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 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.

The 2022 program has concluded. The next competition is in 2023.

“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

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.
  • The program will be delivered online and is open to students currently residing within and outside Australia.

Please refer to the US22 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.

2022 Key Dates

Registrations OpenMonday 14 February - Sunday 13 March
US22 Event LaunchThursday 17 March
Mixer Event - In-personTuesday 22 March
Mixer Event - VirtualFriday 25 March
Workshop 1Tuesday 29 March
Mentor Drop-In Session 1Thursday 31 March
Workshop 2 Tuesday 5 April
Mentor Drop-In Session 2Thursday 7 April
Workshop 3Tuesday 12 April
Workshop 4Thursday 14 April
Final Mentor Drop-In SessionThursday 21 April
Preliminary Video Pitch DeadlineMonday 25 April
Finalists announcedMonday 2 May
Finalists' Mentoring SessionTuesday 3 May - Tuesday 10 May (by appointment)
Final Round Presentation Slides DueWednesday  11 May
US22 FinalsFriday 13 May

Session times and Zoom links to activities will be provided in Canvas LMS.

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.

Fortress Melbourne

Fortress Melbourne is Australia’s biggest video games venue with a fantasy Tavern & Bar in the heart of Melbourne City.

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.

2022 Competition Prizes

The top three teams will receive a share in an $11,500 AUD cash prize pool, courtesy of Telstra and Fortress.

1st Place

  • $5,750 cash to be split equally amongst team members;
  • Fortress Melbourne Merch Pack (AW headsets); and
  • Up to 2 founder places in MAP’s Velocity Program (valued at $500 each); OR 1 month of hot-desking at Melbourne Connect, supported by 4 x 30-minute coaching slots from the MAP Program Manager/MAP Founder.

2nd Place

  • $3,500 cash to be split equally amongst team members;
  • Fortress Melbourne Merch Pack (Fortress hoodies and tote bags); and
  • 1-year MasterClass membership per team member.

3rd Place 

  • $2,250 cash to be split equally amongst team members;
  • Fortress Melbourne Merch Pack (Fortress t-shirts, tote bags, and collectible pins); and
  • x1 University of Melbourne branded hoodie per team member.