to access funds to support programs that will grow the local startup community. Funding opportunities will address specific needs in the ecosystem, including increasing diversity and inclusion; and driving capability and excellence.
LaunchVic works in partnership with entrepreneurs, industry, business, the community and our educational institutions to strengthen Victoria’s entrepreneurial and startup ecosystem. Its focus is to invest in the infrastructure of Victoria’s startup ecosystem to:
- Increase Scale – More people, firms and entrepreneurial activity.
- Improve Capability – Better, more capable startups and entrepreneurs.
Over the next four years LaunchVic will focus on a comprehensive program, including:
- Support – Expanding the capacity of accelerators and infrastructure in Victoria.
- Mentoring – Entrepreneur mentoring, scholarships and corporate placement programs.
- Access – Helping entrepreneurs find ways to better navigate the system.
- Visibility – Events and marketing campaigns to profile Victoria’s startups locally, and ecosystem internationally.
- Overseas Talent – Attracting high profile entrepreneurs and global thought leaders to Victoria.
- Government Policy – Advocacy around Commonwealth legislation and regulation affecting startups and entrepreneurial enterprises.
LaunchVic is seeking to invest between $50,000 and $500,000 per application for programs that run up to 2 years. Applications requesting more than $500,000 will be considered, but must be exceptional!
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.
Applicants will need to address the eligibility criteria via the LaunchVic online application system. You must identify the type of organisation and project focus.
Type of Organisation
The types of organisations that are eligible to apply for Round 3 grant funding include a:
- registered company headquartered in Victoria; or
- registered company with offices in Victoria; or
- registered company located outside of Victoria proposing a project to be delivered in Victoria; or
- unregistered company that agrees to setup a registered company in Victoria
The project must primarily benefit Victorian migrant and/or refugees
The project must also primarily benefit:
- existing startups; and/or
- entrepreneurs looking to launch a startup (startup entrepreneurs)
Note: Any unsuccessful application submitted in Round 1 and Round 2 may be resubmitted in Round 3, however applicants must use the LaunchVic online application system and update the application as per the key assessment criteria to be assessed.
Round 4 LaunchVic Recipients
|SBE Australia||SBE Melbourne Female Life Sciences Accelerator Program
& E3: E3: Empower, Evolve, Escalate
|$1,500,000||Springboard Enterprises (SBE) Australia will expand their world-class Springboard Enterprises accelerator program to Melbourne through the launch of a female-focused Life Sciences accelerator benefitting at least 20 startups over three years. SBE will also deliver the E3 business accelerator program twice a year benefiting at least 60 early-stage startups.|
|Skalata Ventures||Skalata Ventures Scaleup Accelerator||$3,000,000||Skalata Ventures will open a new accelerator program to support Victoria’s most promising scaleups. Founded by the former leadership of University of Melbourne’s Melbourne Accelerator Program (MAP), the program will support 60 scaleups over three years.|
|Techstars||Techstars Melbourne SportsTech accelerator program||$2,500,000||Techstars, the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed, has received LaunchVic funds to support the establishment of a Melbourne SportsTech accelerator program for 20 startups over a 2-year time period. Techstars is looking for partners in support to run a series of startup community events including Techstars Startup Weekend and Techstars Startup Week as well as the establishment of an accelerator to connect founders and their teams with other entrepreneurs, experts, mentors, alumni, investors, community leaders, and corporate partners.|
Round 3 LaunchVic Recipients
|Startup Playbook and Meetups||Hatch Quarter||$71,500||Hatch Quarter is a vibrant innovation hub and co-working space for entrepreneurs, startups and professionals. With LaunchVic funding, Hatch Quarter will create a playbook to help first generation migrants and refugees who seek to launch a startup and successfully integrate themselves into the Victorian startup ecosystem. The Hatch Quarter will also deliver a number of meetups to build a supportive community for international startup entrepreneurs.|
