Deakin Startup Competition

Designed for Deakin students, staff, and alumni of all experience levels the Deakin Startup Competiton helps you launch your startup or social enterprise with a total prize pool of $25 000 including cash, in-kind credits from Google and Amazon and other perks. Winners will be announced at a Showcase event in September 2021 and workshops are available to refine your submission and guide you through the process.

Have you got a startup idea that won’t leave you alone? Or have you always been a little too shy to try when it comes to the world of business and entrepreneurship?

The competition aims to welcome, inspire and encourage students, staff, and alumni to ignite their entrepreneurial spirit in a manner that is part competition, part learning experience. Whether you have little or no experience, you’ll be able to develop, test and pitch a startup idea. If you have a more developed idea, or consider yourself a seasoned entrepreneur – you can also participate.  

The Deakin Startup Competition may be perfect for you!

This inaugural competition is focused on participation and having the courage to try – there is a program of workshops with experienced facilitators and guest presenters to support you in the registration period, so no prior experience is required. 

How will the competition work?

  • Round One: Registrations open on July 12, and in order to help teams to develop their entries a workshop series, Entrepreneurship Fundamentals, is offered in the registration period.  Registration is considered your competition entry, and registrations close at midnight on August 22, 2021
  • Round Two: If your entry is accepted you will have access to further intensive workshops and mentoring to help you refine your submission before the final deadline in September.   
  • Grand Final Showcase: The competition will culminate in a grand final showcase where the top eight entries will pitch to a live audience in a bid to win the prizes.

Prize Pool and Competition Streams

Our winners will be announced at the grand final showcase on September 27 and they will share in a prize pool that is currently valued at over $25 000 (and still growing).  It combines equity-free seed funding, in-kind prizes from our partners, and educational opportunities to further your startup idea. 

The competition will have two streams.

  • Stream One is for individuals or teams of Deakin Students.
  • Stream Two is for individuals or teams of Deakin Staff and Alumni.

Eligibility Criteria

This competition is open to all Deakin students, staff, and alumni and is delivered entirely online.

  • Team size must be between 1 and 5 members
  • Teams must include at least 1 staff member, student or alumni of Deakin University.
  • Teams must not submit an idea that is operating as a going concern by the members (this includes operating under a business incubator or accelerator), at the time of registration.

Important Dates

  • Registration for the competition opens on July 12, 2021.
  • Entrepreneurship Fundamentals is a workshop series to support the development competition entries. This is highly recommended and detailed below.  All sessions will be delivered online.
  • Entries close at midnight on August 22, 2021.
  • Successful entries that will progress in the competition will be notified on August 25, 2021.
  • The Startup Success Series is a program of offerings to provide progressing entries with the opportunity to refine and shine their competition entry.  These sessions will run online from August 25 until September 17 – the incredible lineup of guests and speakers that we have curated will be shared throughout the Entrepreneurship Fundamentals workshop series.
  • Final Submissions from successful applicants will be accepted until 5 pm September 19, 2021.  The eight teams that make the grand final will be notified on September 22, 2021.

How to submit your application

Your application will be submitted entirely online and includes a combination of written responses and a short video pitch.

  • You have access to the questions and structure of the application in this pdf.
  • Please note that you cannot save the application once you begin the process, so use the pdf to make sure you have everything you need to apply, and then set aside 15-30 minutes to complete and submit your entry.
  • Team SPARK have created three workshops to guide the process to create your entry and build out your idea at the same time.  These are not compulsory but are highly recommended as a valuable opportunity to connect with team SPARK and with our SPARK community. Scroll down to find all the details.
  • The deadline to submit your entry is midnight August 22, 2021.

Submit your entry to the Deakin Startup Competition by August 22, 2021  

Entrepreneurial Fundamentals: 3-Part Workshop Series

WORKSHOP ONE: Validation for Early Stage Business Ideas

Tuesday, July 27. 11am-2pm

WORKSHOP TWO: Lean Startup Principles + the Business Model Canvas

Thursday, August 5, 11am-2pm

WORKSHOP THREE: Communicating Clearly + Pitching Like A Pro

Tuesday, August 17. 11am-2pm

"The amazing thing about the way that the course is structured is that we'll learn a little bit, but then we'll also get to writing, action, and implement what we learned to our business straight away. I didn't expect to have so much done!"

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