CivVic Labs - LaunchVic

CivVic Labs


Expressions of Interest now closed.

CivVic Labs is LaunchVic’s program connecting startups and the public sector to help solve real-world challenges.

For the latest challenge, we’re teaming up with VicHealth once again to ask Victoria’s startup sector:

“How might we use technology to help Victorians better access and enjoy community or outdoor spaces?” 

Expressions of interest for the challenge closed 1pm Monday July 31. Sign up for our newsletter to keep up to date with the program and future intakes.


What is CivVic Labs?

Run by the Victorian government’s startup agency, LaunchVic, CivVic Labs is a six-week program that connects startups and the public sector to help solve real-world challenges identified by government. CivVic Labs:

  • Enables new and emerging startups with potential solutions to the challenge to connect with government; and
  • Facilitates an agile co-design process between the public and private sectors to support startups to identify product market fit.

CivVic Labs presents a huge opportunity for new founders and early-stage startups to work closely with key government departments as they develop their startup. We’re looking for new ideas and approaches that address VicHealth’s challenge statement outlined below.

On offer is:

  • $15,000 in equity-free funding to each startup to participate and refine their solution;
  • An opportunity to learn and apply lean startup and co-design principles alongside experts and government; and
  • Potential to be one of two startups that receive a further $35,000 in equity-free seed funding to build their solution at the conclusion of the CivVic Labs program.

Read more in the Program Guidelines.

What's the Challenge?

How might we use technology to help Victorians better access and enjoy community or outdoor spaces?

We are looking for solutions that help businesses and organisations improve the way they create and operate community or outdoor spaces to support the health and wellbeing of all Victorians.

Read more in the Program Guidelines.

How does it work?

LaunchVic is seeking to admit 10 startups or startup entrepreneurs to the program. There is no fee for participation. Rather, participant teams will receive $15,000 on completion of the program.

The program is structured to cover topics such as lean startup, codesign, and hypothesis testing, delivered by startup experts. The program is designed to assist innovators in their solution design in the following ways:

  • Access to world-class mentors and a cohort of top innovators to build a solution alongside
  • Access to community and stakeholder experts, with local know-how of the challenges faced by businesses or organisations that operate community facilities, parks and/or recreational facilities; and
  • The potential of promotional support from VicHealth and LaunchVic highlighting innovative startup solutions.

At the conclusion of the program, a judging panel will select up to two startups to receive $35,000 in equity-free seed funding to further develop their solution.

Read the full schedule and time commitments in the Program Guidelines. 

What startups are you looking for?

VicHealth are looking for idea to early-stage startups.

  • Idea Stage = working on an idea that has not yet been fully developed or launched in market; or
  • Early Stage = testing a prototype in-market, without a significant customer base or revenue.

Solutions might include:

  1. Ensuring spaces are accessible for all Victorians, including people with diverse accessibility needs.
  2. Supporting organisations to consult appropriately with their diverse communities in the creation of new spaces or upgrading of existing spaces.
  3. Enabling organisations that manage community or outdoor spaces to make their spaces more easily available for the community to use.
  4. Making public spaces safer.
  5. Providing organisations with data and insights that enable them to improve the development and usage of spaces.
  6. Improving the experience of using outdoor spaces and facilities.
  7. Any other digital solution that enables organisations to develop or manage recreational facilities and parks better.

Read more in the Program Guidelines.

Program Guidelines


CivVic Labs has been a game-changer for Volta. The support, mentorship, and connections we gained have propelled our growth and opened doors to new opportunities. Thank you, LaunchVic, for believing in us and being a catalyst for our success!

Oscar Omegna, Founder, VoltaRocks (Digital Enery Challenge)

It was an amazing privilege to be selected and involved in the LaunchVic CivVic Labs Digital Energy Challenge. The experts and departments that worked alongside us helped turbocharge our business model, challenge our ideas, refine our market strategy, and ultimately create bigger and better products and services. It’s been a powerful experience in our start-up journey!

Chris Blaber, Managing Director, Top Property (Digital Energy Challenge)

The CivVic Labs program helped us unpack the problems with cultural and health food accessibility. We were able to apply our learnings to better develop a product that inspires young people to cook healthy meals at home and embrace cultural foods.

Ivy Nguyen, Co-Founder, ReciMe (Healthy Food Systems Challenge)


I have read the challenge statement and example solutions. I am still unsure whether my startup idea would be suitable, what should I do?

