Round 7 Guidelines

Overview & Objective

This funding round will focus on increasing diversity and inclusion by investing in organisations to deliver new and existing entrepreneurial programs that improve access and participation in the Victorian startup ecosystem for Aboriginal Victorians.

This program is an initiative of Tharamba Bugheen - the Victorian Aboriginal Business Strategy 2017-2021 released by the Victorian Government in March 2017. Tharamba Bugheen recognises that economic advancement of Aboriginal Victorians is critical for self-determination and is making significant investments to support this agenda.

The Government values the important contribution that Victoria’s many Aboriginal businesses make to the state’s economy and community.  Successful businesses give Aboriginal Victorians control of their own economic destiny and strengthen the economic position of Aboriginal communities. These Businesses also provide role models for young people and inspire the next generation of Aboriginal entrepreneurs. Tharamba Bugheen sets out the vision for Aboriginal Victorians to be supported to become innovative entrepreneurs and business leaders and focuses on three key priorities.

  • Making sure businesses have access to support and advice that meets their needs,
  • Improving the visibility and networks of Aboriginal businesses, and
  • Strengthening entrepreneurial culture and business experience.

According to the most recent Census, the rate of entrepreneurship for non-Aboriginal Australians in 2011 (10%) was about three times more than that of Aboriginal entrepreneurship (3%).  LaunchVic wishes to strengthen entrepreneurial culture among Aboriginal Victorians to support increased self-employment rates and the associated benefits that flow from business participation.

LaunchVic is specifically looking to invest in organisations that will deliver programs, in either metro and/or regional Victoria, that:

  1. support Aboriginal entrepreneurs through quality mentoring or educational programs that focus on startup thinking, global engagement and use of disruptive technology; and/or
  2. provide opportunities to support Aboriginal businesses and Aboriginal entrepreneurs in boosting their businesses through acceleration and incubation services.

Note: Preference will be given to applications that support startup business ideas and startup businesses that have high impact potential, are scalable and/or disruptive, consistent with LaunchVic’s Strategy.

Funding up to $500,000 per application for programs that run up to two years will be accepted. Applications requesting more than $500,000 will be considered, but must be exceptional!

Successful applicants will be required to enter a contract with LaunchVic and provide project reporting and/or evidence of project progress to receive payments under agreed milestones.


The Victorian Government defines an Aboriginal business as a business that is undertaking commercial activity, is registered in Victoria and is at least 50 percent Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait islander owned.

For the purposes of this funding round, an Aboriginal person:

  • is of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent;
  • identifies as an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person; and
  • is accepted as an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person by the community in which he or she lives.

How to apply

Applications must be submitted through the LaunchVic online application system. Applicants will need to provide information on their organisation, the project and address eligibility and key assessment criteria. Applicants will also need to read and submit the declaration at the end of the application. Applicants can download a preview of the online form via the online system before starting a submission. Basic details are required to register via the SmartyGrants system before applying, click on the link here to get started.

Project Details

Applicants must outline the project details in the online form including:

  • Project title
  • Project summary (for marketing purposes - 100 words max)
  • Project start and end dates
  • Funding amount requested
  • Applicant and/or Partner Contributions (not mandatory)
  • New or Existing program

Applicants must select the type of program from the list below - more than one program can be selected. Details will be required under the Key Assessment Criteria:

  • Accelerator Program
  • Incubator Program
  • Educational Program
  • Mentoring Program


Applications must be submitted via LaunchVic online application system by the due date and time, 5pm AEST Thursday 24 May 2018. Applications will not be accepted after this date and will not be accepted outside of the LaunchVic online application system.

Applicants will need to address the below eligibility criteria via the LaunchVic online application system.

Type of Organisation 

The types of organisations that are eligible to apply for Round 7 grant funding include a:

  • registered business/organisation headquartered in Victoria; or

  • registered business/organisation with offices in Victoria; or

  • registered business/organisation located outside of Victoria (in Australia) proposing a project to be delivered in Victoria.

Please note: an organisation with an ABN is defined as ‘registered’. Not-for-profits/social enterprises can apply. If you are unsure please contact the LaunchVic Grants Team.

Project Focus

The project must primarily benefit:

  • Victorian Aboriginal entrepreneurs and/or Aboriginal Businesses; and

The project must support:

  • Aboriginal entrepreneurs through quality mentoring or educational programs, and/or
  • Aboriginal businesses and Aboriginal entrepreneurs in boosting their businesses through acceleration or incubation services.

