Round X FAQs

ROUND QUESTIONS: INFO SESSION 1

  1. In regards to the requirement that the lead applicant have an active ABN for more than 12 months. Our organisation has been party to an auspice agreement. Is there another way we can demonstrate that we have been operating for longer than 12 months? Through the LaunchVic application system ‘SmartyGrants’ the applicant has the ability to upload supporting documents that can prove that the lead applicant has been operating for at least 12 months.
  2. Does our organisation need to be generating money and breaking even? No. The organisation does not have to be revenue positive or breaking even. However, LaunchVic wants to invest in programs that show a strong path to sustainability so that the program can continue beyond the funding term.
  3. Does LaunchVic support research translation? LaunchVic is looking to support and drive the startup ecosystem. All proposed projects should support an identified need of the startup ecosystem. If the applications can demonstrate that the program will help to drive and create a thriving startup ecosystem then it would be eligible for consideration.
  4. Having reviewed LaunchVic’s recent HealthTech funding round I feel there is an absence of biotechnology and pharmaceuticals projects. Is this a conscious effort not to focus on other elements of the HealthTech ecosystem? No. LaunchVic assesses all applications against the Key Assessment Criteria. LaunchVic will fund the best projects against this criteria. Under the Round 8 HealthTech funding round LaunchVic funded the BioMelbourne Network for educating founders planning to export to the US.  
  5. Would LaunchVic consider leadership development courses as eligible? Yes. LaunchVic has previously funded leadership development courses under Round 5 Founder Education. LaunchVic would recommend researching previously funded projects to understand what has been funded so your application does not duplicate current funded programs. You need to outline the need for the program in your application. 
  6. Can you provide an example of something in which you would want to avoid duplication? For example, LaunchVic has previously funded a leadership development course run by Leadership Victoria. If such a program is still in progress, and a proposed program has the same project plan then it will be seen that there are already existing programs supporting that element of the ecosystem. The onus is on the applicant to identify gaps in the market and outline the market need for the program.
  7. Does LaunchVic welcome applications made by consortiums and international partners? Yes. LaunchVic would welcome applications made by consortiums with international partners. However, the lead applicant organisation cannot be international and is required to meet the eligibility criteria.  
  8. Is social entrepreneurship an area of interest in this funding round for LaunchVic? LaunchVic has been very supportive of social entrepreneurship under previous funding rounds. LaunchVic wants to hear from organisations who have identified a need within their communities and this may include social entrepreneurship.
  9. Is there an advantage in providing matched funding? Does the lead applicant need to have matched funding? Cash and/or in-kind contributions are mandatory from the lead applicant. The guidelines will be updated to reflect this more clearly. The funding does not need to be matched (ie 50:50) however applications that provide matched funding will be viewed favourably.
  10. In regards to matched funding, can previous investment be counted as a matched partner contribution? No. All previously written down investments will not be considered amongst partner contributions. All matched investment must be new funding to support the proposed project. 
  11. Is there restrictions on what type of partner organisations can provide contributions? For example if there has been support from a Victorian Government? No. Contributions are welcome from a variety of partners and institutions, which can include government, commercial or other parties, who support the proposed project. 
  12. Is there a limitation on number of submissions I can make? No. You can submit multiple applications, however, we strongly recommend you focus on one outstanding application that clearly demonstrates your program and your expertise.
  13. Other than conferences and summits are there any other areas in which LaunchVic is not seeking to invest? LaunchVic is seeking to invest in programs that include: meetups, events, hackathons, educational courses, mentoring, bootcamps, incubator programs and accelerator programs. Other programs outside of this list will also be considered but it is advised that you check the eligibility criteria. If you are proposing another program you will need to outline the market need for this program and the benefit to the startup ecosystem. 
  14. Who are the main decision makers in the selection process? LaunchVic has an assessment process, in which applications are evaluated against the Key Assessment Criteria by an assessment panel. The assessment panel consists of LaunchVic Staff and one representative from the Victorian Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions. There is also a sub-committee of the LaunchVic Board. LaunchVic will also appoint external members from the startup community to be part of the assessment process. Check the Guidelines for all details regarding the assessment process.
  15. We are going to propose a program that has external speakers/mentors, how far developed does the project plan need to be in the application in regards to identifying specific people? In regards to identifying external individuals who will be involved in the delivery of the program. LaunchVic wants to know who they are as a means of supporting and developing the application. LaunchVic understands that it is not always possible to identify or confirm certain speakers at this early stage in which case an indicative speaker is required. LaunchVic will retain veto rights in the case that a speaker is to be indicative.
  16. Could LaunchVic potentially arrange a facilitation session between unsuccessful recipients following the announcement of successful recipients? LaunchVic encourages collaboration within the community. If there is a significant demand for such an event, LaunchVic is open to facilitating this. Please email grants@launchvic.org if you would be interested in such an event.
  17. Regarding the budget, can LaunchVic funds be used for development resources? It depends on the type of the application. There may be a circumstance where there is a requirement that a component of the budget be used for a special need case whether that be video/equipment/rental costs etc. Applicants are required to outline their program and provide details relating to the expenses in the budget to deliver the proposed program.
  18. Most of the organisations that LaunchVic have previously funded are well established. Can a relatively new organisation apply? Yes. New organisations are welcome to apply so long as they have been operating for more than 1 year. Applicants will need to demonstrate their expertise.
  19. Does the program need to conclude by the end of this year? No. The program must start before the end of the year. LaunchVic wants to have programs up and running before the end of 2019. Typically programs that LaunchVic funds are for between 1-3 years. 