Submit an expression of interest! Disruption and innovation is developed from diverse ideas. If you are passionate about outdoor or community spaces and making an impact, then we strongly recommend you to apply to this challenge. There will also be an information session on 18 July where representatives from LaunchVic and VicHealth will be available to provide more information on the challenge and for applicants to ask clarifying questions. Register for the information session here.

What sort of subject matter experts will I spend time with during the program? 

Subject matter experts will cover a range of topics across both startup-building knowledge (such as pitching, customer insights, and business structures) and industry/policy knowledge (for example, council representatives). 

How many startups will be accepted into the program? 

Up to 10 Startups will be accepted into the program, each receiving $15,000 in seed funding per startup to develop their idea after the program is completed. 2 Startups will receive a further $35,000 in seed funding to build out their solution. 

Why is this challenge important now? 

It has been well established that having the opportunity to be physically active, eat healthy food and be socially connected is good for our health. We know that having access to nature, outdoor spaces and community facilities supports ability to live healthy lives, and connection to nature not only supports our health, but also our desire to protect the environment. But not everyone has this opportunity. In fact, the poorer your postcode is, the less likely it is that you’ll have access to quality outdoor built environments and green spaces, among other community facilities. 

VicHealth are keen to harness the power of tech startups who can produce innovative solutions to this problem. These startups should want to equip businesses and organisations with innovative technology so that more Victorians can access and enjoy community spaces. 

Aside from the 6 weeks of the program, how much extra time is required? 

Startups participating in CivVic Labs will need to allocate time outside of the 6 weeks for orientation prior to the program starting, and in between sessions to iterate based on feedback they receive during sessions. You may also have the opportunity to participate in office hours outside the program days. The minimum suggested additional time to allocate is three hours per week.

How many people can be part of a team? 

We recommend that teams limit the number of attendees to 3, to maximise the learning opportunity for all participants. 

Am I the right stage to apply and participate in CivVic?

 CivVic Labs helps founders launch their idea, or go full time on their idea by providing seed-funding whilst building alongside subject matter experts, to fast track your problem solution fit. At the conclusion of the program 2 teams are awarded further seed funding. The ideal founder profile is someone who has an idea, all the way through to someone with a very early product in market. If that is you, and you have a strong interest in the challenge statement, then you are absolutely the right stage to apply and you will benefit from CivVic Labs. For further information about eligibility for the current challenge please view the Program Guidelines above. 

Do you need a registered ABN? 

You are not required to have a registered ABN to apply to CivVic Labs. As an individual you do need to be Victorian domiciled. For further information about eligibility for the current challenge please view the Program Guidelines above. 

I am a founder based outside of Victoria and/or my startup has an ABN registered outside of Victoria, can I apply? 

CivVic Labs is developed to support Victorian startups create solutions for challenges developed by Victorian Government departments, as such you would be deemed ineligible should you or your company be based outside of Victoria. If however you are a startup team that has a Victorian registered ABN and have multiple founders, with only one based outside of Victoria you are eligible to apply. For further information about eligibility for the current challenge please view the Program Guidelines above

Why should I apply to CivVic Labs? 

CivVic Labs is designed to help passionate founders apply innovative thinking to some of the state’s most pressing challenges. There are 3 reasons you should launch your startup within the CivVic program: 

Fast-track problem solution fit: CivVic brings together a network of both subject matter experts related to the challenge and startup experts; 

Seed-funding: The program is completely free, and you will receive seed-funding to participate in the program. Multiple teams will receive further seed funding at the end of the program. 

A proven model: Alumni startups like InternMatch and HAL Systems were developed within CivVic Labs, going on to to become thriving startups. 

Where will the in-person sessions be held at?

 Each Challenge is held at a different venue, but generally they are in the Melbourne CBD or inner suburbs. 

What is the process to apply to CivVic Labs? 

The exact application process may vary depending on the challenge requirements. Generally though the process has four stages that run over a two month period: 

Expression of interest: Submit your details to register your interest in the program 

Application stage: Complete an application form 

Interview stage: A video submission is reviewed and an online interview is conducted to select the successful applicants 

Contracting stage: Successful applicants are required to enter a contract with LaunchVic 

For further information about the application process, please view the Program Guidelines above. 

What do I need to do to receive the seed funding? 

You will need to attend all sessions including the final showcase event. You will also need to send an invoice at the conclusion of the program. 

How much funding will I receive? 

Each startup selected for CivVic Labs will receive a $15,000 grant. 2 Startups will receive a further $35,000 in seed funding to build out their solution. 

Do you take equity in my company? 

No, the funding provided in CivVic Labs is equity-free. The money will be processed as a grant, with required milestones needing to be met to receive the funding.