City of Melbourne Small Business Grants

What is the City of Melbourne Small Business Grants

The Small Business Grants program is a grant to support market-ready products and services that enhance the City of Melbourne’s reputation for innovation and creativity, and contribute to a thriving, sustainable business culture.



The City of Melbourne Small Business Grants aims to:

  • Encourage and support new, creative and diverse business activities that will contribute to a thriving and competitive business environment within the city.
  • Create employment opportunities and increase the level of business investment in the municipality.
  • Support businesses that demonstrate solid market potential and a sound business model, including financial viability
  • Increase the overall value and volume of exports from the City of Melbourne municipality.



Small Business Grants support is available in a number of categories:

  • Start-up – supports new and creative small businesses in starting up. Grants up to $30,000 are available.
  • Expansion – assist existing businesses that are introducing innovative services or products to grow. Grants of up to $30,000 are available.
  • Export – encourage and support businesses to enter and expand into new overseas markets. Applicants may apply under two sub-categories; new exporter and current exporter. Grants of up to $10,000 are available.


Eligible Projects

Before submitting a grant application, it is important to understand the types of activities and initiatives that the program will fund and those they do not.

The program will fund expenditure items that are directly related to the proposal. They do not fund operational expenses that are considered as ongoing costs such as rent, utilities, wages and personal expenses. Refer to the guidelines for more details.

Your proposal needs to:

  • be innovative and creative with a strong point of difference
  • have a product or service that is market-ready
  • deliver benefits to the City of Melbourne
  • be financially viable
  • be able to proceed without grant funding.


Eligible Applicants

​To be eligible for a City of Melbourne small business grant:

  • Your business must be located within the City of Melbourne municipality or you must be planning to re-locate to the municipality within three months of applying for the grant.
  • You must have less than 20 full-time equivalent employees.
  • You must have a registered ABN and an appropriate legal business structure.
  • Your proposed product or service must be market-ready.
  • Your business proposal must be able to proceed without our grant.
  • Your application must be complete and include financial statements or other requested attachments.

Franchisees, subsidiaries of larger companies, unincorporated associations and government departments or agencies are not eligible to apply. Branches of foreign companies not registered as an Australian company are also ineligible. Individuals or organisations providing trade facilitation services are not eligible under the export entry category.



Applications close 16 March 2020.


2019 Recipients

Round two

Advanced Composite Structures Australia P/L

A company engaged in fibre reinforced composite material research development, engineering and manufacturing. Plans to market capabilities to the Asian, European and United States markets. Located in Port Melbourne, Advanced Composite Structures Australia P/L received an export grant

AquaTerra Solutions Pty Ltd

A technology platform that measures soil moisture and temperature to help farmers reduce water and energy consumption and improving crop quality. AquaTerra Solutions Pty is located in Carlton, and has secured a start-up grant.

Aquatic Physio Exercise Australia

Aquatic physiotherapy service  building an online community helping people learn the best way to use the aquatic environment to improve their movement, strength, mobility, balance and power; Particularly helpful for City of Melbourne residents with access to pools in their building. Aquatic Physio Exercise Australia received an expansion grant.

Crema Joe

Sells reusable coffee capsules with locally roasted and packed beans. Expanding to a service that provides a refill service to businesses in the CBD, and helping to transform employees of local businesses into habitual re-users. Crema Joe received an expansion grant.

D.Baker & Sons

A family owned and operated distillery that has been producing single malt whisky. Planning to relocate from its current operation in Bayswater to Kensington. The new location will allow them to expand its production capacity and offers educational and tourism experiences. D.Baker & Sons secured an expansion grant.

Elixico (Grand Yarra)

Melbourne based design and innovation development consultancy with a focus on automotive design and styling. Expanding into the broader sustainable ‘mobility’ industry and looking at new alternative vehicle types and low cost mobility solutions. Elixico (Grand Yarra) secured an expansion grant.


Manages dehydrators that condense food waste from CBD cafes for transport and transform it to fertiliser for nearby farms. In the process of relocating my business to a confirmed address in the City of Melbourne municipality. Enrich360 received an expansion grant.

