As part of the Study Melbourne 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 $5,000 AUD in prize money:

  1. The applicant must be a current or former International Student (up to 5 years post-graduation) from a Victorian education provider (Higher education, VET or ELICOS). This must be able to be verified. 
  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 (AEDT) on Sunday 13 November, 2022.
    1. Applicants must upload a maximum 3-minute video to YouTube pitching their startup as well as a Pitch Deck in PDF format with a maximum of 10 slides. Submissions longer than the maximum 3-minute time will be disqualified.
    2. Apply by completing the Future Founders Pitch Competition Application Form.
    3. Late applications will not be accepted.
  4. Applicants must be available to be present in person during the Future Founders Pitch Competition Final to be held at the State Library Victoria on 24 November 2022 (5.30pm-9.00pm AETD). 
  5. Applications will be assessed based on how well the applicant has captured the following criteria in both the 3-minute video and Pitch Deck:
    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 including a description of any positive social or environmental impacts your startup plans to generate (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 is 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 quality of your Pitch and Pitch Deck – your pitch is delivered in a clear, confident, engaging and interesting way. Your pitch desk is professionally presented with clear content and structure as well as good quality graphics. (20%)
  6. All Intellectual Property belonging to the applicant or generated by the applicant for the competition, will rest with the applicant. The Library may request your permission to use your copyright material, for example by taking photographs of the event that appear on our website or social media.
  7. Applications that do not fulfill all of the eligibility criteria may be disqualified from the competition.
  8. StartSpace staff will assess the applications based on the criteria in section 5 and select 3 finalists to participate in the live Future Founders Pitch Competition Final which will take place at State Library Victoria on Thursday 24 November, 2022 (5.30pm-9.00pm AETD). 
  9. Based on the criteria in section 5, judges will determine the competition’s winners during the live Future Founders Pitch Competition Final session on 24 November 2022 (5.30pm-9.00pm AEDT)
  10. Winners will receive the following prizes to be used at the discretion of applicants on their startups:
    1. First place – $5,000 AUD ex GST and StartSpace Loft membership
    2. Second place – $3,000 AUD ex GST
    3. Third place – $1,000 AUD ex GST
  11. The prize money will be deposited directly into your nominated Australian bank account via electronic transfer.
  12. 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 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.
  13. The results will be published via the Future Founders Program website.
  14. By submitting an entry, all participants consent to having their name publicised on the Future Founders, Study Melbourne, StartSpace and State Library Victoria Websites and marketing channels and as a prize recipient if successful.


The Library is committed to protecting your privacy. Your personal information is managed in accordance with privacy legislation, including the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (Vic) and any other applicable laws.

The personal information you provide will be used for assessing your application and contacting you about your application. We will publish your name on the Future Founders, Study Melbourne and StartSpace websites if your application is successful.

For more information about how we use your personal information, please see our  Privacy Policy. If you have any questions about privacy, please contact [email protected] or Privacy Officer, State Library Victoria, 328 Swanston Street, Melbourne VIC 3000.Sund