LaunchVic grants get pre-accelerators off the ground

Joseph Brookes
Senior Reporter

The Victorian government’s startup agency is backing seven pre-accelerator programs to be delivered by other organisations, with focus areas across AI, MedTech, First Nations founders and circular economy.

LaunchVic on Thursday announced it had awarded seven grants for pre-accelerators from the round it opened in March, with each recipient getting up to $400,000 to run their programs.

Grants went to Australian Medical Angels, Boab AI, the Australian Society for Medical Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Remarkable, RMIT Activator, Runway HQ and Dr Kyle Turner.

“The Victorian startup ecosystem has undergone significant growth since LaunchVic was established in 2016, with the number of startups increasing 3.5 times from around 1,000 to more than 3,500,” LaunchVic CEO Dr Kate Cornick said.

“However, globally leading startup ecosystems support many more startups, which in turn contribute to economic growth through job creation. It is therefore imperative that we continue to support the creation of new startups in Victoria and ensure our startup ecosystem reflects the diversity of the Victorian population.”

The programs will run across Melbourne, Geelong and Ballarat, with focus areas in the high growth potential of AI and MedTech; underrepresented groups including First Nations founders and regions; and social impact like circular economy and DisabilityTech.

One of the grants went to Dr Kyle Turner, a Wiradjuri man and startup founder. He runs the Ochre Indigenous Pre-Accelerator to supports Indigenous founders at the earliest-stages of their careers.

The Victorian government set aside $40 million for iLaunchVic as part of a 10 per cent increase in overall Budget funding for Industry, Small Business and Medical Research programs in the state Budget in May.

Across the country startups have been hit by a plunge in private funding. VC funding has fallen sharply in Australia since the pandemic boom year of 2021, although new data released on Tuesday shows startup funding surged in the second quarter due to the return of several mega-deals.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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