ROUND QUESTIONS

  1. Recent funding has been dedicated to specific sectors or themes, why is this funding so broad? LaunchVic acknowledges there are many project proposals that  do not fit the specific funding rounds we have run recently. We want to hear from organisations who have identified a need within the communities they serve, and who are able to provide more support to founders and investors and address any identified market failures inhibiting the growth of the startup ecosystem. 
  2. Is LaunchVic looking for specific types of programs? Applications seeking funding for meetups, events, hackathons, educational programs, mentoring, bootcamps, incubator programs, accelerator programs will be accepted. Other programs outside of this list will also be considered, but check the eligibility criteria. Your program should support an identified need of your community or ecosystem. We recommend you read the LaunchVic report ‘Victorian Startup Ecosystem Mapping Report 2018’, which has relevant information on our ecosystem.
  3. How do I prove the need for my program from my community? All applications must be able to articulate the need of the program. Evidence can be documented through research reports, community surveys etc.
  4. Can you please share with us what success will look like for this program? In the long term, success is based on a program producing highly successful startups/founders/investors, and in the short term success is the number of startups/founders/investors going through the program, and the quality of the program they are receiving.
  5. How many applications will be funded? The total amount of funding available for this round is $2 million. The number of applications that will be funded is dependent on the quality of applications received, however, no more than $250,000 is available per application. Applicants will need to demonstrate experience working with and delivering similar programs for startups and/or startup entrepreneurs.
  6. Can applications request more than the $250,000? Applications requesting more than $250,000 are not eligible.
  7. Will you contract with two organisations? No. We will only contract with one organisation, the lead applicant.
  8. Is there a preference for the lead applicant? No, we are agnostic.
  9. Can I apply more than once? Yes, it is possible to submit more than one application, however, we strongly recommend you focus on one outstanding application that clearly demonstrates your program and what you’re hoping to achieve.
  10. Can I have a phone conversation or meet with a LaunchVic team member to ask a few questions about the program and discuss my proposal? LaunchVic is not offering calls or meetings for applicants under our open program based on our probity policy – operating under a fair and transparent process for all applicants. However, if anything is unclear in the program guidelines please contact us via this email address grants@launchvic.org and we can clarify any issues.
  11. What is the timeline for start and delivery of the successful program? LaunchVic is looking to announce successful recipients in June 2019. Programs are expected to commence before the end of 2019.
  12. What information will be required of the team members and their credentials and backgrounds? Applicants are required to provide details on the key personnel (program management and delivery team members etc.) who will be involved in the program and outline their roles, relevant experience including experience delivering similar programs. The exact requirements can be found in the Guidelines and online application form.
  13. What is the desired ratio for the cash and in-kind contribution versus the grant amount? Applicant contributions are mandatory
  14. I applied in a previous round - do I need to resubmit? Any unsuccessful application submitted in a previous round may be resubmitted in Round X, however, applicants must use the LaunchVic online application system. Applications must be eligible and update the application as per the key assessment criteria to be assessed.
  15. I am a current LaunchVic funding recipient, am I eligible to apply? Current recipients of LaunchVic funding can apply in this round to extend their existing project activities if your successful project is completed or near completion – the final milestone is on track for delivery by 30 June 2019. New project proposals are eligible if you can demonstrate the necessary experience and resources to delivery additional activities. Updated 13 February 2019
  16. My proposed program doesn’t fit the eligibility category, can I still apply? Programs that do not fit this category are ineligible to apply under this funding round.  
