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.

You must be a current University of Melbourne student to participate and can register as a team or as an individual. Full training and support will be provided and no prior experience is required.

The 2020 competition was proudly supported and sponsored by entrepreneurship experts from the Faculty of Business and Economics, Melbourne Business School, Melbourne Accelerator Program, Wade Institute of Entrepreneurship, and Academy Xi.

Team toto – Christian Gashi, Indiana Cooper, and Jasun Li

“I would certainly encourage any students considering entering the UniMelb StartUp competition to do so. It is a fantastic program that provides a solid foundation for your entrepreneurship journey, with the workshops alone having proved invaluable to my understanding of the entrepreneurship space.”

Christian Gashi, 2020 UniMelb StartUp Pitch Competition winner

Read more about Christian and his team's 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 four 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, acknowledgement and full disclosure must be made, with justification for differentiation. We expect teams to complete a thorough competitor analysis before entering.
  • Selection criteria includes consideration of team disciplinary mix. It is strongly advised that teams include members from multiple faculties, disciplines, or skill sets.

Please refer to the US20 Competition Handbook for details on the competition structure and rules. Participation in this competition is subject to the acceptance of the competition’s Terms & Conditions outlined in the handbook. Please ensure all team members have read these before registering.


The UniMelb StartUp 2020 Pitch Competition has concluded.

Registrations for 2021 opens on Monday 15 February.

2020 Key Dates

Online Registrations OpenMonday 17 August 202010:00amSubmit your Expression of Interest
Online Registrations CloseSunday 30 August11:59pmDeadline to submit your Expression of Interest
US20 Event LaunchThursday 3 September 20205:15pm – 6:15pm Hear from inspiring entrepreneurs and learn about the structure of the competition in more detail. There will a Q&A session too.
Virtual Bootcamp – Workshop 1Tuesday 8 September 20205:30pm – 7:30 pm Virtual Bootcamp
Virtual Bootcamp – Workshop 2Thursday 10 September 20205:30pm – 7:30 pm Virtual Bootcamp
Virtual Bootcamp – Workshop 3Tuesday 15 September 20205:30pm – 7:30 pm Virtual Bootcamp
Virtual Bootcamp – Workshop 4Thursday 17 September 20205:30pm – 7:30 pm Virtual Bootcamp
Mentor Drop-In SessionMonday 21 -  Friday 25 September 2020By appointmentReceive guidance and support from experienced entrepreneurs to refine your team's business idea
Preliminary Video Pitch dueSunday 27 September 202011:59pmSubmit your video pitch for assessment by a panel of judges
Consultations with mentorTuesday 6 -  Tuesday 13 OctoberBy appointmentFinalists will be able to consult with a mentor to prepare for their final pitch
FinalsFriday 16 October 20205:30pm – 8:00 pm Finalists to present their final pitch to a panel of entrepreneurs and industry experts

2020 Competition Prizes

1st prize - for each team member of the winning team

  • Receive a Free online foundation course from Academy Xi valued at $900 each
  • Work in the surrounds of other entrepreneurial minded people with the opportunity to Hotdesk for 1 month within the Melbourne Accelerator Program (MAP) office once the new Melbourne Connect is up and running, post COVID-19 restrictions
  • Receive a Wade Institute Entrepreneurship Award 2020 - a 6 hour mentoring package by Wade Institute to support the winning team into their next phase of their entrepreneurial journey

2nd Prize – for each team member

  • $500 Academy Xi course credit voucher
  • 1 x University of Melbourne branded hoodie

3rd Prize- for each team member

  • $200 Academy Xi course credit voucher
  • 1 x University of Melbourne branded hoodie