Victorian-government backed startup agency LaunchVic has granted another $300,000 to early-stage accelerator and investor Startmate to inspire around 300 university to become founders.
The $300,000 grant over two years will see at least 320 Victorian university students complete the Startmate Student Fellowship, a three-week intensive designed to give students the confidence, connections and skills to launch their own startup a
It culminates in the ‘Founder’s Challenge’, where the participants work on solving a problem they are passionate about and pitch that startup idea to local venture capital investors.
Startmate CEO Michael Batko said there was a lack of clear or compelling pathways into tech for young people sees many of our most talented and ambitious students lost to corporate life.
“The number one barrier identified to moving into tech jobs or founding a startup is the lack of awareness about what tech jobs exist and simply not knowing where to get started,” he said.
“Instead of the best and brightest students following traditional entry-level career opportunities in corporates, the Student Fellowship will enable students to pursue their most ambitious startup ideas now.”
“By surrounding students with the right community to support them, we will empower them to raise their ambitions faster and higher than they could have ever done alone, and dramatically increase their chance of success. This will strengthen, develop and grow the startup community and foster the next generation of founders.”
So far 363 Victorian students have taken part in the Student Fellowship program, with just under half of them, around 160 people, going on to either work at a startup or found one. They include Kai Van Lieshout and Linus Talacko, second and third year university students who met during the Summer 23 program, then founded Lyrebird Health, an AI assistant for allied healthcare practitioners.
Applications for the Student Fellowship are open for Summer 2024, with early acceptances closing on October 29.
LaunchVic also supports two other Startmate programs financially: its accelerator program and the Startmate Fellowship programs, including a Women’s Fellowship, which offer Victorians fast-track upskilling for careers in tech,