As part of the Future Founders Festival which celebrates Victorian International Students and the startup ecosystem, participants who meet the following criteria can be in the running to win up to $3,500 AUD in prize money:

  1. The applicant must be a current or former International Student from a Victorian education provider (Higher education, VET or ELICOS). This must be able to be verified. We simply need to be able to verify you were once enrolled as an International Student at a Victorian education provider.
  2. The applicant must lead an early stage 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 and LaunchVic’s Startup Framework.
  3. Submit an application before 11:59PM (AEST) on Thursday 8 July, 2021.
    1. Applicants must upload a maximum 3-min video to YouTube pitching their startup.
    2. Submissions longer than the maximum 3-min time will be disqualified.
      Apply by completing the Future Founders Website competition form.
    3. Application details include
      1. Full name of applicant
      2. Name of startup
      3. Link to the Youtube Pitch Video
      4. Contact phone number
      5. Email address
      6. Position of applicant in company
      7. Website of startup
      8. Social Media handles of startup
      9. Contact details of reference that can verify applicant is a current/former Victorian international student
    4. Late applications will not be accepted
  4. Applicants must be available to connect by Zoom video-conferencing during the Startup Pitch Competition Final to be held on Virtually Thursday 16 July 2021 (3.00-4.15pm AEST).
  5. Applications will be assessed based on how well you have captured on the following criteria in your 3-min pitch:
    1. Market & problem
      – tell us about your specific target audience and the problem you are solving for them (20%)
      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]”
    2. Solution – explain how your offering, service, or product solves this problem (20%)
      For example: “[Your product/service] … is making the experience of settling into Australia easier for new international students like Prayansh by … [explain how your solution works]”
    3. Team – describe how your team particularly setup for success to deliver your solution (20%)
      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 exactly the right style to connect with international students, our Tech Lead, Leila, is already building our app… etc.”
    4. Traction – demonstrate to us what have you achieved so far (20%)
      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”
    5. Overall Pitch – deliver your pitch in a clear, engaging, and interesting way (20%)
  6. Applications that do not fulfill all of the eligibility criteria may be disqualified from the competition.
  7. StartSpace staff will assess the applications based on the criteria in section 5 and select 3 finalists to participate in the livestreamed Startup Pitch Competition Final session where they will speak directly with a judging panel consisting of industry figures in a live Q&A session through Zoom. The top 3 Finalists will be notified by Monday 12 July 2021.
  8. Based on the criteria in section 5, judges will determine the competition’s winners during the livestreamed Startup Pitch Competition Final session on 16 July 2021 (3.00-4.15pm AEST). Judging will occur remotely and assessments will be electronically sent to the StartSpace team for collation. Any conflicts of interests will be managed in line with Library policy. Winners will receive the following prizes to be used at the discretion of applicants on their startups:
    1. First place – $2,000 AUD ex GST, $7,000 in Practera credit and StartSpace Loft membership
    2. Second place – $1,000 AUD ex GST and $3,500 in Practera credit
    3. Third place – $500 AUD ex GST and $1,500 in Practera credit
  9. The prize money will be transferred by electronic transfer in August 2021.
  10. The StartSpace Loft membership for First Place is defined as follows:
    1. Access to a maximum of 2 hotdesks will be provided to the winning startup
    2. This access will be complimentary with regular fees waived
    3. The access will begin at the opening of the StartSpace Loft and last for 6 months of time collectively based on when the Library is permitted to have the space open in accordance with public health directives. Access commencement cannot be postponed to a further date
    4. At the completion of the 6 months, the team will meet with the StartSpace team who will decide ongoing options for access.
  11. The results will be published via StartSpace and Future Founders Festival website.
  12. By submitting an entry, all participants consent to having their name publicised on the StartSpace and as a prize recipient if successful.