Funding Guidelines

LaunchVic Round Two Funding Program is now closed

Purpose

LaunchVic is working to strengthen and build the current operating environment of Victoria’s startup ecosystem.

These Program Guidelines provide the framework for the operation and administration of the LaunchVic Infrastructure Funding Program (“Round Two Funding Program”).

LaunchVic Overview

LaunchVic is a Victorian Government initiative to invest in the infrastructure of the ecosystem to support startups and entrepreneurs.

LaunchVic works in partnership with entrepreneurs, innovators, businesses, educational institutions and the community to accelerate startups, drive new ideas and create more jobs in Victoria’s startup community. Our role is to enhance competition, collaboration, and quality in the ecosystem, and advocate for the sector.

With a strong focus on effective collaboration and developing local and global networks, LaunchVic helps create a better community for entrepreneurs to develop and grow startups early. Using Melbourne’s reputation as the most liveable city in the world, LaunchVic aims to work with and attract businesses and entrepreneurs to the state, at both national and international levels.

Infrastructure Funding Program Objectives

The Round Two Funding Program objectives are:

  • Fostering a more collaborative and linked network of co-working spaces, incubators and accelerators.
  • Enhancing diversity by improving access to, or participation in, the startup ecosystem for a currently under-represented grouping.
  • Encouraging the clustering of infrastructure and activities (Launchhubs) that build capacity and connectedness within the startup community and focal points to lift global visibility and brand Victoria as a regional startup powerhouse.
  • Building capability through improved education programs, mentoring and better access to global networks and capital.
  • Supporting startup infrastructure in areas where Victoria has a unique cultural or competitive advantage on the world stage such as CreativeTech, SportTech, HealthTech, FoodTech and EduTech.

How to apply

Applications should be submitted through the LaunchVic Website (www.launchvic.org) by completing the online form and attaching a detailed project plan and other relevant documents.

Proposals should clearly:

  • articulate what the funding will be used for and how it addresses the Key Assessment Criteria and one or more of the Round Two Funding Program objectives,
  • outline the objectives of the initiative, how impact/success will be measured and the timeframe for delivery,
  • specify all intended matched sources of funding and the total grant amount sought from LaunchVic;
  • outline the core project team, highlighting any elements of collaboration and who the collaborating partners are; and,
  • outline how the proposal for funding will deliver benefits to Victoria and the Victorian ecosystem.

Key Assessment Criteria

Proposals for funding either small or large ideas must address the following key criteria:

  1. How the project addresses the LaunchVic Round Two Funding Program objective/s;
  2. Demonstrated need for LaunchVic funding that’s also matched up to 50/50 (mandatory for large applications only) by contributions (cash and/or in-kind) from partner organisations, and does it demonstrate a genuine need for LaunchVic support;
  3. How the project will deliver maximum impact and support for Victorian entrepreneurs and startups/scaleups;
  4. How the proposal will strengthen ecosystem collaboration and diversity (including gender, cultural and economic);
  5. Clearly articulated measures of success;
  6. What the ongoing sustainability of the program is beyond any potential LaunchVic contribution; and
  7. Whether the project team meet can satisfy credible project planning, management, leadership experience and resourcing requirements (including financial and infrastructure).

Funding Round Two

As with the first round, applications are sought for both large and small ideas from all sectors, including both existing and new organisations, which significantly enhance Victoria’s startup ecosystem – not individual startups.

Small ideas

For small ideas, a single stage process will be undertaken. Small ideas funding will support initiatives or projects up to $100,000 that build startup infrastructure in areas that are currently underdeveloped. Applications successful in the small funding round will receive one-off grants.

Organisations funded by LaunchVic will be expected to adopt important principles of openness, inclusiveness and transparency. They should be prepared to contribute to the wider ecosystem - e.g. by contributing to key events and common ecosystem platforms which provide greater information and access to all interested in the Victorian startup ecosystem.

Matched funding requirements for small ideas applications are not required but will be looked on more favorably if submissions can show other areas of financial contribution.

Large ideas

The large funding round is designed for a small number of sizeable proposals. Applicants will be eligible for seed funding for up to three years, which must be matched by partner contributions (either cash or in-kind). Demonstrating high quality programs that will position Victoria as a leader and address key criteria of collaboration and diversity will be critical elements of this program.

Large ideas will also be expected to engage locally, nationally and internationally to enhance and forge new collaborations, drive services across the ecosystem and create new and robust networks.

For large ideas, a two-stage process will be used:

Stage 1 - Applicants will be invited to submit proposals identifying the range of services/ infrastructure they intend to provide (e.g. including mentoring, training, professional services, investor linkages, demo days, challenges, events, immersion programs, diversity initiatives and external partnerships).

Stage 2 - Successful applicants may undergo a facilitation or brokering process where LaunchVic will work with them to build on initial applications to refine proposals that will be formalised through a service agreement.

Assessment and selection

All applications to this program will be assessed for compliance and compliant applications will be evaluated by an assessment panel established by LaunchVic.

For an application to be ‘compliant’ it must be received by LaunchVic at the correct address on or before the specified deadline, using the correct application forms, addressing all relevant criteria and the program objectives for LaunchVic.

LaunchVic will not fund all fully compliant proposals. LaunchVic’s decisions about whether an application is compliant and whether funding is awarded are final.

When assessing applications, the panel and LaunchVic will have regard to possible synergies or overlap between applications, particularly between applications from within the same sector or applications which address similar industry challenges or opportunities.

All applications are made at the applicants’ own cost and will not be reimbursed, whether the application is successful or unsuccessful.

Successful applicants will be required to account for their activities and report on a regular basis to LaunchVic on outcomes being generated. Milestones and gated assessments will be part of funding agreements. LaunchVic may periodically consider applications which will be assessed against the guidelines.

Shortlisted proposals will be asked to provide financial information regarding their organisation and/or themselves to enable due diligence to be undertaken. This information will be sought by LaunchVic when required.

Timelines

The following provides guidance on the approximate timelines for the funding round.

  • Release of guidelines – 30 September 2016
  • Funding round open – 30 September 2016
  • Funding round close – 18 November 2016
  • Assessment process and announcement – by end of January 2017

*Important information update:

Compliant applications that were unsuccessful in the first round of LaunchVic funding may resubmit their proposal, as long as it is updated in-line with new objectives, criteria and addresses any non-compliance if they wish to be considered for the second round of funding.

Funding round

To find out about the Round 1 and 2 funding recipients, visit the Funding Recipients page.

Downloadable PDF version Funding FAQs