Startup Ideation

Startup Ideation is an unconventional Work Integrated Learning (WIL) program that allows Deakin University students to create their own startup with the support of SPARK Deakin.

What is the Startup Ideation Program?

Startup Ideation is an unconventional Work Integrated Learning (WIL) program that allows Deakin University students to create their own startup with the support of SPARK Deakin. Students work in teams or on their own to build create a new product or service. Past participants have come out of the program with a live, revenue-generating product.

The program is hosted by a dedicated program facilitator with weekly 3-hour sessions, open communication channels, ongoing mentoring, and industry guest speakers: past speakers have included MasterChef finalists, and employees from Google and Envato.

Each week will be dedicated to a specific entrepreneurial skill, and you will be given a series of challenges designed to help you turn your idea into a real product. On the final day of the program, all participants will be able to pitch their idea in the Startups Showcase.

Applications for the Trimester 1, 2022 are now open. Apply now using the link below. 

Apply for T1, 2022

Apply now for T1 2022

How does it work?

Each week you will be given a series of challenges that will bring you one step closer to launching your startup. The schedule for T1’s program can be seen below – sessions will run from 11am-2pm AEDT. 

  • Induction — Monday 7 March
  • Design Thinking Workshop — Monday 4 March
  • Lean Startup Workshop — Monday 21 March
  • Validation Workshop — Monday 28 March
  • Prototyping Workshop — Monday 4 April
  • Business Model Canvas Workshop – Monday 11 April
  • Branding Workshop — Tuesday 26 April
  • Marketing and Sales Workshop — Monday 2 May
  • Pitching Workshop — Monday 9 May
  • Pitch Practice — Monday 16 May
  • Showcase Day Rehearsal – Thursday 19 May
  • Showcase Day – Monday 23 May

Key skills and experiences gained through this program include:

• Developing an entrepreneurial mindset built on innovation and adaptation
• Understanding how to identify core problems and develop solutions
• Learning how to trial ideas through a validation process
• Collaborating with students of a variety of backgrounds and experience levels

This is not your standard internship! You will not be working for anyone; you are only working for yourself — to make your dream of owning your own business a reality.

Or Read Startup Ideation FAQ’s here

Key Dates and Eligibility

Application Dates

  • Tuesday 23 November 2021 5:30PM — Information Session. Register here 
  • 29 November 2021 11:59PM — round 1 applications close
  • 7 December 2021 — round 1 offers and invitation to complete round 2 video interview released
  • 14 December 2021 — round 2 video submissions due
  • 16 December 2021 — offers for T1 Startup Ideation interns released
  • 10 January 2021 — last date to accept internship offer
  • 7 March 2021 — program starts


This program is open to both cloud and on-campus students from all faculties including international, postgraduate and undergraduate students. The only requirement is that you can attend the weekly workshops in Deakin Downtown located in Melbourne, CBD (Tower 2 Collins Square).

Note that it is your responsibility to ensure that taking a WIL unit contributes towards your course requirements and will not prevent you from meeting your course rules. Please speak with a student advisor and obtain a course map from your faculty prior to submitting your application.

How does the Startup Ideation WIL Program differ from your WIL Unit? 

Startup Ideation is a (Work Integrated Learning) WIL program provided by SPARK Deakin. This means that it is an internship opportunity that Deakin University recognises as a learning opportunity, and as such, offers a credit point for participation.  

In order to have the credit point recognised, interns must enrol in the appropriate faculty-specific WIL unit. Each unit will have their own set of assessments to ensure that the learning outcome for the unit are being met, and thus, the credit point is received.  Unit assessments and results are determined by the faculty and are separate to the internship program provider.  

Apply now for T1 2022

“The one thing I love about SPARK Deakin Ideation is that it actually teaches you how to start a business. I’ve taken a lot of courses which are great but miss the practical element. It’s also a great environment to meet like-minded people and mentors.”

"Without this program I would continue to be confused about my idea. This program helped me gain so much knowledge of how I can build my business empire. The fellow classmates were brilliant and super generous with their feedback. I’ll miss being a part of the program."

"I struggled with validating my ideas but this program helped me work through a couple of ideas and provide support to help foster them into a potential business. Thank you for the semester, this subject has been the most enjoyable one I have done in my 5 years at Deakin."