Startup funding to boost local enterprise

Posted on 3 August 2018

 

Latrobe City is joining with Bass Coast, Baw Baw and Wellington Shire Councils to deliver an exciting program to encourage and support startup enterprises using a funding package of $400,000 from LaunchVic. A public tender process for the delivery of the program will begin shortly.

Latrobe City Council’s mayor, Councillor Darrell White OAM, said the data showed that Regional Victoria has 25% of Victoria's population but only 3% of startups and that Gippsland had low tech skills.

“In fact, our region is ranked second lowest in Victoria and fourth lowest in Australia. Digital technology is vital for encouraging economic growth and businesses with high digital engagement are much more likely to create jobs. We know we have the capacity to innovate here, what we lack is the structure to support that innovation. The LaunchVic funding will allow us to put together a strong program that will encourage locals to be brave and put their ideas into action.

“New companies are often the leaders in jobs creation and while Latrobe City and wider Gippsland has a strong small business network, the unique ability for startups to think globally, to test new ground and to use technology is where we need to look,” Cr White said.

The LaunchVic proposal would include a 12-week training and mentoring program, with the aim of attracting five to ten startups in each municipality. There would be training sessions and online mentoring as well as a six-month after training program of face-to-face meetings, mentoring check-ins and ongoing support through online networks.

Cr White added that following the tender process the successful applicant should be appointed in September.

“We expect the program to start in October and run through to April when we are planning a showcase event bringing Melbourne startup leaders and investors to Gippsland to network with participants and local business leaders.

“As our region continues to transition this kind of program fits exactly with our vision of bringing exciting and innovative initiatives and projects to our region. Opportunities for success are limited only by the imagination of the participants,” Cr White concluded.


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