There are exciting things happening in Central Victoria for the region’s aspiring and emerging entrepreneurs.
Following a successful pilot program conducted in 2021-22, a consortium led by Clear Dynamics received funding from LaunchVic in October 2022 to continue the Startup Central Vic (SCV) program for a further two years. Consortium members also include the Be.Bendigo, Bendigo Telco, City of Greater Bendigo, Committee for Echuca Moama, Emporium Creative Hub and Macedon Ranges Council, as well as support from all LGA’s and other industry bodies in the Loddon Campaspe region.
“We are excited to grow this initiative,” said Craig Hunter, Director Government Relations & Delivery at Clear Dynamics.
While 25% of Victoria’s population lives in the regions, LaunchVic’s 2020 ecosystem mapping showed only 3% of startups were based in regional Victoria.
LaunchVic CEO Dr Kate Cornick said Startup Central Vic’s main focus was addressing these crucial statistics.
“Connecting entrepreneurs in Victoria’s regions with innovators and other like-minded people is vitally important to build a strong culture of startup creation,” she said. “This funding round is focused on supporting the growth of Victoria’s regional startup sector and giving people the support to grow tech startups – no matter where they live in the state.”
Clear Dynamics is regarded as the perfect example of a tech startup in central Victoria.
“Clear Dynamics formed its first team in 2015 – three men and one woman – united by a clearly different view of the way technology should be developed and experienced,” Craig said. “Today, we’ve got team members all around Australia, but we remain proudly Bendigo headquartered. Innovation is in our DNA and if we can share some of that back to start-ups in the region, then we’re helping build the ecosystem that has helped make us a recognised Great Place to Work.”
Over the next eighteen months SCV will be focused on building a stronger ecosystem that showcases entrepreneurs and supports startups.
The group has kicked off the year with a bang, hosting a number of events, showcases, masterclasses, and dinners. They recently closed expressions of interest for their second Pre-Accelerator Program which starts in July. Over 13 weeks, participants will test their idea and gather the tools and knowledge required to successfully launch their startup. Another program will be offered in 2024.
Each month a SCV guest speaker shares the learnings of their startup journey on Zoom, enabling businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs to participate no matter where they live in the region.
Events are also held in different parts of the region at various times in conjunction with partner organisations.
“Our role is to showcase the innovation that already exists in the region and support those who want to scale their existing business or grow a startup idea,” said Kerry Anderson, Program Manager. “This includes promoting and supporting the events put on by other organisations in the region. We are all part of one big ecosystem and it is better use of our resources if we work together.”
In September SCV will host a post conference tour for attendees of the Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC). International delegates will spend 2-3 days in Bendigo and surrounds, which is the only tour being offered in Victoria post-GEC.
“We will continue to explore any opportunities to showcase business in the region,” Kerry said.
For more information about SCV and how you can get involved, visit www.startupvic.com.au