If you’re a pre-investor startup looking for some much-needed funds, listen up.

Every year we award $20,000 in prize money at the Venture Cup pitching competition to the startup we rate as best in class.

To enter, simply register and send in a quick video pitch detailing the market potential of your venture. 

We’re looking for ambitious founders with innovative startups that will act as a force for good, transform industries and challenge the status quo.

Finalists also get access to one-on-one coaching from successful founders and specialised workshops to help with the pitching process. 

Venture Cup is run by the Innovation Precinct and open to start-up teams with a least one Swinburne staff, student or alumni founder.

  • Alexandra Sinickas , Founder of milkdrop and 2019 Venture Cup winner

    “We’re just so grateful for not only the prize, but also the opportunity to share what we’ve done and what we want to do with a bigger audience.”

    Alexandra Sinickas , Founder of milkdrop and 2019 Venture Cup winner

Venture Cup 2019

Venture Cup 2019

Watch the highlights from the Venture Cup last year, featuring our winning startups.

Frequently asked questions

Browse answers to our most frequently asked questions. If you can't find the answer you're looking for here, please feel free to reach out to us directly.

The Venture Cup is perfect for you if you: 

  • are an individual or team with an idea or product

  • are open to refining your pitch and able to attend all pitch coaching sessions

  • are looking for experienced mentors and facilitators to help refine your pitch

  • have a new idea that hasn’t been through a previous Swinburne Accelerator

  • haven't raised more than $500,000 in funding

  • are part of a team with a founder who is a Swinburne student, staff member, or alumni (to be eligible for the program).

Come along to our Venture Cup—how to pitch workshop to find out how to share your startup story in a succinct and engaging way.

Date Event
27 August Info night
27 August Applications Open 
24 September Applications Close
11 October - 20 November Pitch Coaching 
23 November Dress rehearsal
26 November Venture Cup virtual pitch event
  • Finalists must attend a weekly pitch coaching session each week over 6 weeks.
  • Sessions run from 11 October to 20 November. We have sessions to choose from each week; every Wednesday and Thursday 9.30 – 11.30am and 2 - 5pm. You may be required to attend more than on session per week.
  • You must attend and present your pitch at our online event in front of a live virtual audience on Thursday 26 November from 5.30pm.
  • You must be available for interviews and promotional photographs before, during and after the event.

We will select up to 12 applicants to proceed as finalists.

Depending on the quantity of applications we may be conducting phone interviews with a few applicants.

In your three-minute video application plus a maximum of eight slides, you must tell us about:

  • problem
  • solution
  • market size
  • competition
  • business model
  • impact model (optional)
  • team
  • traction (progress to date)
  • your ask.

As long as we can hear your pitch, all you need to do is address the inclusions outlined. No heavy editing is required, however time your voice to pace with your slides. Ensure we can connect to your video link and it is not locked in a private server.

Please note we turn off videos at three minutes so keep it under!

Yes, your video application will need to include both your voice-over pitch and a maximum eight-slide deck.

No, there is no cost involved.

No, the pitch competition must be pitched by a single founder.

Yes, we would love for you to apply for Venture Cup.

Unfortunately we can’t consider applications that have missed the deadline.

Unfortunately due to the volume of applications we receive we can’t guarantee that your startup will receive feedback from our selection panel.

If you have any questions please send us an email at innovationprecinct@swinburne.edu.au

Finalists will be supported with weekly pitch coaching sessions, where they will develop their pitch.

The pitches for the Venture Cup event must be no longer than three minutes. You will also need to create a supporting slide deck of eight slides, we help you with that during pitch coaching.

Venture Cup will be held online via Zoom on Thursday 26 November 2020 at 5.30pm.

Venture Cup is a pitch competition open to early-stage ventures that are pre-investor funded. You can apply for the program as long as you have not raised more than $500,000 in funding.

No. Our program does not take equity or ownership in your company or venture.

We don’t mind your venture being overseas. However, you do need to be located in Melbourne for pitch coaching and the pitch event.

  • Where you have identified an unmet market need; and
  • The business has opportunity to scale-up (globally) and is not limited to a local or single person service only; and
  • There is an element of innovation or disruption, making the journey of identifying new markets, business models and solutions a greater challenge!

No, all you need is an idea that you can pitch. However, having some market testing, validation or traction will help your pitch.

Yes, we include social enterprises and NFP ventures. We would like to understand how your business will be commercially viable.

The funding is provided equity free and loan free. You will receive the funds via a direct deposit as a gift.

Swinburne would like to maintain a long-term relationship with you as your business grows.

We are always looking for role models and mentors to support emerging startups, we would also like your periodic support at speaking events, for photos and startup showcases over time.

Plus, should you become the next Australian unicorn, please remember Swinburne fondly!

Explore more of our programs

Want to know more?

If you have any questions, need more information or you're wondering how the Innovation Precinct can help turn your big idea into a real thing, contact us via email at innovationprecinct@swinburne.edu.au

Contact us now