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New grant round opens for early-stage founder support

LaunchVic’s support for early-stage startup founders continues with a new grants round for pre-accelerator programs that are sector specific or for underrepresented groups.

Grants of up to $400,000 are available to run programs that provide aspiring entrepreneurs with advice, support and networks to test out their startup ideas and find potential customers.

Focus areas for the programs may include a specific industry (eg. MedTech, ClimateTech), technology (eg. AI) or social demographic (eg. Under-represented founders).

LaunchVic CEO Dr Kate Cornick said the number of startups in Victoria had more than tripled since 2018 to more than 3,400 but there was still work to be done to ensure the sector’s sustainable growth.

“Victoria’s startup sector is valued at $103 billion. To ensure we have a strong pipeline of new startup creation we are giving founders access to the best possible mentors, subject matter experts and potential investors with deep knowledge of their chosen fields.”


“By offering grants for targeted programs, LaunchVic hopes to double down on our key sector strengths and ensure underrepresented groups get the same opportunity to launch and grow their startups.”

Since 2017, LaunchVic programs have upskilled more than 11,600 budding entrepreneurs.

One example is Rachelle Dunstan, co-founder of Kite Therapy, which provides play-based therapy for kids with autism and developmental delays.

Rachelle began the F4: Female Founders program, funded by LaunchVic, in August 2023.

By December Kite Therapy had not only registered as a new business but secured pre-seed investment from Flying Fox Ventures.

Rachelle is now one of ten companies in the Summer cohort of Startmate, also funded by LaunchVic and widely regarded as one of Australia’s best-performing startup accelerators with alumni like Amber Electric, Great Wrap and Swoop Aero.

Grant applications are open to local and international programs looking to support founders in Victoria.


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