Australian acceleration programme 500 Melbourne has officially launched, accepting applications from startups across Australia, New Zealand and Asia Pacific.
Dave McClure, 500 Startups co-founder, will be engaging directly with local startups, investors, and corporates to demonstrate the value that 500 Melbourne will bring to the ecosystem and the potential that 500 Startups sees in Australia.
“The Australian ecosystem is at an inflection point, with more venture funding available than ever before and government championing an innovation agenda that legitimises and supports startups,” says McClure.
500 Startups and LaunchVic will also host an event for Victorian Startup Founders on June 20.
The 500 Melbourne acceleration program, the first of which will start in late 2017, will accept 20 to 25 startups from the APAC region.
It will offer mentorship and expertise delivered by the same team running its programme in Silicon Valley.
Ultimately, the 500 Melbourne team aims to invest in local startups, and work alongside Australian angel and VC investors.
Mentors and speakers from the 500 Startups programme in the US will deliver the Melbourne programme, giving startups an international advantage in the local market
A robust programme of events will also be run throughout the year, including pitch coaching sessions and education programmes for both founders and potential investors, helping nascent investors and local startups better engage.
Having received funding from LaunchVic, who have invested AU$11.6m in 26 projects to date, 500 Startups is already forging ties with the local startup community, announcing relationships with Startmate and Melbourne Accelerator Program.
500 Startups has been active in Australia from afar for several years, having invested in 20 Australian companies, including Canva, HappyCo, and most recently, Gilmour Space Technologies.
It has a strong track record of working with governments, corporates, and startup organisations to help develop and support emerging ecosystems.
Applications for 500 Melbourne’s accelerator programme are now open.