The Victorian Government has contributed a further AU$4.9 million— as part of the second round of LaunchVic grants— to seven local projects aimed at growing the startup and innovation sectors.

LaunchVic, was created by the state government as an independent agency to oversee the allocation of its $60 million innovation fund. It has provided funds to a range of projects including the first state-wide hackathon for girls, and a new innovation hub in the state’s south.

Of 300 applications, seven projects were selected to share in $4.9 million worth of grants, although each could receive up to $1 million. Each grant in the second round has been matched with an equal or greater cash and in-kind investment, bringing the total investment for the selected organizations to $11.6 million. Projects receiving larger grants are to be revealed in the upcoming weeks.

The Round Two grants were announced by Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade Philip Dalidakis, LaunchVic chair Ahmed Fahour and CEO Kate Cornick on Tuesday morning in Melbourne.

Dalidakis says the overall aim is to nurture a world-leading startup ecosystem in Victoria. Dalidakis says,

The caliber of programs funded through LaunchVic is a great example of why Victoria is fast becoming the location of choice for startups and tech business investment across the Asia Pacific. These are programs that will help young companies and ideas develop to create jobs and industries that will support our state for decades to come.

Grant recipients for this round include Sydney-based accelerator program Startmate, which will be using the funding to run a two-year program in Victoria for 16 startups along with a regional tour, and Girl Geek Academy, which will be bringing the SheHacks program to the state.

Co-working space ACMI X also received cash to expand into a “creative tech laboratory” while Outcome.Life will focus on attracting and retaining international student grads in Victoria.

Speaking on the announcement, Kate Cornick reinforced the initiative’s goal to boost Victoria’s position as a global startup leader. She said,

LaunchVic works together with the entrepreneurial sector to drive solutions that will transition startups to future businesses. We will invest and partner in ideas, expertise and infrastructure to grow Victoria’s thriving startup ecosystem.

In contrast to the policies of several other state governments, where individual startups or organizations receive public funding, Victoria has focused on providing cash to projects or initiatives that aim to develop the wider community. Cornick adds,

We want to really figure out where we should be focusing and make sure we’re spending and investing in the biggest and brightest ideas that are really going to set Melbourne and Victoria apart. I want to really amplify the fact that Victoria is a world-class ecosystem and is attracting the very best talent.

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