Round 8 Frequently Asked Questions
GENERAL ROUND QUESTIONS
1. Why are you focusing on HealthTech? LaunchVic’s eighth funding grant round focuses on leveraging Victoria’s key strengths in the health startup sector - including in MedTech, BioTech, Pharma, Health & Ageing Services and Disability Services (together, the ‘Health Startup Sector’). The State of Victoria and its capital city Melbourne have demonstrated a strong track record in health startups. 1 in 5 startups in Victoria are focused in the Health Startup Sector. The LaunchVic report ‘State of HealthTech – Victoria’ found 57% of health startups do not know where to go to access the support they need to grow and another 42% do not know how to identify and locate investors. LaunchVic’s Round 8 grant funding program aims to increase support services of Victorian health startups by funding proven providers of accelerators, and quality founder and investor education programs.
2. What is the timeline for start and delivery of the successful program? LaunchVic is looking to announce successful recipients in late October 2018. LaunchVic would expect that the accelerator program to open applications in Q2 of 2019 or earlier however the exact start of the program can be negotiated with LaunchVic. Education Programs would be expected to start by Q1 of 2019.
2. How many applications will be funded? The number of applications that will be funded is dependent on the quality of applications received. Applicants will need to demonstrate their experience in delivering either an accelerator program, founder education program or investor education program that will help Victoria’s burgeoning Health Startup Sector succeed on a global scale.
3. 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.
4. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org and we can clarify any issues.
5. On the matching funding: can it be matched by in-kind? Yes however cash investments will be viewed more favourably than in-kind investments.
6. What is the desired ratio for the cash and in-kind contribution versus the grant amount? Applicant contributions are mandatory. Details on the applicant’s contributions need to be entered under Part B Section 4 in the Key Assessment Criteria.
For accelerator applications, LaunchVic would view proposals that had applicant and/or partner cash and/or in-kind contributions that had a 3:1 ratio to LaunchVic funding favourably
7. 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 Part B in the application form.
8. Can not-for-profit organisations apply? Yes.
9. 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 establishing new programs. The exact requirements can be found in the Guidelines and online application form.
10. Is there a limit to the number of slides accepted in the pitch deck and what type of format is required and how big? Up to 15 pages will be accepted. LaunchVic suggests a pitch similar to an investor pitch. A PDF file is required. Files up to 25MB can be uploaded however we ask that you please keep files to a maximum of 10MB – the larger the file, the longer the upload time.
11. How big is your shortlist likely to be? We cannot comment on how big the shortlist is likely to be however we expect this to be highly competitive round under all 3 categories.
12. I applied in a previous round - do I need to resubmit? Any unsuccessful application submitted in a previous round may be resubmitted in Round 8, 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.
13. I am a current LaunchVic funding recipient, am I eligible to apply? Current recipients of LaunchVic funding can apply in this round.
14. 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.
15. Is there an application fee required by Launch Vic to submit an application? There is no application fee to submit an application.
16. Can Victorian State Government money can be used a match to satisfy the 3:1 ratio of LaunchVic funding? We don’t see an issue with including Victorian State Government funding as long as there are no restrictions or issues from the Government’s perspective.
17. How many applications have you invested $3million in the past? We have invested up to this amount in the past for exceptional applications.
18. Is a pitch deck required for each category? Yes
19. I will be oversees when the Pitch Session is being held, if I am shortlisted can I dial-in for the session? Yes
20. Can I leverage existing funding? If money has already been spent on an existing program you can't leverage this.
21. Is there a preference for the lead application? No, we are agnostic.
22. Do you contract with two parties? We contract with one organisation.
23. How does the portfolio approach affect the LaunchVic decision making process? We do consider a portfolio approach through the assessment process but ultimately we follow the Victorian State Government procurement and probity processes. We assess all applications fairly and on their merit.
24. Can you share with us the gaps in the market? We recommend you read the LaunchVic report ‘State of HealthTech – Victoria’, which has relevant information.
25. Is aged care service part of this round? Yes we see aged care as a an opportunity and there are increasing number of aged care startups that we are seeing through our surveying and through our work in the community.
26. Is mental health included in the definition of Health Startup Sector? Yes
27. Is there a preference for commercial companies vs non-for-profits (e.g. hospital) to be the lead applicant in a submission? There is no preference.
28. Is there a preference to be commercial focus vs building capacity in the ecosystem? We are focused on building capacity in the ecosystem. We believe that if you are building capacity that you will then help those companies to be profitable.
29. Matching funding: can you clarify 3:1, is it 3 parts by LaunchVic and one by applicant or the other way around? This is 3 parts (applicant and/partners) and 1 part LaunchVic however we view this matched funding as highly favorable, this ratio is not mandatory but the contributions by the lead applicant are. The contribution can be very small but that does go to value and it does get reflected in the assessment. We certainly encourage applications that have a strong leverage.
30. Is LaunchVic looking for specific programs to target a particular focus area? We except there is some breadth and some programs will be across more than one sub-sector. We are not specifically looking for specific sub-sector focus.
