LaunchVic’s new plan eyes long term success of 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 said the focus is on driving the success of Victoria’s startups via new funding streams and 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.”

LaunchVic’s targets and priorities for startups

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 approach will apply to companies that invest in theirboutcomes, like Startmate’s Accelerator Program. LaunchVic intends to reinvest any returns back into the ecosystem.

LaunchVic Chair Leigh Jasper said the focus over the next 4 years is to catalyse the Victorian startup ecosystem to drive greater startup creation, faster company growth and more jobs.

“Startups are proven job multipliers 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’s economy.”

Key measures include the Victorian Startup Capital Fund, a $60 million Fund that leverages $180 million of private sector investment for startups and the Alice Anderson Fund, a $10 million fund that leverages $30m by 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.