Hoist AI

A new Melbourne-based artificial intelligence focused accelerator that backs entrepreneurs, researchers and teams that develop and use Artificial Intelligence (AI); one of the fastest growing technologies around the world. Hoist AI has secured a start-up grant.

Ida Sports

Ida Sports is sports footwear and apparel business that caters to professional female athletes with links to AFL and soccer clubs across Victoria.18 months in development and testing with experts in podiatry, biomechanics, physiotherapy and female athletes. Ida Sports received a start-up grant.

Karma3 Technologies

Uses black soldier fly larvae to process food waste into insect protein and insect manure. Insect protein can be used in animal feed manufacturing and insect manure can be transformed into fertiliser product. Karma3 Technologies received an expansion grant.

Little Lon Distillery

CBD’s only distillery, and is housed in a unique heritage listed single story building developing new Melbourne-centric gin produces using treated water from the Yarra River. Also planning to develop a Melbourne-centric whisky, to be aged and barrels to be stored in tunnels “under” the CBD. Little Lon Distillery received a start-up grant.

OMX Solutions

Supplies print-to-order, bespoke medical devices for the specialized area of craniomaxillofacial (jaw and face) surgery. Planning to run educational surgical cadaver workshops. Located in the heart of the city – William Street – OMX Solutions received an expansion grant.

Rum Diary Spiced Rum

A bar starting an ‘experimental kitchen’ to allow consumers and Melbourne’s hospitality community access to brewing equipment to experiment, learn and create their own spiced alcoholic products. For a 3-hour session, customers can learn, blend and create their own spiced rum.  Rum Diary Spiced Rum received a start-up grant.


Building a Virtual Reality (VR) digital therapeutic suite for paediatric procedures, that will decrease the need for unnecessary restraints, anaesthetics and pain killers by providing a soothing immersive experience for young patients. Smileyscope received a start-up grant.

Round One


An action-based audio app that supercharges kids’ play. Kids put on headphones, step into the story and become the characters, physically playing out the action. With Audioplay blanket forts and cushion rafts become the centre of epic adventures that put kids at the heart of the story. Located in Southbank, Audioplay received a start-up grant.

Mass Dynamics

Founded to enable life scientists to leverage the best discovery tool that we have today – Mass Spectrometry (MS) – in order to do better science, and drive medical discoveries to curtail the world’s highest mortality and morbidity diseases.  Located in Bourke Street with the grant received, Mass Dynamics will reduce the time that a researcher spends on data analysis from *weeks* to *hours* by addressing the challenges that researchers face today. They have secured a start-up grant.

Radetec Pty Ltd

Located in Parkville are specialised in the preparation and modification of various nanoparticles, tiny objects a thousand times smaller than a fine grain of sand. In particular, their strength is the preparation of “quantum dots”, a novel luminescent nanoparticle made of semiconducting material. Radetec Pty Ltd received a start-up grant.

To Me Love Me Pty Ltd

A sustainable technology start-up that improves online and offline fashion retail by helping customers find their perfect, the first time.  The globally unique Software as a service (SaaS) solution has been designed to positively impact the triple bottom-line: people, profit and planet. To Me Love Me Pty Ltd, in the process of locating to the City of Melbourne municipality, secured a start-up grant.

Unpackaged Eco

A business with a mission to tackle single-use packaging by offering everyday products without its packaging located on top end of Collins Street. Securing a start-up grant, Unpackaged Eco offer their own line of organic and biodegradable unpackaged everyday products, accessible on-line and at refill stations located in partnering stores.

Tempus Entertainment

The Tempus Music Studio will be the only music studio in the Melbourne CBD providing high end, affordable professional music production catering to a wide range of musical styles including an opportunity to become a tutoring facility which educates up and coming artists and producers in our field. Securing an expansion grant, Tempus Entertainment is currently in the process of relocating to the CBD.

UbiPark Pty Ltd

A new smartphone mobile app that offers intelligent parking solutions to consumers and business operators. UbiPark Pty Ltd secured an expansion grant; their immediate expansion efforts are focused on building & delivering an on-street payment solution to the existing off-street parking platform.

