UniMelb StartUp

Pitch your business idea to a panel of experts for the chance to win some amazing prizes and receive feedback to help turn your dream into a reality.

About UniMelb StartUp

The UniMelb StartUp Pitch Competition aims to activate an entrepreneurial mindset within the University’s student community. It provides students with a unique opportunity to learn to develop and test a startup idea. Team up with budding entrepreneurs from across the University and learn from experts and mentors from the startup world. There will also be prizes up for grabs!

This program is as much a competition as it is a learning experience. Whether or not you have a start-up idea in mind, we encourage all students across the University to take part in the program’s workshops. Full training and support will be provided and no prior experience is required.

Registrations for the 2023 competition are now closed.

Who can apply?

All current University of Melbourne students are eligible to enter, except for MBA (including dual degrees), Executive MBA, Senior Executive MBA and Master of Entrepreneurship students.

  • Team size must be between two and six members.
  • 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.
  • Where the proposed business model is the same as, or sufficiently similar to, an existing business model, acknowledgment and full disclosure must be made, with justification for differentiation. We expect teams to complete a thorough competitor analysis before entering.
  • Selection criteria include consideration of team disciplinary mix. It is strongly advised that teams include members from multiple faculties, disciplines, or skill sets.

Please refer to the 2023 Competition Handbook for details on the competition structure and rules. Participation in this competition is subject to the acceptance of the competition’s rules and regulations outlined in the handbook. Please ensure all team members have read these.

For enquiries, please contact unimelb-startup@unimelb.edu.au.

Key Dates

Registrations OpenMonday 13 February - Sunday 12 March
Launch Thursday 16 March
MixerTuesday 21 March
Workshop 1Tuesday 28 March
Mentor Drop-In Session 1Thursday 30 March
Workshop 2 Tuesday 4 April
Mentor Drop-In Session 2Thursday 6 April
Workshop 3Thursday 13 April
Workshop 4Tuesday 18 April
Mentor Drop-In Session 3Thursday 20 April
Preliminary Video Pitch DeadlineMonday 24 April
Finalists announcedWednesday 3 May
Mentor Session (Finalists)Thursday 4 May - Wednesday 10 May (by appointment)
Final Round Presentation Slides DueThursday 11 May
Final RoundFriday 12 May | Finals Program Brochure

Session times will be provided in Canvas LMS.

Competition Prizes

The top three teams will receive a share in a $16,000 AUD cash prize pool, courtesy of Telstra and CloudTech Group.

1st Place

  • $8,000 cash to be split equally amongst team members; and
  • Up to 2 founder places in MAP’s Velocity Program (valued at $500 each).

2nd Place

  • $5,000 cash to be split equally amongst team members; and
  • 1-year MasterClass membership per team member.

3rd Place 

  • $3,000 cash to be split equally amongst team members; and
  • x1 University of Melbourne branded hoodie per team member.

Telstra (Principal Partner)

Telstra is Australia's leading telecommunications and technology company, offering a full range of communications services and competing in all telecommunications markets. The telecommunications industry is experiencing enormous growth; network traffic is growing faster than any period and digital technology is changing our world. Telstra is at the heart of this change - and are helping to make it happen by connecting everything to everyone. Telstra has invested significantly in a partnership with the University of Melbourne and Melbourne Connect. This collaboration was designed to help current and future students develop the skills, experience and adaptability needed to succeed as Australia's digital economy accelerates.

CloudTech Group

CloudTech Group is a multinational organisation that provides unparalleled fintech and blockchain solutions to governments, businesses, and individuals throughout the world. With its superior knowledge of the fast-paced and dynamic fintech industry, CloudTech is the ideal partner to guide entities through their journey, from genesis, to incubation, right through to resolution. CloudTech’s efforts in this space help to nurture an environment of inclusion and diversity, whilst bridging the gap between the present and the future.

Melbourne Accelerator Program (MAP)

Launched in 2012, the Melbourne Accelerator Program (MAP) is a startup accelerator based within the University of Melbourne. Each year, MAP accepts 10 startups for a 5-month program to help grow and scale their business, and has supported over 100 startups.

Wade Institute of Entrepreneurship

Established in 2015, Wade Institute of Entrepreneurship is a leading centre for entrepreneurial training, delivering immersive education programs to accelerate learning, creation and connection.

“The UniMelb StartUp Competition is a fantastic opportunity for young entrepreneurs to get exposed to the challenging "marketplace of ideas" and showcase their business models. I was grateful to be invited as a judge in 2022; the finalists who presented to us all showed great thought and passion. Congratulations in particular to Team Boundless whose concept was very impressive."

- Jon Satterley, CEO and Co-Founder of Fortress Esports

Read more about Boundless' experience