31. I am seeking funding for an individual start up company, with a technology focus within the health sector. It does not seem to be a fit for the LaunchVic Round 8 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. There are 3 programs that are dedicated to help startups find, access and connect with investors.
32. There was no mention to governance requirements on the application, when is that presented? For the successful applicants we will go through a due diligence process. First process is shortlisting, there’s then a due diligence process that touches on aspects of governance including the financials but also other aspects. The team you put in place is a core part of governance which is included in the assessment.
33. Can you help me with filling in the budget via the online form? The income and expenditure rows do not need to balance but the total income and expenditure does need to balance. There is no need to identify what expenditure is allocated to the LaunchVic grant however if there is seed funding for startups under an accelerator program you will need to identify what funds will be used for that in brackets. Items of expenditure may include (but not limited to): salaries, catering, venue hire, travel, marketing & promotion. Regarding event expenditure, we don’t need to see a breakdown of each single event (ie catering, venue hire) if you have multiple events.
ACCELERATOR PROGRAM QUESTIONS
1. Do you have a minimum number of startups in mind that need to go through the accelerator program? No. However the assessment panel will review how many startups are proposed to be accelerated against the funding requested and the quality of the program.
2. Over what time period will the grant support the Accelerator program? LaunchVic is seeking applications for programs that run up to three years. Applicants are required to propose a start and end date for the funded program in-line with the request of funds as part of the application. Funding is due to be announced at the end of October 2018. LaunchVic would expect that the accelerator program to open applications in Q2 of 2019 or earlier however the exact start of the program can be negotiated with LaunchVic.
3. Is it possible to have more than one submission? It is possible to submit more than one application, however it is strongly recommended that you focus on one outstanding application that shows how you and your team can support the Health Startup Sector rather than multiple applications.
4. What is the definition of a new accelerator entity? A new company that is completely new. The first deliverable will include the setup the company, board etc. The application will need to be led by key personnel significant experience working in an accelerator to meet the eligibility requirement.
5. Can LaunchVic funding go towards investment into the companies we select? When LaunchVic supports accelerators, who invest in companies for equity, those accelerators have used their own capital or raised separate funds. Our strong preference is that the LaunchVic funding supports operational expenses.
6. Is the expectation that LaunchVic receive equity from each startup that gets admitted to an accelerator program? LaunchVic does not take equity from startups going through LaunchVic funded accelerators.
7. Is LaunchVic looking for an international provider or at the very least a local provider partnering with an international provider for the accelerator program? The program is open to local (Australian) accelerators, international accelerators and teams with proven track records of success in the Health Startup Sector.
8. Can International accelerators apply or be a partner on an application? Yes.
9. What is LaunchVic's attitude towards accelerator programs charging participants and do these funds count towards matching funds? We generally don't view favorably large payments (eg $10,000) required by participants attending LaunchVic funded programs. We understand however a small fee can be useful for people to commit to a program.
10. Is there a maximum percentage of the budget which can be spent on overseas delivery of the program? We want to see LaunchVic funding benefit Victorian startups to be successful. We accept that international connections and experience is critical to growing a strong startup ecosystem. We are favourable to the idea of bringing international accelerators to Australia to help supplement knowledge and skills in the local ecosystem. We also recognise that in some cases taking Victorian startups overseas may be beneficial but you do need to convince us of that. We are looking for the funding to be spent within Victoria to support the local ecosystem, we want to see support and capability growing on the ground here in Victoria.
10. Are you looking to support accelerators that have newly translated research come through their startups? We would welcome applications from translational research and we recognise we have phenomenal R&D and translating that research into commercial outcomes has a lot of potential. We would also equally welcome accelerators that are going to support companies that are doing it on their own. They might be a clinician or someone that has had experience interacting with the health system and they’ve come up with an idea. They might be someone already in the ecosystem and may have already been through accelerators.
11. What type of startups are you looking to come through the Accelerator? We are looking at startups that are pre-series A, so they may just have an idea, but they don’t know how to translate that into any form of commercial strategy or business. There are later stage accelerators that are looking at businesses that have a proven MVP, we would be interested in those sorts of accelerators as well. If you’ve got series A and B funding and you’re well on your way. These startups are probably beyond this type of accelerator program, it’s not what this round is geared towards.
12. How do you define Series A? If a startup has raised sub $5 million in investment, you’re still very much in an early stage journey. If you have raised over $5 million, then you’ve probably got a pretty good team. There are going to be companies that are going to be around the edge. If you have a set of investors on board that have got the capability to invest further, then you are probably beyond being a participant in the type of program we are looking to fund. If you come to us with a view that your Accelerator program believes series A is $10 miillion, there are certainly VC’s in the community that would consider $10 million as a barrier for series A. If you are looking at more a matured startup and you believe that a mature startup at $10million still needs help and still needs access to education and accelerator services, we absolutely accept that that is something there well may be a need for, then we’re happy to consider. If the startups you are looking to target are well on their way with an established business, established customer base, established investor base, then they’re probably beyond being a participant in the type of program we are trying to support under this round.
