Startup Funding Programs | Adjournment

Ms VAGHELA (Western Metropolitan) : My adjournment matter is directed to the Minister for Employment, Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy, and Minister for Small Business, the Honourable Jaala Pulford, MP.

On 30 August the minister announced $1.3 million in preaccelerator funding through LaunchVic to support a new generation of entrepreneurs and to create high-value jobs for Victorians. The funding to back the new generation of startup innovators will support programs for female entrepreneurs as well as aspiring founders.

Preaccelerator 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 preaccelerator 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.

Roshambo will act as a network of preaccelerators 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 will deliver the SportsTech preaccelerator 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.

The action I seek is for the minister to direct her department to provide an update on how aspiring founders in the Western Metropolitan Region can access these preaccelerator programs to support the development of their business.

Response :

In reply to Ms VAGHELA (Western Metropolitan)

Ms PULFORD (Western Victoria—Minister for Employment, Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy, Minister for Small Business):

Thank you for your question regarding how aspiring founders in the Western Metropolitan Region can access pre-accelerator programs to support the development of their business.

I am happy to advise that there is a specific LaunchVic-funded pre-accelerator program designed to support aspiring founders to develop new startup businesses in the Western Metropolitan Region: The Guide to Starting Up by Roshambo.

The pre-accelerator program comprises training and guidance delivered in partnership with Local Councils. There will be a focus on delivering the program to participants in the Western Metropolitan Region of Melbourne. Councils supporting the program include Melton City Council, Brimbank City Council, Maribyrnong City Council, Wyndham City Council, Hume City Council, Hobsons Bay City Council and Campaspe Shire.

Roshambo will deliver the pre-accelerator program to 16 cohorts (each with twenty participants) across the above seven councils in two rounds over two years. Melton City Council has signed with Roshambo to deliver the program to two cohorts (40 participants) in each per round. In the six other participating local councils the program will be delivered to one cohort (20 participants) per round.

Roshambo will guide participants through the process of finding a business idea, and then developing and scaling that idea into a sustainable business model.

There will also be a low-cost online version of the program provided which will be accessible to all Victorians, including aspiring founders in the Western Metropolitan Region that do not take up a place in the scheduled rounds of the program.

The promotion and application period for each of the seven councils will run from 26 October 2020 to 23 December 2020. Applicants will be able to apply through a central portal at www.theguidetostartingup.com. Each of the participating Local Councils will direct their promotional activities to that page.

Aspiring founders can already join the waiting list through www.theguidetostartingup.com/preaccelerator-2122, and further details on the program are on that page.