Accelerator

Guidance, funding, mentorship, and a community to propel your startup's growth.

Ready to take your startup to the next level? Let’s make it happen.

If you’re an ambitious, curious and dedicated founder working on a scalable startup or social impact venture, our program helps you grow as a founder and take your business to a new level.

Valued at $150,000.

Here is what you’ll be in for:

  • First and foremost, you’ll be a part of a community of ambitious, persistent and generous founders. Our past teams continue to support each other today.
  • $10,000 of equity free funding
  • 12 weeks of regular workshops (1 per week) on the key skills and drivers to grow your startup — customer development, sales, marketing, building your team, investment, pitching, and all the in-betweens
  • Access to Melbourne CBD co-working space for 6 months at Deakin Downtown (727 Collins St) that offers the next level of sophisticated, technology-rich, flexible spaces for meetings and workshops. 3 months are essential and an additional 3 months is optional (access is valued at $3,600)
  • Free professional legal advice through the Deakin Venture Law Clinic
  • Dedicated mentorship with regular catch-ups to give you tailored guidance and keep you focused, accountable and feel supported
  • We’re also an official partner for Google for Startups which includes $20 000 credit for the Cloud platform
  • $7, 500 credits from Amazon Web Services
  • Free Xero Accounting Software for 1 year
  • 90% off Hubspot marketing, sales and customer service software for the first 12 months (average saving $17,000)
  • Access to a network of mentors from industry, founders and startup ecosystem supporters

We now accepting expressions of interest (EOI’s) on an ongoing basis for the 2021 program. Be sure to sign up to get updates as soon as the next round opens!

Submit interest for 2021

More than just funding

To date, we’ve empowered 68 founders, funded 28 startups who have served over 15,000 customers and generated over $3.3 million in revenue. These startups have created over 300 full-time and part-time jobs and over 800 contract roles.

The accelerator funds and supports startups founded by Deakin University students, staff, and alumni that are making waves in all fields and industries. We help passionate teams with a commitment to pursuing their business full time, get the help they need. We reserve one place for a social enterprise and are keen to see more applications from female and culturally and linguistically diverse founders through the years.

See what it’s all about

  • Launch Day and Demo Day are open for all to attend. If you are interested in applying in the future, we highly encourage you attend to get a head start by seeing what the Accelerator is all about. See highlights from the 2019 Demo Day here.

Backed by the best.

Meet our program partners…

You'll be in great company — Accelerator Mentors

Lisa Galbraith

Lisa Galbraith

Startup Coach
Olga Hogan

Olga Hogan

Startup Coach
Scott Handsaker

Scott Handsaker

CEO, Cyrise
Kirstin McIntosh

Kirstin McIntosh

Head of Partnerships, Cyrise
Chris Thompson

Chris Thompson

General Manager Business and Governance Services, Corangamite Catchment Management Authority
Josh Sharma

Josh Sharma

Startup Lawyer & Adviser, LUNA
Leo Trieu

Leo Trieu

Founder & CTO, Code4Startup
John Sherwood

John Sherwood

Founder/CTO, Gleam.io
Kate Givoni

Kate Givoni

Development Manager, Xero
Joel Hanna

Joel Hanna

Founder, Big Little Brush (social enterprise)
Ryan Fitzpatrick

Ryan Fitzpatrick

Portfolio Manager, Skalata Ventures
Matt Macfarlane

Matt Macfarlane

CEO and Managing Director / Founder, icetana / m15e ventures
Kaja Antlej

Kaja Antlej

Lecturer in Industrial Design and Researcher, Deakin University
Vincent Wilson

Vincent Wilson

CEO, Deakin Residential Services
Edward Hooper

Edward Hooper

Investor, Cardinia Ventures
Phillip Dawson

Phillip Dawson

Associate Director, Centre For Research In Assessment And Digital Learning (Cradle), Deakin University
David Plumridge

David Plumridge

CEO & CTO, mindmybag
Daniel Steen

Daniel Steen

UX Specialist and Creative Problem Solver, D. Steen Design
Oliver Kidd

Oliver Kidd

Founder and CEO, Archa
Kylie Frazer

Kylie Frazer

Partner, Eleanor Venture
Hugh Stephens

Hugh Stephens

General Partner, Galileo Ventures
Thomas Szmidel

Thomas Szmidel

Cofounder & CTO, CarDeals2Me / UChooseCars
Charlie Macdonald

Charlie Macdonald

Analyst, Giant Leap Fund (Impact Investment Group)

Eligibility Criteria

To be considered for the program, startups must meet the following criteria:

  • At least one co-founder in your startup must a be Deakin student, staff or Alumni from any area of the university.
  • You have a minimum 2 co-founders.
  • Preference will be given to those who can commit full-time* to working from our co-working space in Melbourne CBD
  • Your startup must be scalable – no small businesses, consultants or agencies will be considered. A startup is a business with high impact potential that uses innovation and/or addresses scalable markets. See LaunchVic’s definition of what a startup is here.

*the 2020 program is being run virtually. This criteria is being put on hold.

Submit interest for 2021

"SPARK has some of the most phenomenal, down to earth entrepreneurs and big thinkers. It sparks a blazing fire in you to find your passion and work at it and I'm so grateful to be a part of this program!"

I'd just like to re-iterate how impressed I was by SPARK Deakin's 4-day pre-accelerator intensive. I wouldn’t subtract anything — this was the best startup program I have ever been involved with. I can't wait to see what the program does next.

Meet some of our alumni