Are you a startup founder?

If you have an idea or an early-stage startup looking for a leg up, join us for an exhilarating journey of innovation and entrepreneurship through Venture Week and Venture Cup!

Venture Week

Immerse yourself in a week-long bootcamp-style program packed with daily seminars designed to empower you with the foundational knowledge of launching a startup. With space for up to 30 founders or startups, this is your chance to learn the ins and outs of becoming a successful entrepreneur.

Coaching and support

After Venture Week, selected founders will receive two weeks of personalised coaching and support to refine their ideas and strategies.

Venture Cup

The climax of your journey! Venture Cup, Swinburne's longest-running pitch competition, invites the top 10 ideas chosen by the Innovation Studio panel. Get ready to pitch your transformative startup concepts for a chance to win $5000 cash prizes for each category. But that's not all – winners will also gain invaluable access to mentors, potential customers and the vibrant startup ecosystem.

Ambitious founders wanted!

If you're a visionary founder with innovative ideas that challenge conventions and bring positive change, we want you! Whether you're Swinburne staff, student or alumni, Venture Cup is your platform to shine.

Join us in redefining the future, one idea at a time. Let's build startups that are forces for good, industry transformers and status quo challengers. Your journey starts here.

Missed our Info Night?

Watch the recording of our Info Night to learn how to craft a successful application. You will also get an overview of the Venture Week and coaching sessions.

Download Info Night presentation [PDF 4.74MB]

See our Pitch Night last year

After three weeks of masterclasses and coaching, 10 finalists pitched their startups to a judging panel on 10 November 2022 for the chance to win cash prizes in venture funding.

Venture Cup 2022 Pitch Night
View video transcript [PDF 187KB]

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 at

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).

Watch the recording of our Info Night to learn how to craft a successful application or download the presentation [PDF 4.74MB].

If selected into the program, you will attend Venture Week and coaching sessions to get your pitch ready and only 10 finalists will be invited to pitch at Venture Cup.

Date Event
8 September Applications open
14 September Info Night
4 October Applications close
9 October Finalists' notification
16–20 October   Venture Week
9 November Pitch Night
  • Finalists must attend all Venture Cup sessions. 
  • Sessions run from 16 October to 8 November. You may be required to attend more than one session per week.
  • You must be able to attend our Pitch Night on Thursday 9 November.
  • You must be available for interviews and promotional photographs before, during and after the event.
  • You must have shown progress on your idea and/or your pitch development and presentation over the course of the program.

Up to 30 ideas or startups will be accepted into Venture Week and only 10 companies will be invited to pitch at Venture Cup. 

We will select up to five participants to proceed as finalists in the Students category and another five for the Alumni and Staff category. 

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

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 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.

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!

  • 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

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