LaunchVic unveils new four-year plan to boost Victoria’s startup sector

LaunchVic unveils new four-year plan to boost Victoria’s startup sector

LaunchVic, Victoria’s startup agency, will release its four-year plan outlining how it will take Victoria’s $7billion startup sector to the next level from 2021-2024

LaunchVic CEO Dr Kate Cornick (pictured) said the agency was focused on driving the long-term success of Victoria’s startup sector via new dedicated funding streams and, when appropriate, seeking a return on investment from the private sector.

“To date, LaunchVic has activated more than $129 million in private sector investment, invested in 130 programs and 19 accelerators, supported hundreds of Victorian startups to scale and upskilled more than 9,800 entrepreneurs,” Dr Cornick said.

“While this is extremely positive, we also know that startup ecosystems take time to develop and there is still a way to go before we become a self-sustaining startup ecosystem.

“The work we are doing now – particularly with regard to early-stage investment – is foundational and will dramatically alter the startup ecosystem in the next 5 to 10 years.”

Priorities for LaunchVic include driving continuous improvements in the startup investment landscape and early-stage venture capital market in Victoria; supporting programs that will grow more scaleups; and awareness and advocacy for Victoria’s startup ecosystem.

In what marks a new approach for agency, LaunchVic will invest either in certain for-profit entities through an equity stake or by providing a loan. This investment approach will only apply to organisations that invest in outcomes of their programs, for example Startmate’s Accelerator Program. LaunchVic intends to reinvest any returns back into the ecosystem.

LaunchVic Chair Leigh Jasper said the focus for LaunchVic over the next four years is to catalyse the Victorian startup ecosystem to drive greater startup creation, faster company growth and more jobs.

“Startups are proven job multipliers – adding thousands of net new jobs to the economy at faster rates than other sectors. It is critical we harness this as we expect the sector to play a major part in Victoria and Australia’s economy.”

Key measures underway include the Victorian Startup Capital Fund – a $60 million Fund that will leverage $180 million of private sector investment for early-stage startup and the Alice Anderson Fund – a $10 million fund that will leverage a further $30m by co-investing in women-led early-stage startups.

LaunchVic will also focus on ensuring more startups scale to become success stories such as Victorian scaleups Marketplacer, Amber Electric and Mr Yum through programs that support, educate and upskill founders, investors and talent.

The Victorian State Budget released in November 2020 allocated a total of $186.2 million to the continued growth of Victoria’s startup ecosystem.