Apply for funding

Who can apply for  funding? The University of Melbourne Genesis Pre-Seed Fund backs talented researchers, students, alumni, staff and honoraries with a demonstrable link to the University of Melbourne, or our partners, to translate their research, Intellectual Property (IP) or invention into a startup.

We invest in all sectors, from deep tech to innovative solution startups to social enterprises, helping to validate their venture and raise funding.

Am I eligible for investment?

To be eligible for investment, you must:

  • Be open to, or have already formed, a startup or spin-out company

    Note: Applicants don’t have to have formed a startup to be eligible for funding as the process of incorporating a new company can be covered within the Genesis fund
  • Be commercialising IP that is licensed or assigned from the University and/or have founders with an association with the University. This can be, for example, a researcher, graduate researcher, student, alumni of or honorary from the University of Melbourne or a University of Melbourne-affiliated organisation including Medical Research Institutes and hospital partners
  • Have received Pathfinder or other relevant research translation funding support from the University
  • And/or have received Proof of Concept or other relevant research translation funding support from the University of Melbourne.

    Note: The startup company should be at pre-seed stage but there may be exceptional cases where it is not at the pre-seed stage.

Graphic of investment process

What will set you apart from other applicants?

We are looking to invest in pre-seed stage start-ups from the University of Melbourne ecosystem that solve significant problems – to deliver social impact, economic benefits and change lives for the better.

We look for:

  • Committed founders
  • A startup based on valid research translation
  • A real-world problem that can be solved
  • Some validation of the opportunity
  • A business plan and budget that demonstrates impact
  • Novel intellectual property that underpins the business.

We believe these are the things that will set startups up for success when going for subsequent rounds of investment.

Students in a greenhouse

What can the investment be used for?

The investment can be used for a number of activities related to bringing your research to life including:

  • Getting professional expertise
  • Demonstrating customer and market fit
  • Developing minimum viable products
  • Validating a business model

How do I apply?

Once you have assessed whether your startup meets the criteria outlined, we encourage you to complete the expression of interest form or if you have any questions about the Fund, please contact the Genesis Ventures team.

First published on 7 November 2023.

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