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Swinburne Venture Cup

The Swinburne Venture Cup gives teams of students the chance to win $20,000 to support a new venture or company.

Teams submit a business plan outlining your business concept and implementation. There is no restriction on the type of new venture; past winners have included social ventures and high technology start-ups.

The winning team will be the one whose plan conveys the most promising combination of significant capital gains potential, attractive investment possibilities and actual implementation.


  • $20,000 to the winning team
  • three $3000 excellence awards

The Venture Cup allows you to gain real-world, entrepreneurial experience, work with students from other disciplines and build up your existing class and project work into a start-up business.

Dates for 2015

Round Applications open Applications close Judging
1 Sunday 1 February 4.00pm Tuesday 2 June Thursday 4 June - Friday 12 June
2 Wednesday 1 July 4.00pm Tuesday 3 November Thursday 5 November - Friday 13 November


  • Upload your final business plan by 4.00pm Thursday 19 November
  • Presentations - Wednesday 25 November
  • Awards night 5.30pm - 7.30pm Wednesday 25 November

Competition guidelines

Team guidelines

Teams must be made up of a minimum of three people and a maximum of five people. At least two thirds of the team must be Swinburne students enrolled for at least one semester in the current year.

You are encouraged to form teams from across disciplines to provide a balance of input and experience.

Teams can have advisors or mentors, but the bulk of creative input and plan preparation should be by the team members. Mentors are not involved in the team's presentation to the judges, which represents a large proportion of the final decision.

Business plan guidelines

Your business plan must cover the whole business concept and implementation for a seed or start-up venture or for the expansion of a given enterprise.

It must be maximum 25 pages of typed text, with an additional maximum of 15 pages of appropriate appendices.

The plan can be new work or based on university coursework prepared as original work in the current year. You can revise this work as part of the competition, with suitable input from all team members.

Plans that have won other significant competitions shall not be eligible for entry. Authors of such plans may be eligible to enter with a different business concept.

The authors will retain all rights to the plan regarding its use at all times prior to and following the competition.

Judging criteria

Based on an overall impression judges will consider how opportunities to grow and develop the business will be maximised, the level of innovation and distinct opportunity and how relevant and projected market prospects will be exploited.

Up to six finalists will have the opportunity to present their plans to the judging panel.

The judge's decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. It is expected that in the event that there are no business plans of acceptable quality, no prizes will be awarded.

Assessment and evaluation will be based on the following criteria:

  1. Executive summary / overview of the business plan (20%)
  2. Elements of the business plan (20%)
  3. Viability of company (30%)
  4. Presentation (30%).

Executive summary and business plan

Viability of Company

The judges will consider whether:

  • the business idea presented appears to have a chance to be successful
  • the company has a potentially sustainable competitive advantage with its business idea
  • a venture capitalist (or business angel) is likely to invest in this new business.

Finalist presentations

Judges will also consider the team’s ability to:

  • present a compelling case for the business idea
  • align the presentation with the written report
  • present the materials in clear, logical and/or sequential and interesting form
  • relate the perceived need for the company and its uniqueness with meaningful examples and practical applications
  • engage the judges’ interest
  • use quality visual aids
  • understand and respond to the judges’ questions
  • make effective use of the time allocated
  • think effectively in the interview situation.

Contact us

Rebecca Mansour 
T: 03 9214 5744