We’ve been receiving a bunch of questions about the 2017 Startup Launch, for which applications are now open. We wanted to create this brief FAQ resource to help anyone thinking of applying – please feel free to share this and post additional questions below. We will reply as soon as possible!
Just quickly, a big THANK YOU to everyone who attended our launch event at The Greenhouse during the mid-semester break! We think we had about 80 people there and it was a great testament to UNSW’s amazing startup community. A special shout-out to the 11 teams that participated in our impromptu pitching comp and congrats again to Cycle Lights Indicator for taking home the RamenLife prize! Here’s a quick video about the event and overall program:
This year, the Startup Launch program is organised into 3 distinct streams so we can support businesses at different stages of the startup journey with greater focus and more tailored content. It is a completely FREE program open to any UNSW student or alum-led venture.
Each week, we will hold a 2-hour workshop on campus at UNSW that you must attend. The rest of your experience is up to you and may include follow-up meetings with speakers or mentors that you meet through the program.
The workshop schedule is provided below for all three streams:
Which stream should I apply for?
The application process is the same for all three streams, simply provide as much information as you can and we will choose the appropriate starting point for you. There’s no extra kudos attached to starting in later streams – it’s simply to do with how advanced your venture is at this point in time.
Act quick: applications for the first intake close at 5 pm on Wednesday 3 May!
Who are the different streams for?
Even though you don’t get to choose your stream, here’s a quick overview of each from a business progress point of view:
Validation: Teams who have an idea and major potential but no existing product. They are unsure if the market really wants or needs their idea. Their business is just starting out and may not yet have an ABN.
Growth: Teams with product-market fit. They have found a lucrative, preferably global, market that uses and enjoys their MVP. They are receiving customer feedback and improving their offering.
Scale and Investment: Teams with a proven product and strong business fundamentals. They are beginning to look at ways of accelerating their growth in a variety of ways, which can include raising capital.
Why do I have to submit a video?
Videos are a common feature in application processes for accelerator programs and the like all over the world. With smartphones and webcams, it’s not a major ask (note: they don’t need to be mind-blowing productions and are only used by us internally). The main benefit for us is being able to put faces to your names and humanise your application, whilst also ensuring that we only receive applications from teams committed enough to put in some extra effort.
How strong do my supporting documents need to be?
Like your overall application, simply provide as much info as you can. Your supporting documents (e.g. business model canvas, financial records and projections or the 1-page product roadmap) are all optional. You are also not required to actually submit them; just let us know whether or not you have them on hand.
We trust you to be honest and may ask to see particular documents via email if things get super-competitive and we need to dive deeper.
If you have questions on what any particular document should cover, please just reach out to the program manager with whom you’ve been working:
What topics will we cover?
Each week, each stream will cover different topics presented by different speakers. This is what we mean by tailored content based on where you’re at as a business. Here are the broad headings for each week within each stream:
Who will be the speakers be?
We’ve decided to keep this one a surprise for our participants, but there are some big names lined up. We have young entrepreneurs who have raised millions in funding, built global businesses and acquired thousands of users! We have people who hold or have held senior positions at places including Canva, Freelancer, Airtasker and Artesian. We have active investors who have collectively invested millions in high-growth, early-stage companies in Australia and overseas. We will also have some internal guns speaking on their areas of expertise, including: legal issues, technical development and digital marketing. We’re very grateful to all the speakers who have already volunteered to participate.
Each workshop will have a keynote address and Q&A on the topic of the week, followed by each team working independently and receiving continued mentoring.
I can’t participate but how else can I be involved?
Although we have arranged all the speakers for the current intake, you might be interested in speaking in a future program. If the topics mentioned earlier in any of the 3 streams are of interest to you (and part of your career or entrepreneurial experience), please feel free to reach out to us.
Also reach out if you might be interested in mentoring a team (outside of the weekly workshops) in any of the 3 streams. Connecting each team with a mentor who might like to continue working with them beyond the formal program is an additional value-add we intend to provide each team.
If you publish resources or hold events that might be of use to the teams in any stream, we would be happy to review them with you and distribute them on your behalf.
If there’s any other way you would like to be involved, just let us know!
Who we are
Established in 2012, the Startup Programs team at UNSW Innovations is responsible for promoting and supporting entrepreneurship on campus and through its global networks. Since then, over 400 startups and more than 600 founders have been assisted; $12.5 million in funding has been raised by the top 10 teams; over 180 vetted mentors have been involved across various events and 4 flagship programs have been established. Learn more at our website.
Shahe Momdjian | UNSW Student Entrepreneur Development Associate