The University of Melbourne Genesis Pre-Seed Fund

Facilitating the translation and impact of our best ideas.

The University of Melbourne Genesis Pre-Seed Fund is a new initiative supporting research translation and entrepreneurship, being established in partnership with Breakthrough Victoria. The Fund provides pre-seed investment (the 'first cheque') into new start-ups that can accelerate the commercialisation of our community’s expert research and innovation into positive impacts for society. The goal is to help start-ups be ready to secure the next stage of investment – seed funding.

If you're thinking about, or have recently formed, a start-up to commercialise University IP – the University of Melbourne Genesis Pre-Seed Fund could be for you.

What is the University of Melbourne Genesis Pre-Seed Fund?

The University of Melbourne Genesis Pre-Seed Fund supports high-potential University research, ideas and technologies at the early, pre-seed stage, helping researchers establish investment-ready start-ups so they can take new discoveries into the world and scale and sustain their impact.

The Fund is designed to facilitate the successful translation of research into sustained outcomes. It provides financial investment as well as access to expertise, networks and mentoring to ensure new start-up companies are prepared for seed-stage funding and additional investment.

The University of Melbourne Genesis Pre-Seed Fund also plays a key role in our comprehensive ecosystem, which, through a culture of innovation that embraces commercialisation and provides funding opportunities, supports academics, students and partner organisations to bring their endeavours to life.

Each year, 10-12 investments of between $200k and $300k will be made into start-ups. The Fund has the ability to invest a maximum aggregate of $500k over the lifetime of a start-up through their participation in multiple funding rounds. Up to 20 per cent of the University of Melbourne Genesis Pre-Seed Fund can be invested into social purpose ventures.

The investment funding can be used to enable activities such as bringing on professional expertise, demonstrating customer and market fit, developing minimum viable products, validating a business model.

For more information, please get in touch.

Contact the University of Melbourne Genesis Pre-Seed Investment Team >


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Complementing our ecosystem, filling the funding gap

Graphic explaining funding ecosystem for commercialisation at the University of Melbourne

Why have we established the University of Melbourne
Genesis Pre-Seed Fund?

The University of Melbourne is home to world-class research and ideas that have the potential for a significant and positive impact on the wider world. Together with Tin Alley Ventures, a second new investment fund opening later this year that provides follow-on funding, the University of Melbourne Genesis Pre-Seed Fund ensures these ideas are supported through all stages of growth in the commercialisation process, from proof of concept through to investment-ready start-ups on the path to success at scale.

end to end funding graphic

Who can apply for funding?

The University of Melbourne Genesis Pre-Seed Fund is for those interested in, or have already formed, start-up companies commercialising University of Melbourne intellectual property, and start-ups with a demonstrable link to the University, from all sectors and industries.

To be eligible for funding, you must be open to, or have already formed, a start-up company:

  • Commercialising IP that is licensed or assigned from the University; and/or
  • Whose founders have an association with the University. For example, as 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/or
  • That has received Proof of Concept or other relevant research translation funding support from the University of Melbourne.

NB: The start-up company should be at the pre-seed stage. There may be exceptional cases where a start-up company is not at the pre-seed stage.

How can I apply?

We are accepting expressions of interest from start-up companies that are:
  1. Commercialising the University's intellectual property
  2. Whose founders have a material or a demonstrable link to the University of Melbourne (including students, alumni, medical research institutes and honoraries).

To apply, please complete the expression of interest form.

If you have any questions about the fund, please contact the University of Melbourne Genesis Pre-Seed Fund Investment Team.

NB. Information collected via the Expression of Interest form is collected in accordance with the University of Melbourne Genesis Pre-Seed Fund Privacy Notice.

Contact the University of Melbourne Genesis Pre-Seed Fund Investment Team >

Investment team

The University of Melbourne Genesis Pre-Seed Fund Investment Team has been set up to help you access this funding initiative and translate your research into real-world impact.

Team leadership

portrait of Hun Gan

Hun Gan – CEO Genesis Ventures for the University of Melbourne.

Hun Gan is an experienced technology developer and innovator, with a career history of successfully developing and translating research into new products and services via start-up companies. With a focus throughout his career on commercialising research, Hun has invested in, led, mentored and grown over 30 Deep Tech start-up companies out of Universities, Research Organisations, National ICT Australian (NICTA) and the CSIRO.

Hun brings strong commercial acumen, start-up experience and technology expertise to the University of Melbourne Genesis Pre-Seed Fund Investment Team from his many roles across the innovation sector, including as a researcher, venture capital investment director, startup company director, start-up CEO, and leadership roles in Business Development and Technology Transfer.

Foundation partners

The fund is supported by Breakthrough Victoria which is partnering with the University of Melbourne to boost the commercialisation of critical research and support Victorian start-ups.

The University of Melbourne and Breakthrough Victoria - University Innovation Platform have come together to establish the fund to initiate and support early-stage start-ups with pre-seed funding.

Their combined expertise in research and investment opportunities and development will support investment and curation for research with strong commercial potential during the early stages.

Researchers and academics will also receive support to better identify and translate ideas into commercial opportunities and improve their entrepreneurial capability.


To find out more about support services available to academics, researchers, and those commercialising University-owned IP to translate research, visit the Research Gateway (University login required).

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Tin Alley Ventures

Tin Alley Ventures is a new University-dedicated venture capital fund that will invest in exceptional University-affiliated start-ups, from seed stage through to Pre-IPO.