Individuals who meet the following criteria are eligible to apply to the Study Melbourne Future Founders Pitch Competition 2023, sponsored by Scape and delivered by StartSpace (powered by State Library Victoria).

The Study Melbourne Future Founders Pitch Competition is open to applications from individual applicants or teams who are founders of New or Early-Stage businesses. An application must be submitted via the Future Founders Pitch Competition webpage by the Applicant and must be received by the Library by 11.59PM on Sunday 29 October 2023 AEDT.

The top 5 finalists will be invited to pitch live at the Pitch Competition on Friday 24 November 2023 (5.00pm-09:00pm AEDT) at State Library Victoria.

Section 1 – Eligibility Criteria

  1. The applicant must meet all of the following criteria:
    1. Must be at least 18 years old.
    2. Must be a current, or former, International Student of a Victorian higher education institution (University, TAFE, RTO, ELICOS). Former students must be no more than 5 years post-graduation at the time of application.
    3. Must be developing a lawful, early-stage 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 early stage or startup business.
    5. Must possess a personal Australian Bank account in their name, or a business Australian Bank account linked to their name, and in which they can receive the prize. 
    6. Must to be able to provide supporting documentation as required by the Library (which may include but is not limited to academic transcripts).
    7. Must submit the application via the website so that it is received by the Library by 11:59PM (AEDT) on Sunday 29 October, 2023.
      1. As part of their application, the Applicant must upload a maximum 3-minute video to YouTube or Vimeo pitching their startup as well as a Pitch Deck (Presentation) in PDF format with a maximum of 10 slides. Submissions longer than the maximum 3-minutes time and 10 slides will be disqualified.
      2. Late applications will not be accepted.
  2. If successful, Applicants must be available to be present in person during the Future Founders Pitch Competition Final to be held at State Library Victoria on 24 November 2023 (5.00pm-9.00pm AETD). No exceptions will be considered.

Section 2 – Selection Criteria

  1. Applications will be assessed based on the following 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%)
      Demonstrates 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%) 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%) 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%) Demonstrate to us 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”

Section 3 – Application Assessment

Once applications are closed, Library staff will assess applications based on the criteria in Section 2 above and select up to the top 5 finalists to participate in the live Pitch Competition Final. 

Applicants will be informed on an update of their application no later than 14 November 2023.

During the live Pitch Competition Final session on Friday 24 November 2023 (5:00pm-9:00pm AEST), the judges will mark the finalists pitches based on criteria in section 2 and determine the winners (First, Second and Third place winners).

Section 4 – Payment

  1. The winners of the Pitch Competition will be eligible to receive the following benefits as prizes:  
    1. First place
      1. $5,000 AUD ex GST
      2. StartSpace Loft membership for 6 months (January – June 2024) for up to 2 team members. Note that additional terms & conditions will apply to such membership. 
    2. Second place
      1. $3,000 AUD ex GST
    3. Third place
      1. $1,000 AUD ex GST
  2. In order to receive the prizes, the winners must properly complete all required financial paperwork provided by the Library including:
    1. State Library of Victoria Invoice Supplier Registration Form.
    2. Invoice in the amount of the prize.

Section 5 – Media & publicity

The winners’ names and their team members’ names including a brief description of their business or idea may be published in the StartSpace and Library websites and channels as well as to the wider media to promote the program in the future. Applicants consent to the use of their personal information for this purpose. Please see the Library privacy policy.

Section 6 – Diversity & Inclusion

The Study Melbourne Future Founders Program 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 International Student community.

Section 7 – Additional terms

By applying, the Applicants and team members agree to be bound by the following Terms and Conditions of StartSpace membership and the Future Founders Program Code of Conduct. These Terms and Conditions apply in addition to any other terms and Library requirements including the Library’s entry and service policies.

Section 8 – Privacy

State Library Victoria is collecting your personal information to assess your application and communicate with you about your application. We will publish your name on the StartSpace and Library websites and channels if your application is successful. We may also use personal information to assess and improve our performance and offerings, and to fulfil the Library’s functions under the Libraries Act 1988 (Vic).

We use third party systems and servers which may be located outside Victoria.

If you do not provide the requested personal information, we cannot progress your application and you cannot participate in the Competition.

We manage personal information in accordance with applicable laws, including the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (Vic), and our Privacy Policy.

You can access your personal information by writing to our Privacy Officer at [email protected] or State Library Victoria, 328 Swanston Street, Melbourne VIC 3000.