LaunchVic issues $1.4m in grants to assist migrants and refugees to launch startups


The grant recipients from LaunchVic's latest (3rd) funding round.

Five organisations have secured a total of $1.4 million in grants from LaunchVic to deliver programs that will help first generation migrants and refugees launch startups in Victoria, including regional and remote area of the state.  

According to LaunchVic CEO Dr Kate Cornick, the aim of LaunchVic’s latest funding round is to increase diversity in the Victorian startup ecosystem and make it more inclusive.

“Research shows that migrants and refugees are twice as likely to start a business as those born locally and are more willing to take business risks – meaning they are perfectly suited to the startup world,” she said in statement.

“All grants in this funding round have cash and in-kind investments bringing the total combined investment for this funding round to more than $2 million.”

The grant recipients are listed here, along with details of the programs they will deliver with LaunchVic funding:

Hatch Quarter: Hatch Quarter is an innovation hub and co-working space for entrepreneurs, startups and professionals. With $71,500 in LaunchVic funding, Hatch Quarter will create a playbook to help first generation migrants and refugees seeking to launch a startup and successfully integrate themselves into the Victorian startup ecosystem. The Hatch Quarter will also deliver a number of meetups to build a supportive community for international startup entrepreneurs.

Laika Academy: Laika Academy is a Victorian educational social enterprise dedicated to creating a diverse startup sector through cross-cultural and engaging learning experiences. With $322,500 in LaunchVic funding, Laika Academy will be able to create The Generation Launch – an educational program to support migrants, refugees and new Australians enter the Victorian startup ecosystem and create successful, high-growth ventures. The program will include: knowledge-building workshops that will support startups to launch; startup intensives to build practical skills; collaborations with institutions to embed startup skills; and networking events to encourage and connect startup entrepreneurs into the community.

Enterprising Partnerships: In 2016, Enterprising Partnerships piloted Cultov8, a pre-accelerator program for young migrants and refugees. The $452,000 in LaunchVic funding will enable Cultov8 to run 10 hackathons across the Victoria including Geelong, Shepparton, Ballarat, Broadmeadows and Dandenong. 300 first generation migrants, refugees and asylum seekers aged between 18-30 years will benefit from this program. Cultov8 will also include a 12-week pre-accelerator that will benefit 80 startup entrepreneurs with support on consolidating their startup ideas and teams and learning startup skills. They will also be provided mentoring, business coaching, peer learning and online learning tools.

YGAP: YGAP is a not-for-profit organisation whose mission is to use entrepreneurship to help improve the lives of people living in disadvantage in a significant and measurable way. They have successfully run an accelerator program that has backed over 300 early-stage impact ventures founded by locals in Africa, Asia and Australia. The $304,000 in LaunchVic funding will allow YGAP to expand their program to create YGAP First Gens, a program to support 36 startups led by new migrants or refugees. This program includes a series of workshops in Melbourne and rural centres to help build startups around problems affecting at risk or disadvantaged refugees and or migrants; an intensive early stage accelerator program; and incubator to provide additional support for ventures.

Free to Feed: Free to Feed is a not-for-profit social enterprise that engages refugees and new migrants in a range of innovative food based enterprises. The $245,770 in LaunchVic funding will enable Free to Feed to establish Now to Launch, a food enterprise hub and startup incubator dedicated to nurturing and showcasing the food entrepreneurialism of Victoria’s refugees and new migrants. The program will offer 60 startups from Melbourne and regional Victoria the chance to take their dynamic, high growth food startup concepts from now to launch.


About LaunchVic

Established by the Victorian Government, LaunchVic is an independent company, with access to $60 million over four years, committed to accelerating startups, driving new ideas and creating jobs in Victoria.