13. Can applicants to the accelerator come from anywhere in Australia? Or, must startups be from Victoria alone? You will find in the sample LaunchVic Accelerator Program Grant Agreement under the ‘Recipient Commitments’ on page 14: 50% of accelerator places, in each cohort, will be reserved for Victorian companies, unless otherwise agreed in writing with LaunchVic.
FOUNDER EDUCATION PROGRAM QUESTIONS
1. Will LaunchVic be investing up to $250,000 in each of the categories, or is it $250,000 in total? LaunchVic will be investing up to $250,000 per successful application
2. Why is LaunchVic seeking applications on Founder Education programs that focus on: commercial strategy; reimbursements; domestic and international regulatory environments? These areas have been identified as key areas where health startups require assistance. See the LaunchVic Health Report for details.
3. Does the application process enable multiple selections of the 3 category areas in the same application, or is it necessary to complete separate application for each category? LaunchVic is seeking applications from experienced/expert Founder Education service providers in each of the 3 categories. Other programs, where applicants have expertise, can be proposed outside of these categories. Applicants can submit more than one application however applications will need to be submitted separately based on the category they are submitting under.
4. Over what time period should the Founder Education 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 at the end of October 2018. Founder Education Programs would be expected to start by Q1 of 2019.
5. How many founders should the program benefit? This is dependent on the applicant’s methodology and the proposed program.
6. Can non-founders attend Founder Education programs? Yes. In addition to Startup Founders, Startup Executives (CEOs, COOs, CTOs etc) are also welcome to attend the proposed education program.
7. Who will be responsible for recruiting startups to join the program? The successful recipient will be required to undertake recruitment. They will need to market, recruit and manage all operations of the delivery of the program. LaunchVic will support the programs with cross promotion (eg social media).
8. Can I charge a registration fee for the course? 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.
9. What are you looking for in Founder Education programs? You need to outline your expertise, impact and other components under the Key Assessment Criteria in the online application form.
10. Is there a preference for face-to-face education over virtual or would you consider a combination of both? We would consider a combination. In the past we have supported programs that are entirely virtual and some that are entirely face-to-face, ultimately it will depend the audience that you are trying to target and the best delivery mechanism. We recognise that face-to-face has strong benefits in some circumstances and online has strong benefits in other circumstances and sometimes a hybrid is a good mix.
INVESTOR EDUCATION PROGRAM QUESTIONS
1. Over what time period should the Investor Education 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 at the end of October 2018. Investor Education Programs would be expected to start by Q1 of 2019.
2. Is it possible to have more than one submission? It is possible to submit more than one application, however it is strongly recommended that you focus on one outstanding application that shows how you and your team can support the Health Startup Sector rather than multiple applications.
3. How do you define an Angel Investor? An angel investor (also known as a business angel, informal investor, angel funder, private investor, or seed investor) is an affluent individual who provides capital and brings knowledge to a startup, usually in exchange for convertible debt or ownership equity.
4. Who will be responsible for recruiting Angel Investors to join the program? The successful recipient will be required to undertake recruitment. They will need to market, recruit and manage all operations of the delivery of the program. LaunchVic will support the programs with cross promotion (eg social media).
5. Can I charge a registration fee for the course? 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. If you do propose a program with a fee, you will need to state the amount and provide a rationale.
6. Is there are required ratio of applicant contributions to LaunchVic funding for the investor education programs or is it up to the applicant to suggest a contribution that will be made to the project? There is no required ratio for contributions, this is up to the applicant based on the committed contributions from partners and commitments (cash and/or in-kind) made by the applicant towards the project.
7. What time period should the investor education program be delivered over? Is there a maximum project period? Up to 3 years. Generally we invest in programs that are 1 to 3 years in length. We assess on quality and value of the program.
8. Can the investor education program look to provide education to angels outside Victoria but focusing on Victorian startups within the HealthTech sector? Or is it only Victorian Angels? We like to see the LaunchVic funded programs support the local Victorian startup ecosystem but recognise that there might be aspects of a program that target international or interstate people. For example we have funded accelerators in the past where we have agreed that 75% of the participants going through that program will be from Victoria but a small component would be interstate or potentially international. So, if it is a small part of your program then that is fine, if it’s a large part of your program, then it makes it hard for us to justify how your program is really benefiting a growing ecosystem here in Victoria. From an investor education point of view, you may be helping to increase investors, but we are looking to increase investors within Victoria.
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.
4. What other funding programs are you planning on running? As a part of its strategy, LaunchVic will provide frequent funding opportunities, including grant rounds, for stakeholders to access funds to support programs that will grow the local startup community. Funding opportunities will address specific needs in the ecosystem, such as increasing diversity and inclusion, leveraging key strengths and building capability & excellence.
My question doesn’t appear in the above, how can I seek help? Please contact the LaunchVic Grants Team We are a small team but we will do our best to get back to you within 1-2 business days!