UniMelb StartUp

Activate your entrepreneurial mindset and receive training and mentoring to develop, test, and pitch your business idea to a panel of start-up experts.

What is UniMelb StartUp?

The UniMelb StartUp Competition is your chance to dive into an exciting world of entrepreneurship, right here on campus! It is your ticket to unleashing your inner innovator and turning your ideas into reality.

Work with fellow students from diverse backgrounds across the university, as you join forces to nurture and test your very own startup concepts.  With the support of industry experts and mentors, it is an excellent way to leap into the world of entrepreneurship!

Beyond the appeal of tempting prizes, UniMelb StartUp offers an invaluable learning experience. Even if you are not sure what startup idea you have or where to begin, we have you covered. Our workshops are designed to equip you with the skills and knowledge you need, whether you are a seasoned entrepreneur or just starting out. And the best part is, there is no experience required!

Join us at UniMelb StartUp and let's turn those ideas into something amazing together!

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. Individuals are not allowed to participate alone, but don't worry if you don't have a team yet! Throughout the competition, there will be activities and opportunities for you to meet potential teammates and form a team.
  • 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 2024 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.

How to Apply

Registrations for the competition are closed.

Sign up here for a ticket to attend the Finals event to support our teams!

Key Dates for 2024

ActivityDate
Registrations OpenMonday 19 February - Sunday 17 March
Launch and ConnectTuesday 19 March
Workshop 1: Problem and CustomerTuesday 26 March
Workshop 2: Value and IdeationTuesday 9 April
Mentor Drop-In Session 1 Thursday 11 April
Workshop 3: Business ModelsTuesday 16 April
Mentor Drop-In Session 2Thursday 18 April
Workshop 4: Pitching 101Tuesday 23 April
Mentor Drop-In Session 3Wednesday 24 April
Preliminary Video Pitch DeadlineSunday 28 April, 11:59pm
Finalists announcedFriday 3 May
Mentor Session (Finalists)Monday 6 May - Friday 10 May (by appointment)
Final Round Presentation Slides DueMonday 13 May, 11:59pm
Final RoundTuesday 14 May, Event Program

Session times will be provided in Canvas LMS.

Competition Prizes

In 2024, the top three teams will receive a share of a $13,000 AUD cash prize pool, courtesy of CloudTech Group and Telstra

1st Place

  • $6,500 cash split equally amongst team members; and
  • Up to 2 founder places in MAP’s Velocity Program (valued at $500 each).

2nd Place

  • $4,000 cash split equally amongst team members.

3rd Place 

  • $2,500 cash split equally amongst team members.

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.

Telstra T Logo

Telstra

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.

Melbourne Accelerator Program (MAP)

The Melbourne Accelerator Program (MAP) is home to Australia's most ambitious startups.

Launched in 2012, MAP is an entrepreneurial initiative powered by the Melbourne Entrepreneurial Centre at the University of Melbourne, offering two programs that focus on supporting startups at many stages as they find product/market fit, build traction and scale. MAP believes that magic happens when founders have the opportunity to come together in a high-performance environment and are supported by a strong community of leaders, mentors, Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIRs) and alumni.

Velocity is MAP's 11-week pre-accelerator program, designed to give clarity and guidance to early-stage founders who are determined to uncover and understand their customers while validating their market.

The five-month intensive Accelerator Program is designed to curate a high-performing environment for founders to unleash their potential and unlock startup growth. This is done through a unique approach to program design – really focusing on pushing beyond the status quo – and getting founders connected with MAP’s entrepreneurial network built over 12+ years.

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.

"It is of critical importance for students and aspiring entrepreneurs to gain hands-on experience before they enter the 'marketplace of ideas’. Competitions like the UniMelb StartUp are an excellent way to achieve this. Collaboration between the private and education sectors is the way forward. We are really proud to support the competition and look forward to supporting some of these young founders on the next part of their journey."

-Liam Bussell, CMO of the Cloudtech Group and Consensus VC

Read more about Sincidium's experience

Image of the logo for the Melbourne Plus program. Blue background with an orange bold arrow pointing to the right, captioned with

Be recognised with Melbourne Plus

Melbourne Plus is a University of Melbourne program and is your opportunity to be recognised for your participation in co-curricular activities!

It is all about rewarding the knowledge, skills and behaviours you develop when participating in these activities.

UniMelb StartUp participants who submit a Pitch Video during the preliminary stage of the competition will be able to reflect on their growth in Innovation and receive a digital credential to share with their networks.