|The Generation Launch||Laika Academy||$322,500||Laika Academy is a Victorian educational social enterprise that is passionate about creating a diverse startup sector through cross-cultural and engaging learning experiences. LaunchVic’s funding will enable the Laika Academy to create The Generation Launch, an innovative program to support migrants, refugees and new Australians to actively join the Victorian startup ecosystem, and support them to create the next generation of successful high-growth ventures. The program will include: knowledge-building workshops that will support startups to launch; startup intensives to build practical skills; educational programs in collaboration with institutions to embed startup skills; and networking events to encourage and connect startup entrepreneurs into the community.|
|Cultov8||Enterprising Partnerships||$452,000||Enterprising Partnerships has over 20 years of experience supporting innovative programs in diverse communities. In 2016, they piloted Cultov8, a pre-accelerator program for young migrants and refugees. LaunchVic funding will enable Cultov8 to run 10 hackathons across the Victoria including Geelong, Shepparton, Ballarat, Broadmeadows and Dandenong. 300 first generation migrants, refugees and asylum seekers aged between 18-30 years will benefit from this program. Cultov8 will also include a 12 week pre-accelerator that will benefit 80 startup entrepreneurs with support on consolidating their startup ideas and teams and learning startup skills. They will also be provided mentoring, business coaching, peer learning and online learning tools.|
|YGAP First Gens||YGAP||$304,000||YGAP is a not-for-profit organisation whose mission is to use entrepreneurship to help improve the lives of people living in disadvantage in a significant and measurable way. They have successfully run a world class accelerator program that has backed over 300 early stage impact ventures founded by locals in Africa, Asia and Australia. LaunchVic funding will allow YGAP to expand their program to create YGAP First Gens to support 36 startups led by new migrants or refugees. This program includes a series of workshops in Melbourne and rural centres to help build startups around problems affecting at risk or disadvantaged refugees and or migrants; an intensive early stage accelerator program; and incubator to provide additional support for ventures.|
|Now to Launch||Free to Feed||$245,770||Free to Feed is a not-for-profit social enterprise that engages refugees and new migrants in a range of innovative food based enterprises. LaunchVic funding will enable Free to Feed to establish Now to Launch a food enterprise hub and startup incubator dedicated to nurturing and showcasing the diverse food entrepreneurialism of Victoria’s refugees and new migrants. The program will offer 60 startup entrepreneurs from Melbourne and regional Victoria the chance to take their dynamic, high growth food startup concepts from now to launch.|
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.|
Applications close 10 October 2017.
More than 170 Victorian startups will benefit from a $13.45 million investment by the Andrews Labor Government to establish three world-class accelerators in Victoria.
As part of the LaunchVic funding round, two Australian teams – SBE Australia and Skalata Ventures – will establish and operate accelerator programs exclusive to Victoria. Techstars, an international organisation, is also in the early stages of establishing a Melbourne-based program.
The programs will cater for startups ranging from early-stage to mid-stage and include a generalist accelerator and two specialist accelerators to reflect Victoria’s startup strengths in life sciences and sports tech.
The selected accelerators have cash and in-kind funding along with powerful connections and access to global networks – a major advantage for participating startups looking to grow and access international markets.
Techstars has received LaunchVic funds to establish a Melbourne sports tech accelerator program for 20 startups over two years.
Techstars is looking for partners to support a series of startup community events including Techstars Startup Weekend and Techstars Startup Week, as well as the establishment of an accelerator to connect founders and their teams with other entrepreneurs, experts, mentors, alumni, investors, community leaders and corporate partners.
SBE Australia will expand its world-class Springboard Enterprises accelerator program to Melbourne through the launch of a female-focussed life sciences accelerator that will benefit up to 20 startups over three years. SBE will also deliver the E3 business accelerator program benefiting up to 60 early-stage startups.
Skalata Ventures will open a new accelerator program to support Victoria’s most promising scaleups. Founded by the former leadership of University of Melbourne’s Melbourne Accelerator Program, the program will support 60 scaleups over three years.