StartSpace Mentorship Program 2022 Overview

StartSpace is a free business support service and community for new and early stage founders, powered by State Library Victoria.

Delivered by StartSpace in collaboration with Ensemble Strategy, the StartSpace Mentorship Program seeks to support StartSpace members in growing their capabilities as a founder and progressing their new or early stage ventures by connecting them with selected industry Mentors in a structured program, supported by experienced coaches.

The focus of the program is about the individual, not just their enterprise. This means an emphasis on one-on-one mentorship between the Mentees and the Mentors. In order to support as many enterprises within the Program as possible, only one founder or co-founder for each enterprise will be permitted to apply and participate.

StartSpace is seeking 10 Members to be part of the first cohort of Mentees in this pilot program. This pilot program will run from August until December 2022. It is free to join and only open to fully inducted StartSpace Members and Loft Members.

To be considered for a place, StartSpace Members must apply through the online application form and meet the Eligibility Criteria below. Please note applications are now closed.

Eligibility Criteria

The Applicant must meet all of the following criteria:

  1. Must be a fully inducted StartSpace Member or Loft Member at the time of submitting the application.
  2. Must be 18 years or older.
  3. Be working on a lawful, early stage idea, business or startup – “early stage” as defined as idea stage or validation/testing stage that is pre-revenue or minimal revenue according to the City of Melbourne Startup Action Plan (PDF – page 41) and LaunchVic’s Startup Framework (PDF – page 14)
  4. Must be a founder or co-founder of the business.
  5. Be a Victorian resident. We require participants to be residing in Victoria for the entirety of the Mentorship Program (August to December 2022).
  6. Are committed to developing their business and can participate for the sessions as part of StartSpace Mentorship Program with approximately 25 hours of commitment across activities from August to December 2022 including:
    1. In person attendance at the Kick-Off (August 2022) and Closing (December 2022) – approximately 2 hours each.
    2. Six (6) 1 hour One-on-one Mentoring sessions (either in-person or virtual) with their dedicated Mentor. On top of this, allowing time for preparation prior to session as well as time to action any learnings or guidance after each session.
    3. Three (3) 1 hour Business coaching sessions with the program Facilitators including an initial session before the program kick-off, a mid-way program check-in and a session at the end of the program.
    4. Five (5) 1 hour (optional) Group Mentoring sessions with other Mentees and Mentors from the program.

Businesses with multiple founders or team members should select one individual to apply. If selected to be a Mentee in this program, the individual must commit to attend all sessions in-person. Changing places with teammates won’t be permitted during the program.

Applications must be submitted by 11.59pm on Sunday, 24 July 2022 to be eligible.

Selection Criteria

Applications will be assessed based on your responses to the following criteria

Attitude & commitment (30%)

You have expressed the current level of commitment that you are investing into your business and your availability around the time of the program and how that will work with your other commitments (e.g. work, study, other program participation).

Problem & solution (30%)

You have demonstrated that you have a clear idea of who your target audience is/are and how your product or service (solution) solves a specific problem for them.

Applicants who are still in the Ideas stage / have not yet launched the business are eligible to apply if they are able to demonstrate that significant research has been done to understand the problem, the market or industry you’ll be entering, potential effectiveness of the solution you’re offering as well as potential competitors to your business.

Impact (30%)

You have outlined how this program may change the trajectory of your business and your personal growth as a founder.

Success to date & future plans (10%)

You have demonstrated what you have achieved so far and some goals you plan to undertake during and after the program in a clear manner.

Late applications will not be accepted.

Application Assessment

  1. StartSpace will assess the applications based on the Selection Criteria and select 10 individuals to participate in the StartSpace Mentorship Program. Follow up calls via telephone or teleconferencing between the shortlisted applicants and the selection panel may be held in the determination of the final participants. Selection will occur remotely, and assessments will be electronically sent to the StartSpace team for collation and endorsement by Friday 5 August 2022. Any conflicts of interests will be managed in line with Library policy.
  2. Selected recipients (the Mentee) will need to be contactable via e-mail and phone in the week commencing 1 August 2022. If, after reasonable efforts have been made, a non-response may lead to forfeiture of the opportunity.


The Benefits

Successful individuals will be eligible to receive the following benefits as part of their participation in the StartSpace Mentorship Program from August to December 2022, including:

  1. Attend the Kick-Off (August 2022) and Closing events (December 2022).
  2. Six (6) 1 hour One-on-one Mentoring sessions (either in-person or virtual) with their dedicated Mentor.
  3. Three (3) Business coaching sessions with the program Facilitators: an initial session before the program kick-off, a mid-way program check-in and a session at the end of the program.
  4. Five (5) 1 hour (optional) Group Mentoring sessions with other Mentees and Mentors from the program.


Media & Publicity

  1. The results may be published via StartSpace and SLV website and channels.
  2. By submitting an entry, all successful participants are consenting to having their name publicised on the StartSpace and SLV websites and channels as a Mentorship Program participant.

StartSpace is committed to promoting gender equality, diversity and inclusiveness. We recognise diversity as differences in gender, age, cultural and linguistic diversity (CALD), disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, geographic location and socio-economic status. We will actively seek to represent the diversity of the Victorian community.

By joining the StartSpace Mentorship Program, the mentees understand that participation in all activities in the program other than those specifically noted as ‘optional’ is required.

By accepting your offer, you agree to be bound by the following Terms and Conditions of StartSpace membership. These Terms and Conditions are made pursuant to s52 (By-laws) of the Libraries Act 1988 (Vic) as well as State Library Victoria’s (‘the Library’s’) Terms & conditions of public entry.

The StartSpace Mentorship Program is a fully-subsidised program and there are no program fees for selected participants.