Learn more about Victoria’s $23.6 billion startup ecosystem.
In this section
Connect with a wide range of LaunchVic programs fuelling the startup state.
Discover grant opportunities to grow startup activity in Victoria.
LaunchVic’s investments are set to unlock up to $280 million for the Victorian early-stage capital market by 2024. Learn more about our work growing Victoria’s investor community.
LaunchVic drives the startup ecosystem by investing in organisations (service providers) that will deliver quality programs to support Victorian startups and investors.
While we do not fund startups directly, the programs we fund aim to provide the services needed to assist early-stage and scaling startups through their journey.
LaunchVic provides funding through a range of mechanisms that target startup sector specialists who can deliver programs and support to Victorian startups in the form of education, incubators, accelerators, mentoring, professional development, events and other programs. LaunchVic also provides funding to improve the capability of investors through educational programs, events and support for angel networks.
If you have a question regarding LaunchVic funding, click the link below to send us an enquiry.
There are no current grants open.
Opened: Monday, 11 April 2016
Closed: Friday, 6 May 2016
Victoria’s startup community received a $6.5 million boost, with the first round of LaunchVic grants supporting 18 projects across the state.
Projects funded in this round range from large ideas for startup hubs, incubators and accelerators, to smaller ideas that would enable established organisations to increase their scale, reach and impact.
The large ideas were designed for a small number of sizable proposals from both new and existing organisations that significantly enhance Victoria’s startup ecosystem (rather than startups themselves).
We encouraged applications for smaller initiatives or projects that build startup infrastructure in underdeveloped areas like, regional locations, social entrepreneurs and diversity.
Opened: Friday, 30 September 2016
Closed: Friday, 11 November 2016
Our second round of funding invited both large and small initiatives that increased the scale, accessibility and diversity of Victoria’s startup sector across a number of industries including health, education and technology.
LaunchVic encouraged applications from high-quality programs that would position Victoria as a leader in collaboration and diversity.
Large ideas were expected to engage locally, nationally and internationally to enhance and forge new collaborations, drive services across the ecosystem and create new and robust networks.
Opened: Thursday, 1 June 2017
Closed: Wednesday, 5 July 2017
LaunchVic’s third funding round invited proposals for programs that improve access and participation in the Victorian startup ecosystem for first generation migrants and refugees.
Migrants and refugees are recognised as important contributors to successful startup ecosystems. They are known to have high risk appetites, having started a new life in a new country – often with no capital, no credit history, no assets, and no security. The risk-taking that defines a migrant’s experience often continues as they embark on entrepreneurial journeys to establish themselves.
Opened: Wednesday, 2 August 2017
Closed: Thursday 21 September 2017
Our fourth round of funding was designed to help position Victoria as an internationally recognised startup ecosystem, by educating the Victorian founder community in the areas they need it the most.
This was a competitive grant round for shortlisted organisations who can deliver education programs on investment support and pitching to Victoria’s community of startup founders.
Opened: Monday, 28 August 2017
Closed: Tuesday, 10 October 2017
Funding Round Period: 28 August – 10 October 2017Our fourth round of funding focused on organisation/s that could deliver world-class accelerator program/s to Victorian startup founders and executives.
While LaunchVic has invested in a number of accelerators to date, we sought truly world-class programs to support global connectivity and help the very best startups achieve growth on an international scale. The program/s were to be delivered in Melbourne, and help contribute to the growth of the local ecosystem.
LaunchVic’s Round 4 grant funding program was open to Australian accelerators, international accelerators and teams with proven track records of success.
Opened: Friday, 8 December 2017
Closed: Thursday, 22 March 2018
LaunchVic’s sixth funding round helped local councils improve access and participation in the startup ecosystem in Victoria.
LaunchVic invested in Victorian Local Councils, especially in regional and outer metro areas, to deliver programs and activities that address stages 1 and 2 of the Startup Framework for Local Governments.
Opened: Friday, 23 March 2018
Closed: Thursday, 24 May 2018
LaunchVic’s seventh grant round focused 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 funding program was 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.
Opened: Thursday, 10 May 2018
Closed: Thursday, 5 July 2018
LaunchVic’s eighth funding grant round focused 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’).
Through this round, LaunchVic funded organisations to deliver accelerator and education programs that will further drive Victoria’s strengths and help position the State as a leading health startup hub in the Asia-Pacific region.
Opened: Friday, 3 August 2018
Closed: Thursday, 28 February 2019
LaunchVic’s ninth funding round was specifically targeted at positioning Victoria as an internationally recognised startup ecosystem through enhancing capability and excellence in the Victorian startup community.
Applications were open for coworking spaces seeking to provide access to experienced startup professionals (Experts-In-Residence, or EIRs) to their resident startups and the broader Victorian startup ecosystem.
