1. Why are you funding Local Councils?
LaunchVic’s sixth funding round will focus on increasing diversity and inclusion by supporting local councils to improve access and participation in the startup ecosystem across Victoria. LaunchVic commissioned KPMG to develop a Startup Guide and Toolkit to help local councils and community organisations to drive entrepreneurship. This has been developed through consultation with key stakeholders across Victoria’s ecosystem. The Guide aims to provide tools and resources to equip Local Councils to strategically support and develop their local startup communities. This funding program complements the Startup Guide and Toolkit providing councils with an opportunity to secure funding to implement programs and activities at a local level.
2. How many applications will be funded?
LaunchVic is seeking to invest up to $100,000 per application. Consortia proposals leveraging existing partnerships with two or more councils will be considered favourably and may exceed the $100,000 cap. The number of applications that will be funded is dependent on the quality of applications received. Applicants will need to demonstrate the need for the proposed program through the completion of the Startup Ecosystem Checklist.
3. My proposed program doesn’t fit the eligibility category, can I still apply?
LaunchVic is specifically looking to invest in Victorian Local Councils programs and activities that address stages 1 and 2 of the startup framework under this funding round. If you are not eligible to apply we recommend you sign-up to our newsletter to hear about future funding opportunities.
4. My Local Council is not outer metro or regional, can I still apply?
Yes, you can still apply and your application will be assessed on merit as per the outlined key assessment criteria. As part of our diversity and inclusion program, LaunchVic wishes to encourage regional and outer metro Local Councils to participate.
5. 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 open grant funding programs 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 firstname.lastname@example.org and we can clarify any issues or register for an online information session.
6. Can two organisations lead an application, or can we nominate only one?
There can only be one lead applicant, you can enter details on the partners under the appropriate section in the application form.
7. Can a Local Council contract with a third party to deliver the program?
Yes, successful Local Councils will be able to contract a third party to deliver the program provided that the Local Council takes responsibility for managing the process and delivery of project. LaunchVic will contract the successful Local Council (not the third party) and Local Council will be required to fulfil all reporting and other requirements.
8. Is it possible to have more than one submission?
Applications must be led by one Local Council and each Council can only have one application. However, the same Council can be included in another application where they are not leading the application but a partner.
9. Over what time period will the grant support the program?
LaunchVic is seeking applications from Local Councils for 1 year programs. Applicants are required to propose a start and end date for the funded program, the announcement of successful applicants is due in April/May 2018.
10. I applied in a previous round and want to apply for round 6 – do I need to resubmit?
Any unsuccessful application submitted in a previous round may be resubmitted in Round 6, 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.
11. How do you define a Startup?
Please refer to page 8 of the Startup Guide and Toolkit.
12. 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.
13. Do you fund Startups?
LaunchVic invests in the infrastructure of the startup ecosystem that in turn supports startups and startup entrepreneurs in Victoria. Our role is to enhance competition, collaboration, and quality in the ecosystem, and advocate for the sector. Under this round, LaunchVic is specifically looking to invest in Victorian Local Councils to deliver programs and activities that address stages 1 and 2 of the startup framework to support startups and startup entrepreneurs in local communities.
14. 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. Applicants are required to outline their roles and relevant experience. Please include LinkedIn profile links and/or website links.
15. Can LaunchVic outline what they feel success will look like for the programs?
We want to support programs that demonstrated increased support for local entrepreneurs and that grow the local startup ecosystem.
16. Are you going to run another open grant round?
In 2016, we received over 700 applications in Round 1 and Round 2 that included an array of ideas which contributed to our thinking during our strategy review in early 2017. We want to make sure we are best placed to provide more support to founders and investors, address any identified market failures inhibiting the growth of the startup ecosystem and meet our goals of:
1) Engaging the Victorian community in the startup ecosystem
2) Positioning Victoria as an internationally recognised startup ecosystem.
So, between 2017 – 2019 we plan on running a number of funding programs to achieve our goals.
17. What other funding programs are you planning on running?
LaunchVic will provide future funding opportunities, including grant rounds, for stakeholders to access funds to support programs that will grow the Victorian startup community. Funding opportunities will address specific needs in the ecosystem, such as increasing diversity and inclusion, supporting capability and excellence; and leveraging the key strengths of Victoria.
18. Could you please confirm that ‘hackerspaces’ as well as ‘makerspaces are encouraged?
Hackathons and makerspaces are eligible projects. The terms hackerspaces is often interchanged with the term makerspaces. The full list of projects sort under the grant round are located under ‘Project & Application Details’ in the Program Guidelines.
