Study Melbourne
Future Founders Pitch Competition


Applications are now closed for the 2023 Study Melbourne Future Founders Pitch Competition, brought to you by StartSpace and sponsored by Scape.

The Pitch Competition welcomes applications from current and former international students (within 5 years post-graduation) from a Victorian education provider. Applicants submitted their best 3-minute pitch for a chance to win up to $5,000 AUD!

5 finalists presented their pitch live to the audience and a panel of judges at the Pitch Competition Final at the Future Founders Festival, 24 November 2023 at State Library Victoria.

The Prizes in 2023 thanks to Scape

  • First place - $5,000 AUD ex GST  and 6 months StartSpace Loft membership    
  • Second place - $3,000 AUD ex GST     
  • Third place - $1,000 AUD ex GST    


Congratulations to the

Pitch Competition Winners of 2023

The Winners from the 2023 Pitch Competition are...

First place – Yen Tien Yap, Co-Founder of Sano Technologies

Second place - Daniel Pham, Founder of Iden Project

Third place - Jieling Deng, Co-Founder, Peer Career

Study Melbourne and StartSpace would like to thank Scape for sponsoring the Future Founders Pitch Competition for 2023. 


Pictured (from left to right): Chris Nunn, General Manager Environment, Social and Governance, Scape, Jieling Deng, Yen Tien Yap, Daniel Pham and Caroline Hartnett, Acting Director Study Melbourne and International Education


2023 Pitch Competition

Sponsored by

Pitch Competition

Information Session

This video recording is from a Pitch Competition information session that was recorded on 20 October 2023 providing information and tips on how to apply, including some Q&A from the audience.  Please note applications are now closed for the 2023 Pitch Competition.

If you have questions about your application please email: [email protected]

Pitch Comp Terms and Conditions



Please note: Applications are now closed for the 2023 Pitch Competition 

The Pitch Competition applications required a 3-minute (maximum) video and slide deck (maximun 10 slides) pitching your business, outlining the problem you are solving and the progress you have made while addressing the judging criteria below. 

The applications are being assessed and up to 5 finalists will be shortlisted to participate in the live Pitch Competition Final which will take place at State Library Victoria on Friday 24 November, 2023 (5.00pm-9:00pm AEDT).  

A panel of expert judges will review the pitches with time for live Q&A with each finalist. The winners will be selected and announced at the evening celebration event after a judges deliberation. 

The Judging Criteria 

The judges will review the pitch videos and presentations based on the following 5 key criteria. 

1. Overall quality of your Pitch and Pitch Deck (30%):

Your pitch is delivered in a clear, confident, engaging and interesting way. Your pitch deck is professionally presented with clear

content and structure as well as good quality graphics. 

2. Market & Problem (20%)
You demonstrate an understanding of the target audience and the problem you are solving for them.

For example:  “We know that international students just like Prayansh who are arriving in Victoria for the first time need … [list a problem unique to your audience]”

3. Solution (20%)

You clearly explain how your offering, service, or product solves this problem including a description of any positive social or environmental impacts your startup plans to generate.

For example: “[Your product/service] … is making the experience of settling into Australia easier for new international students like Michael by … [explain how your solution works]”

4. Team (20%)

You describe how your team is particularly setup for success to deliver your solution.

For example: “We believe we are the best team to achieve this because we have a great combination of skills and experience. Our Creative Lead, Keun-Woo, knows how to connect with international students having built their skills in multiple customer facing roles in businesses serving international students, our Tech Lead, Leila, was part of the software development team behind the successful app XYZ… etc.”

5. Traction (10%)

You demonstrate what have you achieved so far.

For example: “We have proven that students need and want our solution. We already tested the BETA version of our app with 20 students and they all had a positive experience”

Please take time to read the full details about the competition provided in the Terms and Conditions page

If you have submitted an application - Best of luck!

If you haven't yet make sure you get your free ticket to the live Pitch Competition Final at the Future Founders Festival evening event. 


Help with the Pitch Competition

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Have you got any questions about the 2023 Future Founders Pitch Competition? Hopefully you will find the answers below. If you still have questions please email the team at StartSpace: [email protected]

