Round X FAQs

ROUND QUESTIONS: INFO SESSION #3

  1. Would free event space by partners considered in-kind support? Yes. LaunchVic does consider this in-kind support and encourages partner contributions. However, the lead applicant still has to make a cash and/or in-kind contributions. LaunchVic is favourable to applications with higher contributions.
  2. Regarding sustainability do we need to show that we will be getting revenue from the program to sustain the program after completion? LaunchVic understands the nature of the startup ecosystem and that in many cases future sustainability is dependent on the success of the startups/founders who graduate from the program (ie equity). LaunchVic would like to understand the sustainability path of shortlisted applicants via their project plan and how it will look to become sustainable on its own in the future.
  3. Is the 1 year existence of the lead applicant negotiable? Can that be weighted by other factors such as impact and industry supporters form experienced start up founders? No. LaunchVic requires that the lead applicant be in existence for more than one year.
  4. Any specific guidelines for what could be included in the budget plan? And what not to be included? LaunchVic expects a budget to include a costing of all activities that are required to undertake and deliver the program. We recommend you review the Guidelines and online application form.
  5. Do we have access to the slides from today’s presentation? Yes. LaunchVic will post onto the website. They can be accessed here.
  6. How long is the funding for, i.e. $250,000 in total for one year only or $250,000 in total over 2 years or 3 years? The duration of program is open to the applicant. LaunchVic has typically funded programs for between 1-3 years but that timeframe is open. LaunchVic will fund a maximum amount of $250,000. 
  7. Would it be more favourable to focus on all 4 of the LaunchVic strategic areas or deep dive into just a couple? LaunchVic understands that only a limited number of programs would be able to focus on all 4 of the strategic focuses. LaunchVic is open to all applications and understands that in many cases programs will stick to one part of the strategic focus of which they hold a particular expertise in.
  8. We are an EdTech startup with 7 staff, but we have registered our business less than a year ago, are we eligible? No. LaunchVic requires the lead applicant to have been in existence for at least one year. However, LaunchVic does recognise the importance of the EdTech sector and is interested in hearing more from EdTech Accelerator programs via grants@launchvic.org
  9. Clearly there remains an investment gap in the market for startups, education is key as well as other facilitation tools, i.e. active angel investing networks. How does LaunchVic consider current investment activity across angel investing groups given the clearly existing market fragmentation?  We are happy to collaborate but often find male-led VC style behaviour is a challenge. LaunchVic has identified this issue as a problem and has funded programs like the Scale Investor Education Program and the Wade Institute Venture Catalyst as a means of developing investor education in the ecosystem. LaunchVic identifies this as a challenge and welcomes proposals that seek to support this.
  10. Is the 1 year applicant eligibility from one year of the date of application, date of funding received, or date of program start? One year from the date of application received.
  11. Are Council EDU's eligible for this round of funding? Yes. LaunchVic welcomes applications run by the economic development units of Local Councils.
  12. How many applicants will be shortlisted?
 LaunchVic has allocated $2 million for Round X and is expecting a large number of applications. LaunchVic will typically have a shortlist in the tens but it will ultimately depend on the size and quality of applications.
  13. Is there an agreed working definition available for the project categories? Meetups, events etc. We understand these to be common terms. If there is any further confusion, please email grants@launchvic.org
  14. Would you consider a program run by a Victorian-based applicant but with part of the delivery being in a global location? No. LaunchVic’s primary objective is to support Victorian founders and the development of the Victorian ecosystem. Any projects with a differing focus would be ineligible. However, if the program is using global connections to build the Victorian community then it would be considered.
  15. We were actually running under a larger company and split into a separate entity, so we have been operational for over a year but just applied for our ABN in August last year, are we eligible? As this is a specific case please email grants@launchvic.org for further clarification.
  16. Would the time contributed by volunteers be considered and in-kind contribution? Yes. However, LaunchVic will want to ensure that those volunteering are people of expertise who are providing real value to the project.
  17. Would you fund programs supporting both startups and small businesses or does it just have to be startups? No. Only programs that focus on supporting startups will be successful.
  18. Would programs helping students trying to become entrepreneurs be considered? Yes, however they must be over the age of 18.   
  19. You ask about letters of support. We run a paperless office. Would emails of support be accepted? Yes. All support letters need to be uploaded with the application form.
  20. Does the in-kind support need to add up to a similar ‘value’ as being requested? No. LaunchVic is not mandating a level of cash or-in kind contributions. However, LaunchVic is very much in favour of higher levels of contributions.

