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Silicon Valley’s globally renowned accelerator program 500 Startups will establish its Australian headquarters in Victoria after securing a funding grant from LaunchVic – the Andrews Labor Government’s $60 million startup fund.

Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade Philip Dalidakis, 500 Startups Founder Dave McClure and LaunchVic CEO Dr Kate Cornick, today  announced the launch of 500 Melbourne, which completes Round 2 of LaunchVic’s funding program that saw Victoria’s startup sector receive $4.9 million.

“500 Startups is one of the best accelerator programs in the world and that’s why we’re bringing it to Victoria – creating opportunities and jobs in our booming startup industry. This move is another vote of confidence in Victoria as a destination of choice for startup and tech investment across the Asia Pacific.”

Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade Philip Dalidakis

500 Melbourne will help accelerate at least 40 of Australia’s best startups over the next two years, as well as providing access to their global network and other Silicon Valley venture capitalists.

500 Melbourne will also support investors and startups outside its accelerator program with year-round events, forming a new hub for the Australian startup ecosystem.

“We’ve had our eye on Australia and have already invested in 20 Aussie startups. Partnering with Melbourne and LaunchVic helps us bring a slice of Silicon Valley to Australia through our startup, investor, and corporate programs. We can’t wait to inspire more nerds like us to follow their entrepreneurial drive.”

500 Startups Founding Partner Dave McClure

Today’s announcement is a big win for Victoria, who is leading the country in small business and startup growth with more than 15,000 new businesses created in the last financial year alone.

The move also further strengthens Victoria’s growing reputation as the destination of choice for tech and startup investment, following moves by global leaders including Zendesk, Square, Slack and Cognizant to set up their HQs in Melbourne.

Startups from within Australia and across the Asia Pacific can now register their interest in the 500 Melbourne program at melbourne@500startups.com.

All LaunchVic grants in funding Round 2 were matched with cash and in-kind support that will result in a total investment of $11.6 million for Victoria’s startup sector. More information on the grant recipients can be found at www.launchvic.org.

 

MEDIA

The Australian: Start-up coup as states vie for top-dog mantle

InnovationAus Magazine: Victoria brings 500 Startups to Aus