Master the fundamentals of launching a startup

Have you always dreamed of starting your own business venture? Equip yourself with the foundations to successfully launch a startup with the Swinburne Initiate Program.  

Through participating in the five-week Initiate Program, you’ll be surrounded by a valuable community of like-minded individuals, gaining access to weekly workshops and mentors to set your venture up for long-term success.

Key benefits of the Initiate Program

Personalised approach

Not all startups or founders are the same – limited number of participants ensures you're not just another number

Weekly workshops

Topics include entrepreneurial mindset, problem validation, path to MVP and storytelling framework

Guest speakers and networking opportunities

Connect with like-minded individuals, gain mentorship and guidance from startup founders with knowledge and experience

Pitch coaching sessions

Access to expert coaches to help you create, refine and deliver a compelling pitch to a live audience at the end of the program

Applications are now open

For more information about the application process, eligibility criteria and workshop schedule, watch our Initiate Program Info video.

Applications close at 11.59pm on Thursday 6 June 2024.

Apply now

Not sure if the Initiate Program is for you?  

The Initiate Program is perfect for Swinburne University of Technology students, staff and alumni with an early-stage startup idea or an interest in learning the fundamentals of launching a startup.

Have questions about the Initiate Program?
Schedule a session with us

You can also schedule a 15-minute session with our team to discuss your application and goals for the program. Simply email us at to lock in a time.

Frequently asked questions

Activity Date
Info Night 5.30pm, Wednesday 29 May 2024
Applications open 9am, Friday 15 March 2024
Applications close 11.59pm, Thursday 6 June 2024
Program period Tuesday 18 June – Tuesday 16 July 2024

All workshops for the Initiate Program will take place in person at Swinburne's Hawthorn campus and will not be recorded. Therefore, to take part in the program, in-person attendance for all workshops is required.  

For those interested in a virtual option, the Innovation Studio will host a week-long online intensive version of the Initiate Program (Round 3) in early December 2024. Stay tuned to the Innovation Studio's LinkedIn and newsletter for the latest updates. 

A maximum of 30 startup teams or individuals will be accepted into the Initiate Program.

Yes, both solo founders and groups are invited to apply for the Swinburne Initiate Program. 

Certainly! Even if you don't have a startup idea yet, you are still welcome to apply for the program. The program is designed to teach you the fundamentals of launching a startup, including developing an entrepreneurial mindset.

There are no prerequisites for the Initiate Program. All Swinburne staff, students and alumni can apply regardless of their level of entrepreneurial or business knowledge. 

The Initiate Program is designed for early ideation phase startups or individuals looking to learn more about the entrepreneurial journey.

If your startup company is advanced enough to have received funding for commercialisation and growth, please look at our other programs to help you on your way.

If your startup is based on research that has received funding for the basic science but not the commercialisation plan, you may apply for this program. 

The Initiate Program is tailored for very early-stage startups or those interested in learning the foundations of launching a business venture, therefore no financial support, such as grants or prizes, is offered. 

While a guaranteed workspace is not assured, participants have access to Level 1 of the Innovation Studio, which offers a variety of amenities, including tables, chairs, screens and a kitchen – available for everyone to use.

The Initiate Program does not offer free services as its primary focus is on providing foundational education for launching a venture. However, our later-stage startup programs, Luminate and Elevate, do include access to complimentary services.

Explore more of our programs

Want to know more?

If you have any questions, need more information or you're wondering how Swinburne Innovation Studio can help turn your big idea into a real thing, contact us via email at

Contact us now