Victoria’s $60 million startup fund is now open for business

Victoria’s $60 million startup fund is officially open for business, with the independent body overseeing its allocation calling for applications that will “build the infrastructure and grow the ecosystem”.

Individuals or organisations can now apply to LaunchVic with “bright ideas” that can create a “more collaborative working environment, add diversity and creativity, generate global interest in Victoria and deliver positive economic returns for the startup community”.

The independent body was established late last year by the Victorian government to oversee the state’s $60 million innovation fund, announced way back in the 2015 budget.

LaunchVic CEO Pradeep Philip says the purpose isn’t to fund individual startups in the state.

“LaunchVic is not in the business of funding individual startups but instead supporting the infrastructure which supports startups, entrepreneurs and scale-ups,” Philip says.

“Proposals that demonstrate their benefit to Victoria and the ecosystem, which highlight how they will ‘give back’ to the ecosystem, and which promote gender, culture and economic diversity will be viewed favourably in the assessment for funding.”

Guidelines have been released by LaunchVic, and each application will be viewed be an assessment panel as well as the LaunchVic board, which includes many big corporate names.

The funding allocation will be split up into two categories, with “small ideas” eligible for up to $100,000 and “large ideas” focusing on collaboration able to receive more sizable amounts.

The guidelines include the criteria that startups should address:

  • value-add to Victoria’s acceleration, incubation and co-working capabilities
  • programs that are ambitious, creative and have a global orientation that will deliver maximum impact and support for Victorian entrepreneurs and startups
  • strengthen ecosystem collaboration and diversity, including gender, cultural and economic
  • credible financial projections

Victorian minister for small business, innovation and trade Philip Dalidakis says the purpose of the fund is to help grow the entire ecosystem.

“We want Victoria to be the location of choice for startups worldwide and LaunchVic will make that happen,” Dalidakis says.

“This is about encouraging young companies and ideas to create jobs and industries that will support our state for decades to come.”

It’s a sentiment echoed by LaunchVic chair and Australia Post CEO Ahmed Fahour.

“This funding round gets the ball rolling on LaunchVic’s agenda to make Victoria the startup capital of the world,” Fahour says.

Applications are now open through the LaunchVic site and will close on May 6th, with the selected organisations announced later that month.

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