Coworking spaces are hubs of innovation where startups base themselves through their early growth phase for support, guidance and collaboration opportunities amongst other things. The purpose of this program was to support growth and learning opportunities for resident startups by attracting EIRs that will provide business guidance, mentorship and support for startups to improve their business capabilities. The program favoured EIRs with strong international experience and networks, and this is expected to support Victorian startups with global connections. The program was also intended to stimulate collaboration in and between Victorian coworking spaces.
LaunchVic invested up to $25,000 per successful application to support travel, accommodation and program activities of EIRs where the length of the EIR program was 4 weeks or longer.
Opened: Thursday, 7 February 2019
Closed: Thursday, 21 March 2019
LaunchVic’s tenth funding grant round focused on capturing new ideas and initiatives to support the development of startup founders, entrepreneurs and investors in the Victorian startup ecosystem. Unlike LaunchVic’s recent grant rounds, this round was ‘open’ meaning there was no specific focus, however applications needed to align with LaunchVic’s strategy. We wanted to hear from you about what you thought the Victorian startup ecosystem needed to support further growth.
Applications seeking funding for meetups, events, hackathons, educational courses, mentoring, bootcamps, incubator programs, accelerator programs were accepted. Other eligible programs outside of this list were also considered.
Programs needed to focus on one or more of LaunchVic’s strategic focus area streams: Diversity and Inclusion; Capability and Excellence; Leveraging Key Strengths; and/or Channel Development.
LaunchVic requested applications up to $250,000 per application. Organisations needed to demonstrate experience working with and delivering similar programs for startups and/or startup entrepreneurs or investors.
Opened: 24 September 2019
Closed: 12 November 2019
‘Building a robust Victorian Investor Community’ was a LaunchVic program based on research identifying that many early stage Victorian startups were unable to secure the capital they needed to grow. The program was designed to increase the number of Victorian based Angels by funding new Angel Networks and boosting existing Angel Networks.
The objectives of this funding were to:
To support this program LaunchVic commissioned Bella Private Markets to develop a Best Practise guide to Angel Networks. A high level summary is available here [URL missing]. For the full report that includes a comprehensive assessment of considerations when setting up an angel network, guidelines for establishing the investment process and much more please email email@example.com.
In 2019, LaunchVic released an Expressions of Interest (EOIs) seeking applications from suitable existing angel networks and applicants who would formalise new angel networks. The successful EOI applicants were invited to submit a detailed proposal under a Request for Further Information (RFI) issued in December 2019. Successful RFI applicants received funding of up to $300k (exclusive of GST) over 2 years. Funds were to be used for Operating Costs.
Supporting Early Stage Startup Creation
Opened: 14 April 2020
Closed: 8 May 2020
This grant program was originally opened on the 11 March 2020 with the aim of increasing the pipeline of early-stage startups in Victoria. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, LaunchVic made some changes to this grant round and alter its focus from increasing startup density to one where economic recovery was at the forefront and aspiring entrepreneurs with technology-based ideas are given every chance for success.
Evidence from previous economic downturns illustrate that entrepreneurship can play a vital role in helping to drive recovery. Now more than ever it will be important that entrepreneurs looking to start their own startup have access to the best possible support, advice and networks to help them on their journey as they build new companies that will help to sustain our future economy.
LaunchVic sought to invest up to $250k per application for Pre-Accelerator programs to run for a minimum of 2 years. Applications had to have a delivery team that had strong startup education skills and must have had previous experience delivering pre-accelerator or accelerator programs. Applications from existing and new Pre-Accelerator programs were also accepted. Funds could be used for Operating Costs.
Growing the Pool of Talent for Victorian Startups and Scaleups
EOI Opened: 27 August 2020
EOI Closed: 10am 24 September 2020
Round Opened: 29 October 2020
Round Closed: 16 November 2020
The impact of COVID-19 on our economy is widespread, with many businesses having to stand down, lay off staff or close down altogether. Many talented Australians have found themselves unemployed or facing employment uncertainty. While we recognised the deep impacts on the economy, at LaunchVic we also recognised that startups and scaleups were key to economic recovery. And while not every startup and scaleup was succeeding during the COVID-19 pandemic, many were growing and creating jobs of the future.
Startups and scaleups are still on the lookout for great talent. For those that are growing, there are job vacancies waiting to be filled. Others are keen to have conversations that ensure a strong candidate pipeline for when growth starts again.
LaunchVic issued an Expression of Interest (EOI) on 27 August 2020 seeking proposals for Talent Programs needed to support Victorians that don’t have experience working at startups or scaleups so they can successfully transition into jobs in Victorian startups and scaleups. Applications closed on the 24 September and were evaluated by LaunchVic. A shortlist of outstanding applications were selected and approved by the LaunchVic Board to proceed to the next stage – a closed grant round. Successful Recipients were announced in February 2021.