Walk Melbourne Tours

Introduce international visitors to the unique food and laneways culture that Melbourne offers through our foodie walking tours of the city. They operate daily and provide fully hosted small group tours with tasting. Located in the heart of the City- Royal Arcade, Walk Melbourne Tours have been working with tourists from the US, now expanding their service to Canadian tourists. They have secured an export grant.

Worksmith Coworking Pty Ltd

Designed to be a community hub, an educational space, a flexible place to work with all of the amenities one could ever need, Worksmith Coworking are opening their second location in Melbourne Central, Worksmith Ella. The bar Laboratory is designed to assist bartenders and beverage product start-ups to experiment with the latest scientific equipment in order to be at the forefront of the industry globally. They secured an expansion grant.


2018 Recipients


An iconic women’s retail store currently located in Flinders Lane, Christine received an expansion grantas the business is planning to move to the top end of Collins Street, creating a new concept luxury store (Christine on Collins).

ColourSpace Gallery Pty Ltd 

ColourSpace Gallery offers artworks on an affordable monthly subscription basis to corporate businesses, and will focus on showcasing artworks of emerging Melbourne based artists. They have secured a start-up grant.

DreamWalk Apps Pty Ltd 

DreamWalk Apps received a start-up grant, they have created a new initiative “Proof” which allows users to design and develop a proof of concept app quickly and at low costs.

Girl Geek Academy

With a purpose of showcasing the number of women with successful Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) careers, Girl Geek Academy received an expansion grant. Their proposal is to launch a new Girl Geek Academy Guide (expert guide program) to showcase women in technology.

HH MPI Pty Ltd (T/A MagicPi) 

Using artificial intelligence, MagicPi received a start-up grant as they have developed a multi-lingual tour guide that can be delivered through personal smart devices. The company will add an Australian Sign Language (AUSLAN AI) component to the platform which will help support galleries and museums in delivering a better experience for hearing-impaired visitors.

Ion Opticks Pty Ltd

Receiving an expansion grant, Ion Opticks will scale development and manufacturing of their innovative nano capillary column used by cutting edge scientists worldwide for biological and medical research into cancer, Parkinson’s and other age-related diseases. These columns allow scientists to gain over 25 per cent more data from their samples compared to existing commercially available solutions.

Justice Denim

A start-up grant was given to Justice Denim to design and manufacture ethical, local and responsible denim jeans, using an artisan denim factory located in Melbourne. The business has also committed to donating one week’s schooling expenses for every pair of jeans sold to an internationally-recognized non-profit organisation.

Koel Pty Ltd (T/A Viva La Cup)

Viva La Cup received a start-up grantthrough proposing a sharing network for reusable cups that provides a sustainable product. They will work to collaborate with cafes to prevent the use of disposable single use coffee cups.

She’s A Crowd Pty Ltd

She’s A Crowd is a social enterprise company using crowdsourcing technology and data analytics to harness the global trend of social storytelling, allowing women to share their stories in a safe, anonymous and meaningful way.. They have secured a start-up grant.

Silverpond Pty Ltd

Silverpond received an expansion grant to develop a new computer vision artificial intelligence platform, Highlighter, that is particularly useful for organisations that want to automate repetitive visual tasks. This platform will make it more accessible and cost-effective for  companies to develop and adopt artificial intelligence technology as part of their business capabilities without having an in-house artificial intelligence team.

The Sneaker Laundry

The Sneaker Laundry received an expansion grant to create a new attractive window space at their retail store to allow passing trade and customers to engage the process of how customised painted artwork is created onto sneakers.

Thirty South Pty Ltd (T/A Act of Wine)

A new boutique wine store, Act of Wine focuses in supplying sustainable, natural, organic and biodynamic wine, craft beer and small patch spirits.

Umps Health Pty Ltd

Umps Health received a start-up grant as they have developed a smart home platform to support older Australians to live safely and independently at home. Umps Health’s smart plugs fit between any domestic appliance and the wall socket to measure things like when the kettle is used or TV turned on or off – sending a signal that the older person is okay. The system learns a person’s unique patterns of behaviour, and if there is significant abnormality, lets a family member or care provider know so they can check in.

