Venture Catalyst

Up to $50,000 is available to help entrepreneurial students transform their ideas into business ventures.

Venture Catalyst


The Venture Catalyst (VC) is an initiative of the South Australian Government and UniSA encouraging student entrepreneurship and the creation of local startups by providing funding for early-stage ventures founded by UniSA students and recent graduates.

The Venture Catalyst (VC) will provide seed funding to student ventures which have been selected on merit by an independent, external panel of successful entrepreneurs.



The Venture Catalyst (VC)  aims to encourage collaboration between students and customers to create start-ups with intellectual property (IP) for the commercialisation of products, services or processes. This will also help to increase:

  • The number of university graduates with skills in the development and commercialisation of new ideas.
  • The number of university graduates motivated to start a new local company
  • The number of successful start-ups in South Australia.
  • The amount of investment in start-ups in South Australia
  • Employment opportunities for South Australians.
  • The number of talented entrepreneurs who are encouraged to stay in South Australia.



The maximum amount of seed funding available is $50,000 and the funds must be used to assist to further develop the product, service or process and take it to market.

Successful ventures will also be eligible for further mentoring support and accommodation for the venture. Mentors will either be provided or can be nominated by applicants (subject to approval).


Eligible Applicants

To be eligible for the Venture Catalyst seed funding, at the time of the application you must:

  • Be representing a project team that includes at least one current student or recent graduate (in the previous 12 months) from the University of South Australia.
  • Demonstrate how you intend to undertake your project activities for the benefit of South Australia.
  • Show evidence that you own the IP or have permission to use the IP to be commercialised
  • Have your application endorsed by UniSA.

Venture Catalyst (VC) is a competitive merit-based initiative. Only applicants who satisfy the merit criteria (as deemed by an external industry assessment panel) will be successful. If there are no applications that meet the merit criteria no funds will be awarded. The merit criteria includes:

  • Evidence of engagement with customers/end-users of the product, service or process to inform the application. It is expected that this will include willingness from the customer to contribute to further development of the product, service or process
  • Evidence of a larger (potentially global) market which will provide opportunities for sales growth of the product, process or service. This must include evidence that shows you have identified a potential path to this market or distribution channel
  • Having a convincing value proposition for your product, service or process. For example, what value does your concept deliver to the customer? What problem/s is your concept solving for the customer? How is your concept different to others in the market and how would that competitive advantage be sustained?
  • Having a clearly articulated business model with a brief business plan (maximum of five pages) which is logical, has realistic financials, is achievable and identifies the current stage of development and how the seed funding will be spent
  • Your team has or has a strategy to access the appropriate skills, experience and determination to advance the commercialisation of their product, service or process.


Eligible Activities

  • Development of the product, service or process.
  • Prototype development.
  • Marketing activities to achieve sales.
  • Market research activities.
  • Filing of provisional patent application or the development of an IP strategy.
  • Other activities as agreed with the funder.



Applications close 15 April 2016.

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