I am a startup – i have a great idea/product/business – i just need some seed funding/capital. should i apply for LaunchVic funding?
LaunchVic has been set up by the Victorian Government to help the industry: startups, entrepreneurs and scaleups – but that doesn’t mean we’re here to fund individual businesses.
Our role is to grow the pie for the startup ecosystem whether that’s by making it easier for startups to attract investors or capital, improve capabilities and skillsets through training or helping to facilitate collaboration.
Our job is to enhance the environment and grow the ecosystem – effectively we want to help you help yourself. If we can do that your great idea/product/business won’t need our direct funding.
Is there a specific format that i should use for my application?
The short answer is no. So long as its in a format that is easily compatible with normal software suites like Microsoft Office it should be fine.
There is no word or page limit – but we’d encourage you to be succinct. Be sure to make your best case -but your idea shouldn’t need pages and pages of documentation. If we can quickly get an understanding of your idea but we need a bit more information we will come back to you for it.
Who should/will get the benefit of LaunchVic funding?
Our funding will be divided into different streams of initiatives – the largest stream will be dedicated to what we call ecosystem infrastructure. Other streams will include ecosystem market development, discovery and improving collaboration.
Our role is not to compete with the private sector – our role is to enhance that competition. So where we think that an entrepreneur or startup should be able to attract private sector investment we will not invest. If, on the other, an idea will create value for the ecosystem, has got corporate backing but needs government to step in and help by being the last piece of the puzzle – that’s something that we will take into consideration.
If i have a great idea that will benefit and improve the ecosystem will i automatically get funding from LaunchVic?
The short answer to that is No – but that doesn’t mean the end of your idea.
We get many requests for funding, but we also get requests for other assistance – so it may be that rather providing funding we can facilitate your idea getting off the ground by helping you to collaborate with someone else.
It may also be that your idea was a good one but that we were presented with many other good ideas at the time. We have a very limited budget. That’s why if you’re unsuccessful in getting funding in the opening round, when we open up another round with the same criteria you won’t need to re-submit your idea if you’d like it considered.
How many ‘ideas’ will be funded?
That all depends on how many ideas we get that fit with the strategic direction of LaunchVic and the Victorian government.
We’re expecting that the first round of funding will provide us with some great ideas that we can fund straight away. But we’re also expecting that it will bring to the surface a wide array of ideas that will help to inform us of where subsequent funding rounds should be directed.
By their nature we would expect that there will be a small number of Large ideas that will be funded and that there will be more small ideas.
I’m a startup/scaleup, my idea will mean that i can employ more people – that’s enhancing the ecosystem isnt it? How do I know whether my idea will benefit the ecosystem?
In order to attract funding from us – you’ll need to show us how your idea is going to grow the ecosystem, not just your business. For instance, if your idea created jobs that were in capacity building for other startups or it meant that the jobs you create also help to open up access to the ecosystem for parts of society that are under-represented – that would make for a much better argument as to why your particular idea should receive funding from us.
Will I have to meet deadlines/milestones?
Yes. LaunchVic funding is subject to a funding agreement – and as part of the funding agreement – there will be delivery requirements and milestones that will need to be met.
If those milestones and targets are not achieved then we may ask for the funding back or cancel any subsequent payments. So it’s important that in pitching your idea to us you are realistic about what you will be able to deliver.
But we get it – the funding agreement will not come with miles and miles of red tape. Basically if you deliver what you said you’d deliver there shouldn’t be any problems.
I’ve got a great idea that fits the description of large ideas in the guidelines – but i don’t have any other partners on board – should i apply?
We’re looking for great ideas – and there’s never a bad time for a good idea.
Having said that we’re looking large ideas that involve collaboration and the drawing together of the necessary parts to the puzzle – so you’re best to start the conversation with the other parts of the picture.
My idea will benefit the Australian ecosystem, not specifically Melbourne or Victoria – will i still be considered for funding?
LaunchVic exists as a result of funding from the Victorian Government so you’ll need to show how you’re helping to enhance the Melbourne and broader Victorian ecosystem. Our view is that ultimately if we grow the Victorian Ecosystem that will, in turn, grow the Australian Ecosystem.
We take the broader view too, that we are not here to simply compete with other states or territories of Australian – we’re actually here to attract the best talent and investment to the local ecosystem – from right across the world.
Will any of this funding go to overseas companies?
Overseas companies will need to pass the same tests as local companies and startups – that is, how will it benefit the Victorian Ecosystem now and into the future.
Obviously, we’d prefer to see home grown companies benefitting the most.
How many ideas will you fund?
Not many - we have limited budgets and there are lots of ideas out there.
But we’re here to support the industry – and we know that its not just about the money. Where there’s an opportunity for LaunchVic to provide industry assistance in other ways, such as facilitating collaboration, market development or promoting access we will do so.
We will also work to leverage other parts of government and the private sector in order to grow and enhance the ecosystem.