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How Victoria is unlocking the power of startups for public health

- May 18, 2022 2 MIN READ
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Victoria’s youth health and wellbeing has been a state priority for decades – but with roughly a quarter of the state’s children overweight (Australian Bureau of Statistics), there’s more that can be done.

While schools, parents and government bodies have all been focused on education programs and supporting healthy lifestyle choices, we believe Victoria’s brightest business minds also play an important role in finding progressive new solutions that help solve one of the larger public health issues of our time.  

Melbourne has been named time-and-time again one of the best Life Sciences startup ecosystems in the world. It’s abundantly clear we have a stronghold of entrepreneurs and startup founders who are equipped with innovative and sustainable ideas that can solve the state’s health concerns – while also creating jobs, making a profit and positively impacting our communities. 

What’s key to unlocking these big ideas is ensuring we connect entrepreneurs with the government bodies who can help bring their businesses to market. 

We’ve seen governments and startups achieve incredible results before, like when startup founder Zoë Condliffe launched She’s a Crowd – a platform that digitally maps gender-based harassment in cities around the world. 

Her data is being used by Victoria’s Department of Transport to help make Melbourne a safer place for women and gender-diverse people. 

We’ve also seen community-led startups like MyGigsters team up with Worksafe Victoria to help improve safety standards in the gig economy.  And much in the same way, EnergyTech startups like Victorian clean energy retailer Amber Electric have come to the fore to help address the climate crisis. 

So, improving the health of our kids presents another huge challenge and opportunity for Victorian entrepreneurs. 


Pre-accelerator program

That’s why VicHealth and Victoria’s lead startup agency LaunchVic have teamed up to rollout pre-accelerator program CivVic Labs. The six-week program by is aimed at harnessing the power of entrepreneurship and innovation to solve the big health issues facing young people in Victoria. 

It’s previously enabled startups including She’s a Crowd a foot in the door of government departments. 

And this time, it will play a crucial role in bringing startups to the coalface of public health and incentivising startups to seize the opportunity with both hands. 

CivVic Labs is an opportunity for 15 of Victoria’s most ambitious entrepreneurs to think boldly about solving the health crisis, supported by $10,000 in equity-free funding. 

Founders will then have the chance to apply for a further $25,000 in seed funding to bring their idea to market.

As Victoria’s startup ecosystem continues to grow, LaunchVic is focused on making government procurement pathways as easy as possible for founders via programs like CivVic Labs. Not just for the sake of the economy and jobs – but for the improvement of youth health and a better future too. 

Applications for the LaunchVic x VicHealth CivVic program remain open until May 30.

Apply at: launchvic.org/civvic-labs