  17. Over what time period should the program run? Applicants are required to propose a start and end date and upload a delivery timeline for the funded program in-line with the request of funds as part of the application. Funding is due to be announced in June 2019. Programs would be expected to start by the end of 2019. Past programs we have funded are generally between 1-3 years.
  18. Is there an application fee required by Launch Vic to submit an application? There is no application fee to submit an application
  19. Can I charge a registration fee for the program? There are no restrictions to proposing a program that includes a reasonable fee for participants however high registration fees are not looked upon favourably for LaunchVic funded programs. What is high for one program may not be considered high for another depending on the type of program, value for money and services provided. Please provide your reasoning for consideration by the assessors. To give you a benchmark, under the LaunchVic funded Founder Education program (Round 5) which has 16 courses funded by LaunchVic there was one program that had a fee higher than $500 with the majority being free or a minimal registration fee between $10 - $50. If you do propose a program with a fee, you will need to state the amount and provide a rationale.
  20. When will I know if my application is successful? Shortlisted EOI applicants will be invited to Stage 2 of the application process which includes the delivery of a Project Plan, Pitch and Financial Reports. All successful and unsuccessful applicants will be notified by 18 April 2019. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to submit a more detailed application including a project plan, pitch deck and financial reports by 30 April, and attend a Pitch session on 7 May 2019.   
  21. Who are the external assessors? LaunchVic has identified leaders from the startup ecosystem who are well connected and have experience across multiple verticals, in both local and international startup ecosystems.
  22. I am seeking funding for an individual startup company, with a technology focus within the startup sector. It does not seem to be a fit for the LaunchVic Round X funding.  What are the appropriate funding options for an individual for-profit company? This is not the correct funding round for you. Our job at LaunchVic is to invest in infrastructure that helps startups. We recommend you to have a look at the LaunchVic website and in particular, our Founder Education courses that provide services, many of them are free to startup founders, to help them find access to capital.
  23. Can I apply for funding under a new business entity? No. This round of funding is only eligible for businesses that have been operating for a minimum of 1 year.
  24. Why do applicants need to be operating for at least 1 year? Through this round we are funding established organisations that have been operating for at least 1 year. We have funded organisations in the past that had recently established, or were still establishing their operations. We know that established organisations that have been delivering similar programs have a higher success rate of getting their programs off the ground and running quicker for the benefit of the ecosystem. Added 20 February 2019

GENERAL QUESTIONS

  1. How do you define a Startup? We know startups mean many different things to different people, but it is important to have a shared understanding of who the funded organisation will support through their acceleration program. Our definition of a startup is a business with high impact potential that uses innovation and/or addresses scalable markets. Startups are not limited to just tech. Accelerator and Education programs can support high growth businesses right across the economy. They aren’t small or micro businesses, or businesses with a small number of employees. Successful startups, also known as ‘scaleups’, are important in a startup ecosystem because they contribute to the economy and provide valuable role models for budding entrepreneurs.
  2. Do you fund Startups? LaunchVic invests in organisations (service providers) that will deliver quality educational, acceleration, incubation, mentoring, and other programs to support Victorian startups. We do not fund startups directly through our grant programs, unless their service primarily supports startups.
  3. What is a startup ecosystem? The startup ecosystem is made up of founders, investors, startup teams, community organisations, corporates and government. Working together, we can collectively create a pipeline of successfully scaling startups that contribute to jobs and Gross Domestic Product.

My question doesn’t appear in the above, how can I seek help? Please contact the LaunchVic Grants Team via grants@launchvic.org. We are a small team but we will do our best to get back to you within 1-2 business days!

Round X Guidelines