Round 1

Scale, reach and impact

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.



Funding Recipients

Small Ideas

Bright SparksRMIT University$100,000Bright Sparks is a leadership program to inspire, connect and prepare the next generation of female entrepreneurs in Victoria. Female students, alumni and staff at RMIT will be given a head start in business through a network of Australian and international mentors and an intensive leadership program in San Francisco.
Digital Marketing MakerspaceWestern BACE$50,000The only combined co-working space and business accelerator in Western Melbourne’s Growth Corridor will receive funding to create the “Digital BACE marketing makerspace”. Local startups will be given expert support to use 3D printing, virtual reality software, computers and video cameras for marketing activities.
Employment based social enterprise pipeline
Social Traders 
$100,000Focusing on jobs for people facing barriers to work - in Melbourne, Traralgon and Wangaratta - this program will strengthen the pipeline of accelerator-ready social enterprise ideas through workshops, networking events, clinics and pitch fests targeting women, youth and multi-cultural groups.
Fintech MelbourneFintech Melbourne$30,000Fintech Melbourne is a community run organisation for the benefit of the Victorian fintech community. It is Australia's largest fintech community with 1800 members and provides tremendous value and support to the local ecosystem. This has all been accomplished through volunteer efforts but due to the scale of events, support is required to make Fintech Melbourne sustainable in the long term.
Launch Clubs The Foundation for Young Australians$75,000Launch Clubs aims to harness the energy and passion of young Victorians and build a network of local hubs, based in regional communities, where young people develop the skills and capabilities to test and launch their own enterprises. There is an urgent and vital need to support young people in regional Victoria to develop entrepreneurial skills that can open pathways to self-employment, job creation and the revitalisation of regional economies. Launch Clubs will be trialed in Bendigo and Traralgon and is designed so the model can be scaled State-wide.
Lemonade Stand: startups for kidsCollective Campus$100,000Lemonade Stand is a two-day business building and entrepreneur program for 9-12 year olds, currently run during school holidays. LaunchVic funding will help expand the program into schools and online, significantly increasing the scale and reach of the program and inspiring a new generation of young entrepreneurs.
Young Entrepreneurs Mentoring SchemeiGen Foundation$70,000Your Mentor pilot provides 15-30 year olds with entrepreneurial skills and knowledge as well as the networks to help them unlock doors to new business opportunities.

Large Ideas

A world class tech and startup destinationConvenory Campus$200,000Convenory Campus aims to build a world class tech and startup destination featuring share-laboratories, conference facilities, hardware assembly, on-demand childcare and co-working zones. LaunchVic funding will lay the foundation for the Convenory team to bring their vision to reality.
Australian Sports Technologies NetworkAustralian Sports Technologies Network Ltd$280,000Melbourne is a world leader in sport – now the aim is to make Melbourne the world leader in sports technology. LaunchVic funding will enable an entrepreneur-in-residence - supporting 15-20 sports tech startups over a two year period – as well as development of a best practice playbook and hosting of a World Championships for Sports Analytics.
CyRise Cyber Security AcceleratorDimension Data & Deakin University$450,000Dimension Data and Deakin University will set up a cyber security accelerator to boost the development of unique cyber security solutions and intellectual property. The program will offer unique connections to corporate Australia for cyber security startups and have links to Deakin University’s Waurn Ponds campus.
FAB9 Makerspace FAB9$1,000,000FAB9 is a makerspace purpose-built so founders can access the training, tools and prototyping equipment needed to turn ideas into physical realities.

FAB9 is made up of five distinct labs under one roof, including a Timber shop, a Digital Fabrication lab, a CNC lab, an Electronics lab and a Metal shop. Each lab is designed for working with different materials and making processes. 
Harnessing the experienced economyFifth Institute$200,000Startups aren’t just for the young. The Fifth Institute aims to lift the number and success rate of startups emerging from the experienced economy. This will tap into the emergence of ‘seniorpreneurs” as the fastest growing segment of new business owners in Australia.
Launching agtech startupsRocket Seeder$675,000A startup accelerator program focusing on supporting innovation in agricultural technology, Rocket Seeder will support motivated agtech entrepreneurs with a comprehensive coaching program and will connect them with mentors, industry partners, and investors. Linking city and country, there will be a Melbourne-based hub with programs initially in Shepparton, Sale, Geelong, Bendigo, Ballarat, Colac, Horsham, Wodonga, Mildura and Warrnambool.
Regional Accelerator ProgramLa Trobe University$1 millionA regional accelerator program, led by La Trobe University and including Federation and Deakin Universities, will harness the best and brightest minds of regional Victoria to boost the economy and agricultural jobs. Participants will have access to funding, office space, structured mentoring programs, networking and local, national and international pitching opportunities.
RunwayRunway$1.25 millionThis major startup initiative in Geelong will act as a catalyst for innovation in the region, creating new businesses and jobs through the provision of mentoring, networks, training and access to venture capital. Its objective is to launch a startup culture in Geelong that will establish the city as a global centre for innovation and entrepreneurship.
Startupbootcamp Energy Australia Startupbootcamp$600,000Startupbootcamp, the world-renowned accelerator network has received LaunchVic funding to develop and scale startups innovating and disrupting the Energy sector. Startupbootcamp accelerator programs offer startups access to a global investor and mentor network, which will encourage companies to look to Melbourne for solving problems in Energy Efficiency, Energy Independence, Digitisation and Analytics.

LaunchVic Funding

Fintech EcosystemFintech$300,000LaunchVic has entered into an exclusive partner arrangement with FinTech Australia to host the inaugural FinTech Australia conference in Melbourne in November this year. This will be the largest gathering of domestic and international FinTech players in the country and will be a major boost for the local community. In addition, LaunchVic in partnership with the Victorian Government and the FinTech community, will soon be developing a FinTech strategy to guide the development of, and investment in, the FinTech ecosystem in Victoria.
Startup VictoriaStartup Victoria$300,000LaunchVic has partnered with Startup Victoria to deliver two key projects for the Victorian startup community. The first involves developing a digital platform that will be a single source for the Victorian startup ecosystem to find information about events, jobs and funding opportunities. Startup Victoria will also undertake extensive mapping of the ecosystem providing deeper insights into the current state of the ecosystem and how we should direct our efforts to stimulate growth.


More on the programs we've funded

Since March 2016 LaunchVic has funded 26 programs to ensure Victorian startup founders (and founders of the future) have access to the right knowledge and the right support networks to turn innovative ideas into flourishing global businesses.