Guidelines

Objectives 

  • Fostering a more collaborative and linked network of co-working spaces, incubators, and accelerators. 
  • Encouraging the clustering of destination hubs that build capacity and connectedness within the startup community. These ‘Launch Hubs’ would be focal points to lift global visibility and brand Victoria as a regional startup powerhouse. 
  • Building capability through improved advocacy, education programs, mentoring, events, hackathons, competitions, improving access to venture capital and startup ecosystem mapping. 
  • Using Victoria’s reputation as the most liveable city in the world to attract businesses and entrepreneurs to the state, at both a national and international level. 

Applications 

Proposals for funding should address the following key criteria: 

1. Value-add to Victoria’s acceleration, incubation and co-working capabilities. 

2. Programs that are ambitious, creative and have a global orientation that will deliver maximum impact and support for Victorian entrepreneurs and startups/scaleups. 

3. Strengthen ecosystem collaboration and diversity (including gender, cultural and economic). 

4. Credible financial projections. 

Proposals should also articulate what the funding will be used for, and how it satisfies the above criteria and program objectives. 

How to apply 

Applications should be submitted through the LaunchVic Website (www.Launchvic.org) by completing the online form and attaching relevant documents. 

Assessment and selection 

All applications to this program will be assessed for compliance and compliant applications will be evaluated by an assessment panel established by LaunchVic. 

For an application to be ‘compliant’, it must be received by LaunchVic at the correct address on or before the specified deadline, using the correct application forms, addressing all relevant criteria and the program objectives for LaunchVic. 

LaunchVic’s decision about whether an application is compliant is final. 

When assessing applications, the panel and LaunchVic will have regard to possible synergies or overlap between applications, particularly between applications from within the same sector or applications which address similar industry challenges or opportunities. 

Applications should clearly demonstrate how the proposal for funding will deliver benefits to Victoria and the Victorian ecosystem. 

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

Successful applicants will be required to account for their activities and report on a regular basis to LaunchVic on outcomes being generated. Milestones and gated assessments will be part of funding agreements. 

LaunchVic may periodically consider applications which will be assessed against guidelines. LaunchVic Funding Program Guidelines, April 2016 Page 3 

Funding round 

LaunchVic is opening up its first funding round for 2016 on Monday 11 April. This funding round is comprised of two components focussed on small ideas and large ideas. 

Small ideas 

For small ideas, a single stage process will be undertaken. 

The first small funding round will support initiatives or projects up to $100,000 that build startup infrastructure in areas that are currently underdeveloped such as regional areas, social entrepreneurship and diversity. 

Grants made through the small funding round will be one-off payments. 

Organisations funded by LaunchVic will be expected to adopt important principles of openness, inclusiveness and transparency. They should be prepared to contribute to the wider ecosystem - e.g. by contributing to key events and common ecosystem platforms which provide greater information and access to all interested in the Victorian startup ecosystem. 

Large ideas 

The first large funding round is designed for a small number of sizable proposals from both existing and new organisations which significantly enhance Victoria’s startup ecosystem – not startups themselves. 

Demonstrating what’s new, the high quality of programs and addressing key criteria of collaboration and diversity will be critical elements of this program. A further important element of the program will be how recipients intend to ‘give back’ to the community/ecosystem. 

Large ideas will focus on collaboration between different organisations including startups, investors, universities, multinational enterprises, large and small firms, business advisors, vocational education providers, research institutions, industry associations and government organisations. 

For large ideas, a two-stage process will be used: 

Stage 1 

Applicants will be invited to submit proposals identifying the range of services they intend to provide, including mentoring, training, professional services, investor linkages, demo days, challenges, events, immersion programs, diversity initiatives and external partnerships. They need to include how it would engage their community and the startup ecosystem and work to deliver and improve the services over time. 

Stage 2 

Successful applicants may undergo a facilitation or brokering process where LaunchVic will work with them to build on initial applications to refine proposals that will be formalised through a service agreement. LaunchVic Funding Program Guidelines, April 2016 Page 4 

LaunchHubs 

With respect of ‘Large ideas’, LaunchVic is interested to receive submissions around the notion of ‘LaunchHubs’ that will work together cohesively to build capability and competitiveness of startups and growth firms within a clearly defined community. A wide range of stakeholders and service providers across Victoria will be encouraged to engage with LaunchHubs. 

LaunchHubs will also be expected to engage locally, nationally and internationally to enhance and forge new collaborations, drive services across the ecosystem and create new and robust networks. 

They will enjoy strategic and operational autonomy, within a framework that connects them with the wider ecosystem - e.g. by contributing to key events and ecosystem platforms which provide greater information, transparency, and access to Victorian startups. 

Each LaunchHub will incorporate the activities and services of at least one high quality accelerator or incubator program. If a leading accelerator capability is not present, the incubator program must demonstrate its active management support. A co-working facility alone will not be sufficient to satisfy this requirement. 

Each Hub would be eligible for seed funding for up to three years, which would be expected to be at least matched by partner contributions. Their progress in acceleration, collaboration and contribution would be key measures. 

LaunchHubs will be expected to secure additional cash and in-kind contributions from industry and research organisations to expand the range of activities and services offered by the Hub. 

Timelines 

  • Release of guidelines - 11 April, 2016 
  • Funding round open - 11 April, 2016 
  • Funding round close - 6 May, 2016 
  • Assessment process and announcement - May, 2016