Victoria’s startup fund officially open for business

12 April

Victoria’s $60 million startup fund is officially open for business, with the independent body overseeing its allocation calling for applications that will “build the infrastructure and grow the ecosystem”.

The Australian startup sector has the potential to contribute massive amounts to the Australian economy and create jobs, with a concerted effort from entrepreneurs, educators, the government and corporate Australia.

veski encourages individuals or organisations with “bright ideas” that can create a “more collaborative working environment, add diversity and creativity, generate global interest in Victoria and deliver positive economic returns for the startup community” to apply to LaunchVic.

The independent body was established late last year by the Victorian government to oversee Victoria’s innovation fund. MP Philip Dalidakis says: “We want Victoria to be the location of choice for startups worldwide and LaunchVic will make that happen”.

Australia is in a unique position to take advantage of a highly trained and skilled ideas workforce. We have a large percentage (10%) of the world's top ranked innovative universities here, and a population of only 24 million people. By being smart, integrating programs like LaunchVic into our economy, we can drive and power our future to success.

LaunchVic isn’t your typical startup accelerator. Established to achieve maximum impact for Australian, LaunchVic isn’t about funding individual startups, but instead supporting the infrastructure that sets the foundation for startups, entrepreneurs and scale-ups.

Entrepreneurial activity is heavily influenced by the cultural environment surrounding entrepreneurs. Ecosystems where people see opportunities to start a business, where people believe in the skills and knowledge they hold, and where entrepreneurial successes are highly visible in the media are good indicators of the population’s entrepreneurial intentions and activity, and eventually outcomes.

Victorian Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade Hon Philip Dalidakis MP said the purpose of the fund is to help grow the entire ecosystem.

“Proposals that demonstrate their benefit to Victoria and the ecosystem, which highlight how they will ‘give back’ to the ecosystem, and which promote gender, culture and economic diversity will be viewed favourably in the assessment for funding.”

Each application will be reviewed be an assessment panel as well as the LaunchVic board, which includes many from the c–suite.

The funding allocation will be split up into two categories, with “small ideas” eligible for grants to the value of $100,000 and “large ideas” focusing on collaboration able to receive more.

The guidelines for LaunchVic include the criteria that startups should address:

  • value-add to Victoria’s acceleration, incubation and co-working capabilities
  • programs that are ambitious, creative and have a global orientation that will deliver maximum impact and support for Victorian entrepreneurs and startups
  • strengthen ecosystem collaboration and diversity, including gender, cultural and economic
  • credible financial projections

“This is about encouraging young companies and ideas to create jobs and industries that will support our state for decades to come,” LaunchVic chair and Australia Post CEO Ahmed Fahour said.

Top of the agenda is to make Victoria the startup capital of the world.

Applications are now open through the LaunchVic site and will close on 6 May 2016, with the selected organisations announced later that month.

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