Building a robust investor community
Opened: 9 February 2021
Closed: 19 April 2021 (changed from 15 April 2021)
In 2020, LaunchVic provided funding to support the establishment of four new Angel Networks to help build a robust Victorian Investor Community and to unlock more capital for Victorian Startups. The four new Angel Networks, along with the existing Angel Networks in Victoria, do not currently focus on any particular sector, and some networks explicitly do not invest in startups focused on solving challenges in health industries. However, 18% of Victorian Startups are focused on HealthTech in some form – more than any other sector in Victoria. In his 2019 Angel Network report, Professor Lerner recommended that LaunchVic establish sector-specific Angel Networks to help drive success in industry verticals. LaunchVic believes that the time is right to action this in health industries including biotech, medtech and pharmaceuticals (collectively, HealthTech).
LaunchVic sought proposals from applicants to launch a HealthTech Angel Network in the State of Victoria, that will primarily focus on investing in Victorian biotech, medtech and pharmaceutical startups.
Supporting Early-Stage AgTech Startup Creation
Opened: 8 September 2021
Closed: 27 October 2021
Agriculture is a key sector of Victoria’s economy, employing 146,600 staff across 2020-21. The sector is vitally important to the Victorian economy and our future, however, changing conditions mean the sector needs to continually adapt. AgTech is a key driver to support adaptation of the agriculture sector, with the potential to provide farmers with the tools, data and knowledge to make more informed, timely on-farm decisions and improve productivity and sustainability.
AgTech can have a significant impact on Australia’s agricultural sector’s growth. The total value of the global AgTech market is expected to reach $22.5 billion by 2025 (an estimated growth rate of 150% from 2020). Despite Victoria having all the elements to be a national leader in AgTech, the sector is still small and immature, with AgTech startups accounting for less than 2% of total startups in Victoria.
This grant program aimed to increase support for aspiring AgTech entrepreneurs by funding experts to deliver Pre-Accelerator programs. The Pre-Accelerator programs will play a pivotal role in growing the AgTech sector in Victoria, enabling new founders to access the best possible support, advice and networks to build new businesses that will help shape our future economy and grow jobs.
Catalysing Early-Stage Startup Investments
Opened: 2 May 2022
Closed: 15 June 2022
Between 2020-2022, LaunchVic provided funding to support the establishment of five successful new Angel Networks to help build a robust Victorian investor community and to unlock more capital for Victorian Startups.
These networks are already playing an important role in developing the Victorian startup ecosystem – providing an avenue of funding for founders, supporting startup investors to syndicate, and providing capital in a structured and purposeful way at the critical early stages of startups’ journey. To date over 200 new investors had been recruited by these networks investing more than $5m into Victorian startups.
Despite this growth in formal angel networks, LaunchVic recognised that this number of angel groups is lower than in peer ecosystems. With a rise in investor education programs, there was also a growing number of informal syndications.
By providing operational funding and support LaunchVic sought to encourage the formalisation of more angel networks, providing an opportunity for growth in early-stage investments in Victorian startups and an increase in the early-stage investor pool.
Supporting Programs that Grow More Scaleups
Opened: 6 May 2022
Closed: 27 June 2022
Victoria’s startup ecosystem is on the move
Catalytic initiatives funded by LaunchVic have fuelled above-average growth in Victoria’s startup ecosystem over the last four years.
To date, LaunchVic has successfully invested in a number of accelerators that have helped established startups to scale. The most successful programs have driven the growth of Victorian startups, supported access to capital and created high-value jobs. In addition, the most successful accelerators have supported the ecosystem more broadly through additional offerings including events, founder office hours, the establishment of funds, investor engagement etc.
Building a Vibrant Regional Victorian Startup Community
Opened: 16 June 2022
Closed: 21 July 2022
LaunchVic has proudly supported the development of regional startup ecosystems across Victoria. However, there is more work to do – only 3% of founders identify as regional despite 25% of Victoria’s population living outside Melbourne. LaunchVic wants to build a vibrant regional Victorian startup community by helping early-stage ecosystem development activities in regional centres.
LaunchVic invited Expressions of Interest from New and Existing organisations recommending the areas of programming required to grow their local startup ecosystem with the objectives of:
Programs currently funded by LaunchVic that operate in regional Victoria and are seeking re-funding and consortia proposals were considered.
The successful EOI applicants were invited to submit a detailed Request for Proposal (RFP). Successful RFP applicants could receive funding of between $50,000 and $300,000 (exclusive of GST) over 1-2 years. Funds are to be used for Operating Costs.
Through this round, we sought ideas that would support startup entrepreneurship in regional Victoria and increase the number of early-stage startups.
In special circumstances, LaunchVic may accept unsolicited proposals for grants outside of its communicated grant rounds or its refunding of high-performing programs.
Any proposal received must meet the following principles:
Any proposal that does not meet all of these criteria will not be reviewed.
LaunchVic will endeavour to review all unsolicited proposals, and provide feedback, but is under no obligation to do so.
Any proposal considered appropriate for funding will undergo further assessment and due diligence in accordance with the process for all grants awarded by LaunchVic.
Any approved applicants must also undergo due diligence by LaunchVic.