What is the deadline for submitting our application to participate in the Pitch Competition?
Applications are open until 11.59pm on Sunday 29 October AEDT. Late applications will not be accepted.
Can you provide more details about the judging criteria or what you're looking for in successful pitches?
The full details of the judging criteria are included in the Terms & Conditions: The 5 key criteria headings are: 1. Overall quality of your Pitch and Pitch Deck (30%) 2. Market & Problem (20%) 3. Solution (20%) 4. Team (20%) 5. Traction (10%)
Are there any specific eligibility criteria or restrictions for participating in the competition?
The full details of the judging criteria are included in the Terms & Conditions: The top 3 criteria the applicants must meet includes: 18+ years old. A current, or former International Student (up to 5 years post-graduation) of a Victorian higher education institution (University, TAFE, RTO, ELICOS). A founder or co-founder of a lawful, early-stage business
How many startups or founders will be selected to pitch in the competition?
Up to 5 finalists will be selected to take part in the live final on 24 November as part of the Study Melbourne Future Founders Festival evening event.
What types of prizes or support do the winners of the competition stand to receive?
First Prize: $5,000 AUD ex GST and 6 months StartSpace Loft membership   Second Prize: $3,000 AUD ex GST Third Prize: $1,000 AUD ex GST  
Is there an application fee or any costs associated with participating in the competition?
No, it is absolutely free to participate!
When I apply, can I save my application and come back to it at another time?
Unfortunately not. However the application form is all on one page, so you can visit the form and review all the questions before you prepare your answers. TIP: We recommend you prepare your answers in a separate document and copy and past your answers in when you are ready to include the link to the video and upload your pdf slides. That way you can submit it all at once and do not risk losing the work you have put into your application.
Can you provide information about the format and structure of the pitch event, including the duration of pitches and any Q&A sessions?
When you apply, your pitch video must be no longer than 3 minutes and your pitch deck must be no more than 10 slides. If you are selected as a finalist to present your pitch in the live final you will have 3 minutes to pitch followed by a short 3-minute Q&A with the judges.
Will there be any opportunities for networking with investors, mentors, or other startups during the competition?
At the live final at the Study Melbourne Future Founders Festival – yes there will be. You should get your free ticket to the festival regardless of the outcome of your application to take advantage of the networking opportunities.
Are there any specific industries or sectors that the competition is focused on, or is it open to startups from any field?
The competition is open to all ideas from all industries. It is not restricted to any particular industry, idea or audience. For example, it is completely ok if your target audience is not focused on students.
How can we prepare for the pitch competition effectively, and do you offer any resources or guidance for applicants?
We recommend you read the application form questions and the full Terms and Conditions before you start working on your pitch. You can read the Terms and Conditions here: We also have an Information Session Video available for you to watch that covers answers to a lot of questions we have received so far. You can watch the video here: Finally we recommend you practice your pitch in front of someone and ask for feedback, so you can adjust your messaging if needed before you submit your application.
Is there a panel of judges or mentors involved in the competition, and can you provide information about their expertise and backgrounds?
There will be a panel of 3 judges with professional backgrounds involved judging the live Pitch Competition Final. The panel has not yet been announced.
When will I hear if my application has been successful?
You will be contacted no later than Friday 17 November with an update on your Pitch Competition application.
When will the winners be announced?
The winners will be announced after the live final at the Future Founders Festival evening event on 24 November at State Library Victoria. You can register for the festival and your free ticket to the live final here:
Are there any specific requirements for the pitch deck or presentation materials that participants need to follow?
The video pitch you submit should be hosted on YouTube or Vimeo and a link to access the video should be included in your application. The pitch deck you provide should be no longer than 10 slides and should be in PDF format only. Please upload the pdf file into your application.
Is the Pitch Competition open to both domestic and international students?
Unfortunately not. This Pitch Competition is only open to current and former international students (up to 5-years post graduation) from a Victorian higher education provider. However domestic students are welcome to come along to the Study Melbourne Future Founders Festival on 24 November at State Library Victoria including coming to the Live Pitch Competition Final during the Festival evening event. You can access tickets here:
Do I need to know the net-worth of my target market?
It is important to be able to clearly communicate in your pitch who your target market is for your solution and why this solution is needed. This may include the market share that your target audience equates to if you have access to that information but you are not specifically required to include net-worth.
Is voice over pitch deck slides ok for the video or do we need to show our faces?
We would encourage you to try and include yourself on video presenting your Pitch so the judges can see you. This will be great practice if you are selected as a finalist.
Do we need to discuss our business model, competitors and go-to-market strategy in the pitch?
It is important for you to decide which information you have that is most important to include in your 3 minute pitch and 10 slides. That may include things like a business model, market strategy or competitors. The most important thing is for you to ensure you answer all of the criteria.
What was it about last years winners that gave them the edge and helped them win?
In terms of the pitch application, all the finalists had submitted really clear and easy to understand pitch videos and slide presentations. They put the effort into ensuring they focused on addressing the key selection criteria of the competition in their pitch. If terms of their live pitch we understand they practiced a LOT to ensure they were confident on the night of the final.
Congratulations to the

Pitch Competition Winners 2022

The Winners from the 2022 Pitch Competition

First place – Inspiring Chats (now Bekko),  pitched and accepted by Co-founder Eugenia Yuan

Second place - Stint, pitched and accepted by Sabrina Leung

Third place - Plante, pitched and accepted by Founder Nguyen Hanh Nguyen