19. What is the timeframe for approval and then implementation of the grant? Does the grant need to be expended only in the next financial year (2018-2019)?
We plan on announcing successful applicants around June 2018. We would be looking for funds to be expended by end June 2019. However, there is some flexibility, for example, in the event of larger consortia proposals, there may be benefit in extending the program past 2019, however, we would encourage applicants to put a case forward in your application to justify this.
20. Can you confirm that, if there is a joint submission from multiple Councils, the amount allowable will go up by $100,000 per Council?
As noted in the guidelines, consortia proposals leveraging existing partnerships with two or more councils may exceed the $100,000 cap. Please note that a lead Council is required.
21. What is the acquittal process for the grant?
LaunchVic will update the grant guidelines with further details in the coming weeks.
22. Do you prefer hackerspaces run by community groups in partnership with councils or hackerspaces run solely by councils?
Your proposal will depend on your capability. If you don’t have the relevant experience, we recommend that you partner with someone who does.
23. How detailed does the submitted budget have to be?
Applicants are required to enter income (cash) and expenditure of the project via the online application budget table. The submitted budget should be well considered.
24. Is a consortia only considered consortia of councils? Or can it include partner organisations such as existing makerspaces and universities? Or would they just be considered partners?
Consortia proposals can include partners such as local business and universities, however, we do require a lead council and, only consortia of multiple councils are eligible to apply for funding of more than $100,000 per application. Councils may sub contract to consortia partners.
25. Is LaunchVic planning to deliver professional development sessions for local government professionals/Councillors etc to support active use of the Startup framework? If not, could a portion of this funding be used for this purpose?
If you are looking for support to use the Startup Guide and Toolkit, LaunchVic is exploring professional development sessions. LaunchVic will send out communications to gauge the level of interest.
26. Can a consortium apply to run several momentum events under the one application?
You may apply to run a single event or a series or program of events over the year.
27. If a large number of Councils come together to submit a consortia application, can a portion of the funding be allocated to support a program administrator to deliver the program across the numerous Council areas?
28. For Melbourne metro Councils, is it better to apply for a smaller grant amount (ie $30k) or the larger grant (ie $100k)?
It depends on what you are proposing, all applications will be judged on merit.
29. Should the project have an ongoing life after 12 months?
Ongoing sustainability is not a key assessment criteria. Should your project be ongoing beyond LaunchVic funding, this should be outlines in your application as a measure of success.
30. Does our local government area need to have an established startup ecosystem with successful startups to be eligible for LaunchVic funding?
No – This funding round is specifically geared to assist Local Councils to engage with and grow their local startup communities focussing on stages 1 and 2 of the startup framework. These are the early stages of a startup’s development where ideas are being explored and tested.
31. Are marketing and advertising eligible costs that can form part of the grant?
Yes – reasonable costs to promote the program are eligible as part of this grant.
32. Are there any examples of successful grants?
Examples of successful grants can be found on the LaunchVic website. We recommend that you look at the following:
• Western BACE makerspace program located in the outer metro area. This program provides local startups with expert support to use 3D printing, virtual reality software, computers and video cameras for marketing activities; and
• Runway – this startup initiative in Geelong acts as a catalyst for innovation in the region through the provision of mentoring, networks, training and access to venture capital. Runway Geelong is leading the way in ecosystem development.
33. Can a single application cover several projects?
Yes – successful ecosystems require several support projects such as meetups, bootcamps and mentoring programs. We would look at programs offering multiple projects favourably.
34. Do both Councils need to submit an application if it’s a joint application?
No – we require one lead council only, that is, one submission with a single contract with the lead Council. This would not preclude several councils participating and benefitting equally in the program.
35. Can you provide some examples of soft infrastructure and makerspaces that the program will support?
There are several examples in our ecosystem of successful programs. Western BACE makerspace program located in the outer metro area and funded by LaunchVic provides local startups with expert support to use 3D printing, virtual reality software, computers and video cameras for marketing activities. There are also several people within the ecosystem who are experienced in running programs such as bootcamps and mentoring programs.
36. Do you include social enterprise within your definition of startup?
Yes – our definition does not distinguish between sectors. Social enterprises are an important part of the ecosystem and LaunchVic has supported social enterprise focussed initiatives in previous grant programs.
My question doesn’t appear in the above, how can I seek help?
Please contact the LaunchVic Grants Team email@example.com We are a small team but we will do our best to get back to you within 1-2 business days