The Victorian Government has announced a new public sector entity to encourage and develop the state’s startup community, in what will be quite a different government agency, its new CEO has told InnovationAus.com.
Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade Philip Dalidakis said LaunchVic will provide the right environment for entrepreneurs to develop, incubate and grow early-stage innovative businesses, making Victoria the “location of choice” for startups.
The new body is backed by the Andrews Labor Government’s $60 million startup fund and will be headed up by former Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, Dr Pradeep Philip who said that even though LaunchVic is a government agency, it doesn’t want to operate like government has in the past with seas of programs that meet government specifications and nothing else.
“We recognise that the community is already doing a lot,” Dr Philip said.
“So we really don’t want to be a traditional bureaucracy that doesn’t understand what the sector already does, and we don’t want to duplicate.
“We want to add value and of course some of the channels for adding that value won’t be government.”
Dr Philip has already been in the role for a month, in which time he has set about working on the body’s strategic plan which he says LaunchVic will refine through co-design sessions with members of the business community in Victoria, in ensuring the approach maintains true to a what the community needs and wants ethos.
Dr Philip said that skills and capabilities, the culture of the community, networks, and the eco-system infrastructure will all form part of his initial approach in getting LaunchVic up and running. The organisation itself will be a lean one, Dr Philip said, with job opportunities for startup community members to move “in and out” of the LaunchVic offices.
“I’d like people who have experience in the startup community to be a part of this. Even if it’s not a career for them, at least to help us culturally understand things better,” he added.
While LaunchVic is already an official entity, the body currently has no logo or website since Minister Dalidakis has put the design work out to tender in a rather fitting way – via 99designs, a locally grown success story in itself.
Prospective designers of the logo that will underpin LaunchVic are being asked to pitch their work on the design marketplace, with the winning design used to officially present LaunchVic, as early late December. The prize for such an achievement is priced on the website as $1429.
LaunchVic will invest in core infrastructure, improve access to capital for local startups, advocate on Commonwealth legislation and regulation, as well as engage in startup events, campaigns, competitions and mentoring programs.
Just last month Minister Dalidakis discreetly and suddenly poached the Sydney-founded SydStart conference from under the NSW Government’s nose, while the event was taking place.