The Victorian government will invest $2.5 million to run CivVic Labs Accelerator – Australia’s first accelerator designed to help startups gain access to government procurement.
The program aims to increase the success rate of early-stage startups and help fuel their growth by providing the capital and in-kind resources required to work with government agencies.
“Lack of access to government procurement for startups is a common problem we hear from Victorian startups and something LaunchVic has been seeking to address,” LaunchVic CEO Dr Kate Cornick said.
CivVic Labs Accelerator will support 16 startups in an intensive program. Startups will be selected according to their ability to address challenges faced by government.
The Victorian Government procures large amounts of goods and services from the private sector each year but accessing these opportunities is difficult for startups – a key issue flagged by LaunchVic, Victoria’s startup agency.
Victoria’s Minister for Innovation and the Digital Economy, Philip Dalidakis, said the program will provide the state government an alternative option for its procurements.
“Startups are growing in Victoria and this initiative will help them create more jobs as well as offering government alternative options and different ways of doing things,” he said.
LaunchVic will fund and lead the program with additional funding from the state government’s Public Sector Innovation Fund.
Special Minister of State, Gavin Jennings, said the state government could benefit from the collaboration.
“Government will benefit from having access to innovative startup thinking, new products and new services to help solve existing government challenges,” he said.
A pilot program will rollout this financial year, followed by an expanded accelerator program running twice over two years, until 2020.