Credit: LaunchVic

Credit: LaunchVic

Australia to invest A$2.9 million in boosting startup skills and services in Victoria

The Australian Government announced today that it will invest A$2.9 million in educating thousands of Victorian startups.

These founder education support courses will be provided though LaunchVic, the state’s lead startup ecosystem development agency.

“With this targeted funding and support, there’s never been a better time to establish a startup in Victoria,” said Minister for Innovation and the Digital Economy Philip Dalidakis.

Under this multi-million-dollar boost, 16 service providers have been selected to run the education programs, with up to 2,000 places available to Victorian startup founders and their staff.

“By building a stronger startup sector we create innovative businesses, attract international talent, bring money into the local economy and create local jobs,” Minister Dalidakis added.

The program aims to help fill the gap in founder education services. It is estimated that just 15% of startups in Victoria go through an accelerator program, with many startups believing they are either not ready or have moved beyond needing intensive support.

To enhance startup skills, topics will include export and growth skills, corporate governance, investment support, marketing support, personal leadership and development and engaging corporates.

The programs will vary in length and format. They include short courses, intensive three-day workshops, week-long courses, mentoring and online learning. The courses are either free or at low cost.

The 16 funded LaunchVic service providers are:

(1)    BioMelbourne Network to support HealthTech founders of companies who have strategic intent to expand into global markets. The program will bring international experts to Melbourne, to deliver skills-based workshops on global regulatory, reimbursement, market access and commercialisation strategies, with a focus on key export markets in US, UK, EU, China and India.

(2)    Burch + Co Lawyers to educate founders on the basic legal considerations through the lifecycle of a startup, including the responsibilities of being a founder and director and how to develop internal and shareholder agreements.

(3)    Catapult Business Accelerator to deliver an investor education program, providing deep insights into what gets investors on the founder’s side: the right time to connect with investors; building relationships and communicating with investors; financial forecasts; equity; pitching and networking.

(4)    Character to provide founders with practical, hands-on advice on how to tell the story of their startup. The program will equip them with the tools and templates they need to generate meaningful public relations and marketing results with a focus on brand story, stakeholder engagement and key communication messages.

(5)    Cogent to help founders build sustainable businesses through learning practical product design, development, and management taught by leading expert practitioners.

(6)    Common Code to educate technical and non-technical founders on how to align their business goals to their technology asset, how to effectively communicate with a design and development teams and how to make informed technical decisions.

(7)    DifferenThinking to provide founders with the tools needed to develop their people, leadership and culture skills through all stages of the startup life cycle.

(8)    EM Advisory uses tried and tested tools to help founders and their teams to create and test their thinking, so they become investment ready. Startups will finish the program ready to present to investors and clearly articulate a simple coherent investment thesis and go to market strategy.

(9)    Innovation Bay to equip early stage founders with the knowledge and tools to effectively craft an investment pitch, engage investors and understand the investment process. Founders will receive expert mentoring and an opportunity to present to Innovation Bay’s network of investors.

(10) Inventium to teach founders online a best-practice approach to innovation, based on science. It will help founders identify customer driven opportunities, learn tools to generate breakthrough solutions and make effective decisions and how to quickly and cheaply prototype ideas.

(11) Leadership Victoria to share expertise in leadership development that will shape participating founders into leaders for the long haul – for themselves, their current and future projects and for the whole community.

(12) Marketing Entourage to provide founders with the essential marketing tools to build effective strategies to successfully go to market, stimulate growth, attract investment, scale or expand globally.

(13) Onestack to help founders strategise and execute for growth and export, with experts challenging startups’ strategic and tactical plans to identify gaps and priorities.

(14) Slingshot Accelerator to run startup B2B sales masterclasses, educating founders on processes, disciplines, and techniques required to facilitate sales discussions with business customers, then execute the sales.

(15) Space Tank Studio to educate founders in design for manufacturing, IP protection, business and financial development and in Computer Numeric Controlled (CNC) manufacturing technology for prototyping.

(16) Start-up Boards to educate founders on compliance, governance, organisation policy and process and bring a capacity building mindset to help them be more resilient and realise their potential through considering an advisory board.

According to CEO of LaunchVic Dr Kate Cornick, supporting early-stage startups is essential if Australia is to grow a strong pipeline of innovative businesses from Victoria that will fuel the local economy.

“We’re proud to offer diverse yet specialised support to our startups – this will help our local startup founders and executives grow their businesses and strengthen Victoria’s reputation as a leading startup hub,” Dr Cornick said.

Since its establishment in 2016, LaunchVic has funded a total of 46 projects through its grants program.

According to LaunchVic’s Strategic Focus 2017 – 2019, the organisation’s focus lies in the areas of funding, community building and global recognition. This is to ensure that the right startup infrastructure is in place for Victorian startups and entrepreneurs to grow their businesses.

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