ROUND QUESTIONS: INFO SESSION #2

  1. Can this grant help subsidies an existing program to make it more accessible to a wider variety of founders? Yes. However, LaunchVic will want to understand why, if the program is already running successfully, it would require additional funding. The applicant will have to demonstrate why the funding is required and how additional funding from LaunchVic will make a difference.  
  2. What financial contributions are expected from successful grant recipients? LaunchVic requires that recipients make a cash and/or in-kind contributions. There is no requirement that funding be matched, but LaunchVic is favourable to applications with matched funding.
  3. What are the requirements for grant recipients around reporting back to LaunchVic and accountability in program delivery and outcomes? Recipients are governed by contractual milestones which are typically quarterly and are based on individual recipient metrics. LaunchVic has a sample contract on its website which it encourages all applicants to view. 
  4. I am looking to undertake a residential (2 week) accelerator program (focused on learning from existing entrepreneurs about their stories over the past few years) in a regional area. Would that be considered a conference? LaunchVic typically considers conferences to be a unidirectional transfer of information. It is likely that a residential two-week accelerator program would not be a considered a conference but an educational program.
  5. Would you be interested in an education program to develop startup competencies within marginalised communities? Yes. LaunchVic is interested in programs that supports founders under the diversity and inclusion category. Through the application process, LaunchVic wants applicants to demonstrate how the program will service an unmet need in the ecosystem.  
  6. What is LaunchVic’s position on financial contributions from program participants? LaunchVic recognises that at times charging a fee may enhance the programs sustainability path, and participant commitment, and LaunchVic has funded programs that do charge participation fees. Through the application process LaunchVic would want to understand how much the program fee is, why the program fee is required and the commercial model behind it.
  7. Can you fund a program that comprises of a combination of meetups, hackathons, educational courses, mentoring etc. such as an industry association focused on a specific startup sector? Yes. LaunchVic would welcome multifaceted program applications by an industry association with proven capability.
  8.  You talk about ‘startups and their community’ - can you clarify what you mean by ‘community’? The startup community is the broader community that exists around the ecosystem. The startup community includes all those who interact within the startup ecosystem such as founders and investors.
  9. Would you consider applications from local government authorities? Yes. LaunchVic has previously supported multiple applications from local government authorities through Grant Round 6.
  10. Are there other key strengths besides health & wellbeing and sports? Yes. LaunchVic certainly recognises that there are other strengths of the Victorian ecosystem but LaunchVic understands that Victoria’s key value proposition has been shown to be around health & wellbeing and sports, these are the areas that we are focusing on under our current strategy. LaunchVic would accept applications focusing on other strengths however you will be required to outline the market need for the program.
  11. We are developing an electrical aircraft for commuting purposes. We need funding for our MVP. Could it be a good fit? LaunchVic invests in organisations that will deliver quality educational, acceleration, incubation, mentoring, and other programs to support Victorian startups. LaunchVic does not fund startup businesses directly through our grant programs, unless their program primarily supports startups. Your program would not be eligible, applicants should consult the eligibility criteria in the Guidelines.
  12. Are applications from programs run by education institutions (TAFE or Universities) eligible? Yes. LaunchVic welcomes applications run by education institutions.
  13. We are currently running a LaunchVic funded program which will be 95% finished by the end of June, but the final report is due in September since we wanted to allow 3 months of post-program follow-up to measure impact on attendees. Does this qualify as “delivered by end June”? If you can substantially show that the program activities have been delivered by the 30 June 2019 LaunchVic would accept an application. We recommend that you reach out to the grants@launchvic.org  who will aid in determining your eligibility.
  14. Regarding cash and in-kind contributions - does it mean that if there is no cash contribution then you shouldn’t apply? LaunchVic is not mandating cash contributions, the mandatory contribution can be in cash or in-kind. However, LaunchVic is very much in favour of cash contributions by the lead applicant which shows commitment to the program.
  15. Can grant recipients access as in-kind support, LV’s network within the ecosystem around things like venue spaces? LaunchVic will look to support its recipients to leverage its network. However, applicants should not rely on this support and budget accordingly for facilities etc
  16. Would a program that supports and networks ecosystem builders be relevant for this round? Through this funding round LaunchVic wants to understand from the community what is required to enhance and develop the ecosystem. If such a program is shown to be a required need and fits the eligibility criteria, then it could be relevant.  
  17. How can you demonstrate a sustainable model? Does it mean replicating the program without funding? LaunchVic understands the nature of the startup ecosystem and that in some cases future sustainability may be dependent on the success of the startups who graduate from the program. LaunchVic wants to invest in organisations that will look to become sustainable on its own in the future.
  18. Is it possible to share what type of applications came through Round X once it closes? I.e what did the community identify as unmet needs for startup ecosystem development? LaunchVic encourages collaboration within the community. Whilst LaunchVic cannot release applications due to confidentiality, LaunchVic is open to facilitating a collaboration event amongst unsuccessful recipients. Please email grants@launchvic.org if you would be interested in such an event. LaunchVic will release a high-level overview of successful applications.
  19. When are you looking for the program to be delivered by? 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.
  20. We are developing a program to help commercialise and scale research ideas (from universities, startups, etc.). Would this align with this round? Through this funding round LaunchVic wants to understand from the community what some of the unmet needs of the ecosystem are. If such a program was shown to be needed within the startup ecosystem it would be eligible.
  21. Are joint applications eligible? Such as partnership between a pre-existing program and a community group that will support increasing inclusiveness? LaunchVic requires a single applicant as the primary contact and the delivering recipient. However, LaunchVic strongly encourages partner organisations as part of the application.
  22. Are prior / successful applications available to review, to get an idea of what a good proposal looks like? LaunchVic cannot release applications due to confidentiality. 

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. Are you a current LaunchVic funding recipient?
    This grant round focuses on capturing new ideas and initiatives to support the development of startup founders, entrepreneurs and investors in the Victorian startup ecosystem. However 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 project activities are on track for delivery by the 30 June 2019 as outlined in the Project Plan (delivery schedule) but preference will be given to new ideas and initiatives. Please contact grants@launchvic.org if you are considering making an application. New project proposals are eligible if you can demonstrate the necessary experience and resources to deliver additional activities. (Updated 1 March 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.