Note: While you need to provide your services to Victorian Aboriginal entrepreneurs and businesses, you do not need to be Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander to apply.  As part of the Key Assessment Criteria, you will need to outline your organisations’ and team’s experience in delivering programs for Aboriginal communities, especially in Victoria.

Key Assessment Criteria


No.CriteriaDetailsWord Count (maximum)
1.Project OverviewTell us about your program and how it supports Aboriginal entrepreneurs and/or Aboriginal businesses through either mentoring, educational programs, acceleration or incubation programs. Please include details on the target participants (ie age group and geographic location for delivery).300 words
2.Impact & Measures of SuccessOutline the expected impact the program will deliver to Aboriginal Victorians, as well as measures of success for the project. Please provide figures (success metrics) on how many Victorian Aboriginal entrepreneurs and/or Victorian Aboriginal businesses the program will support.  

Provide details about the expected sustainability of the project beyond the completion date (not mandatory).
200 words
3.Organisation & Teama)    Tell us about the organisation’s relevant experience:
(i) delivering programs for Aboriginal communities (especially in Victoria); and
(ii) delivering programs for startups, businesses and/or entrepreneurs. 

b) (Not Mandatory)    
Outline your entities status and/or experience in the:
- Development and Implementation of Reconciliation Action/Inclusion Plans;
- Aboriginal Cultural Awareness and Cultural Safety;     
- or similar programs 

c)    Outline the core team members who will deliver and manage the program, including relevant experience in delivering and managing similar entrepreneurial business or innovative programs for Aboriginal people or other diverse communities.
200 words

150 words 

-Project Role
-Experience (50 words)
4.TimelinePlease upload a Timeline of project deliveryUpload      
5.Funding & Budgeta)    Please outline:
(i) How much funding you are requesting and the value for money
(ii) Cash and/or in-kind contributions by the lead applicant and any partner organisation.
NB: Applications with cash and/or in-kind support will be welcomed but are not mandatory 

b) Enter a project budget of income (cash) including requested LaunchVic funding, applicant and partner cash contributions and items of expenditure.
150 words 


Assessment and Selection

All applications will be assessed for eligibility by LaunchVic. Applications that do not meet the eligibility criteria will not be assessed.

Eligible applications will be evaluated against the Key Assessment Criteria by an “Assessment Panel” (comprising LaunchVic staff and representatives from the Victorian Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources and representatives from the Aboriginal community) and a subcommittee of the LaunchVic Board, the “Grants and Funding Committee” (comprising at least two Board Members). 

The shortlisted applicants will have the opportunity to meet with the assessment panel to provide an overview and expand on the proposed project. Successful shortlisted applicants will be asked to provide references and undergo due diligence by LaunchVic and the Victorian Department of Economic Development, who conduct a Financial Risk Assessment. Applicants will be required to provide additional information, including but not limited to financial statements. Information provided will be kept strictly confidential.

Following the due diligence process, the Grants and Funding Committee makes a recommendation for funding to the LaunchVic Board. This may include a recommendation to negotiate program outcomes with applicants. LaunchVic may enter negotiations with shortlisted applicants to refine project proposals.

Funding outcomes are ultimately determined by the LaunchVic Board and their decision is final.

Successful applicants will be required to enter a grant agreement (legal contract) with LaunchVic and provide project reporting and/or evidence of project progress to receive payments under agreed milestones. Approximately 15 percent of the total grant is allocated to milestone 1 and contracts include approximately five to seven milestones. The number of milestones, and amounts, are dependant on factors such as the grant amount, scope and length of project. A sample grant agreement is available here

All applications are made at the applicants’ own cost and will not be reimbursed, whether the application is successful or unsuccessful.

Key Dates

The following provides an outline of key dates for the Round 7 Grants Program. Please note that there may be updates to timings recorded via the LaunchVic website during the round. 

  • Funding round open: Friday 23 March 2018
  • Information Session (face-to-face): 10:30am – 11:30am Thursday 5 April 2018 (Docklands) Completed
  • Information Session (online): Teleconference 10:00am – 11:00am, Thursday 19 April 2018 Register Completed
  • Funding Round Close: 5pm AEST Thursday 24 May 2018 
  • Successful Recipients Announced: August 2018