LaunchVic courting accelerators to fill the gap left by the scrapped 500 Startups program

Startup

LaunchVic, the Victorian Government’s startup investment agency, has made available a new round of funding to attract world-class accelerator programs to Melbourne.

LaunchVic is seeking to invest up to $3 million per application in the very best Australian or international accelerators and teams with proven track records for running accelerators.

LaunchVic CEO, Dr Kate Cornick said attracting world-class accelerators would “strategically build capability and excellence into Victoria’s local startup ecosystem” and “fill the gap” left by the termination of their contract with 500 Startups, this month.

The venture capital firm, from Silicon Valley, had secured a funding grant from LaunchVic to launch its Australian headquarters in Melbourne but LaunchVic terminated the agreement after it came to light that 500 Startups had failed to disclose an investigation into sexual harassment allegations against its co-founder Dave McClure.

“We said at the time [the partnership was terminated] we would reinvest the $2.9 million allocated for 500 Startups to another world-class accelerator program of the same calibre and we’re doing it” Dr Cornick said.

“Successful applicants will need to demonstrate their experience in delivering a world-class accelerator that will help Victoria’s best and brightest startups to achieve on an international scale.”

Dr Cornick said LaunchVic had, to date, allocated 70 per cent of its grant funding to local home-grown programs and would continue to invest at a local and a global level to drive outcomes that will position Victoria’s startup ecosystem as a leader.

The funding round will close on Tuesday, 10 October. It will be supported by online information sessions.

Related: Two in three Victorian startups are exporters and LaunchVic issues $1.4m in grants to assist migrants and refugees to launch startups.