Zero Impact Energy Pty Ltd

Zero Impact recycles waste coffee grounds into renewable energy, with high-performance coffee logs that are a truly sustainable alternative to firewood or brown coal. They have secured a start-up grant.

10Tickles Animation & Design

Securing an expansion grant, 10Tickles Animation & Design uses augmented reality technology to design a new immersive experience app – Macabre Melbourne Mysteries. Based on an historical crime, players use their smartphones to uncover clues as they navigate in and around the City of Melbourne to solve the crime.


2017 Recipients

Allen Kong Architect Pty Ltd

Allen Kong Architect is an architectural design company that specialises in sustainable architecture for intentional and therapeutic communities. As an export entry grant recipient the business is planning to export their design and project management services to the Kiribati Housing Corporation, Kiribati.

Assemble Technologies Pty Ltd (T/A Atticus)

A start up grant will assist Atticus to develop software-as-a-service (SaaS) products for the legal and professional services industries.

Beethoven & Dinosaur Pty Ltd 

Having recently secured an exclusive deal with publisher Annapurna Interactive for their debut action and adventure game The Artful Escape, independent game developer Beethoven & Dinosaur received a start-up grant to enhance their Docklands-based studio.

Churchill Club Pty Ltd

The Churchill Club is a member-based organisation whose primary objective is to drive economic and job growth amongst Victorian businesses by promoting the adoption of new and emerging technologies. This enables organisations to better create and utilise innovation. They have secured a business support grant.

Code Like A Girl Pty Ltd

Dedicated to providing girls with the tools, knowledge and support to enter and flourish in the world of coding, social enterprise Code like a Girl received a start-up grant to support the integration of an education portal with the Victorian DigiTech Curriculum.

Cumulo Group Pty Ltd  (T/A Beetbox)

The Cumulo Group, trading as Beetbox, has obtained a start-up grant to design, develop, manufacture, market and distribute the world’s best-loved lunchbox for bowl meals, salads and leftovers.

Disco Development Pty Ltd

A leading software development partner of the Shopify platform, an ecommerce software solution used by over 500,000 retailers worldwide, Disco Development received an export entry grant to explore new business opportunities in the Asia Pacific region.

Enabler Interactive Pty Ltd

Enabler Interactive received a start-up grant to develop an interactive 3D simulation training application for disability support workers that is cost-effective and can be accessed on mobile devices and websites.


Having developed Australia’s first dedicated environmental DNA service specialising in finding traces of DNA in the environment to identify and track invasive or threatened species, EnviroDNA received a start-up grant to purchase specialist equipment to streamline and grow their service offering.


Based on years of extensive research Faramoon has developed new technology to automate and simplify the collection and conversion of data points to three-dimensional models, such as the interior of buildings. The business received a start-up grant to support the integration of the technology to a cloud-based infrastructure.

Last Mile Solutions

Last Mile Solutions received a start-up grant to establish Melbourne’s first freight consolidation centre on the fringe of the central business district. Using low impact delivery methods, Last Mile Solutions handles the final stage of delivery to help relieve traffic congestion on our city roads.

MOG Laboratories Pty Ltd

With a reputation for developing outstanding laser and electronic scientific instrumentation, MOG Laboratories received a business expansion grant to upgrade their laboratory space to optical cleanroom quality to facilitate the production of new products which rely of near-perfect optical mirrors.

PolyActiva Pty Ltd

A world-class biotechnology and drug development company currently developing a site-specific antibiotic delivery implant to treat infection after ocular surgery, PolyActiva received a business expansion grant to support the introduction of an in-house manufacturing capability.

Reground Pty Ltd

Having established a valuable service collecting coffee grounds from urban cafes and roasters’ waste streams and transforming to compost and garden fertilisers, environmental services company Reground received a business expansion grant to introduce a new plastics recycling service as well as develop a waste audit platform to help City of Melbourne businesses evaluate their green credentials.

Wendy Voon

Women’s clothing store Wendy Voon showcases ethically made garments, jewellery and accessories by outstanding local and Australian designers. The retailer received a business expansion grant to create an after-hours curated trunk show service to complement their current offering.


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