Victorian Government funding to back the new generation of startup innovators will support programs for female entrepreneurs as well as aspiring founders from regional Victoria and Melbourne’s western suburbs.
Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy Jaala Pulford today announced $1.3 million in pre-accelerator funding through LaunchVic to support up to 700 entrepreneurs, with sports technology another special focus.
“We’re supporting our next generation of startup founders to have a go, because we know young companies will create high-value jobs for Victorians,” said Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy Jaala Pulford.
“Supporting people to start new tech companies has never been more important – the number of jobs in startups was growing before the pandemic and the rate of that growth is now set to accelerate rapidly.”
Sarah Wall, a former professional netballer with teams including the Melbourne Vixens and NSW Swifts, is now the founder of Netfit Netball and has benefitted from a previous LaunchVic mentoring program.
Netfit delivers a web and app-based netball program with fitness videos, coaching drills and session plans which has experienced a huge uplift in demand during the coronavirus lockdown with active members across 23 countries, allowing the start-up to grow its workforce.
Pre-accelerator programs provide entrepreneurs with access to the best possible support, advice and networks to build new companies that will help to shape our future economy and grow jobs.
LaunchVic, Victoria’s startup agency, has selected six service providers to deliver pre-accelerator programs for aspiring founders: SBE Australia, Atto Accelerator, Latrobe City Council-Startup Gippsland, Australian Sports Technologies Network (ASTN), University of Melbourne’s Melbourne Accelerator Program (MAP) and Roshambo.
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Roshambo will act as a network of pre-accelerators in partnership with local councils in Melbourne’s west while Startup Gippsland will assist entrepreneurs to build the capability and networks needed to successfully run tech-based businesses.
MAP will expand its Velocity program to support entrepreneurs from across Victoria. Female founders will benefit from the programs being delivered by SBE Australia and Atto Accelerator. ASTN with deliver the SportsTech pre-accelerator program.
The Victorian startup sector supports almost 19,000 jobs and could contribute an additional 15,000 jobs each year over the next 20 years, according to Deloitte Access Economics.
There is capacity in Victoria to make significant advancements – startup density in Victoria is currently 300 startups per 1 million people compared with territories such as Vancouver, Singapore and New Zealand that have at least 500 startups per million population. For more information on the new pre-accelerator program, go to launchvic.org.