LaunchVic’s support for refugees and migrants

By:Vandita Jadeja 2017-08-27

A Victoria based startup LaunchVic is doubling down on its program of inclusion and diversity with the announcement of the third round of grant recipients in order to support the first generation refugees and militants. LaunchVic is Victoria’s $60 million startup fund. The CEO Dr Kate Cornick said that the $1.4 million in funding will help support organizations to encourage the migrants as well as the refugees in Victoria to develop their ideas and embed their start up skills.

He also mentioned that migrants and refugees are twice as likely to start a business since they are born locally and are willing to take the risks. This makes them perfectly suitable for the startup world. There will be a total of five grants doled out, with projects that include an incubator program for food entrepreneurism, hackathons for 18 to 30 year olds, an innovation hub, workshops to build startups for problems affecting at risk or disadvantaged, networking events and education, all based around getting the migrants and refugees involved in the startups.

Dr Cornick further mentioned that out of the five grants, three will be rolled out across the regional and rural Victorian for the benefit of the migrants and refugees with startup aspirations across these areas. Victoria is proud of the entrepreneurial spirit and the migrants as well as refugees have played a huge role in this. If the potential of this group is harnessed, it will cement Victoria as a leading startup destination in Asia Pacific.

LaunchVic recently cut ties with the Silicon Valley tech accelerator 500 startups due to a sexual harassment scandal and the resignation of its local MD Rachael Neumann. Dr Cornick mentioned that LaunchVic retains the $2.9 million in funding which was reserved for 500 startups and will reallocate the same to another world class accelerator soon. It will have the fourth round of funding to open in the next few weeks.

Out of all the grant funding allocated until now, 70% has been invested in local homegrown programs and they will continue to invest at a local and global level in order to drive outcomes that will help Victoria gain a strong position in the startup ecosystem. They aim to bring Victoria as a top choice for startup culture and draw entrepreneurs with their ideas and skills. With the support for migrants and refugees, LaunchVic will expand the scope of the growth of startups and ensure that it leads the change.

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