The Australian state of Victoria is on a serious mission to find its next generation of startup angel and venture capital investors – and it's plowing AU$2.35 million (NZ$2.6 million) into its efforts.
Victorian government startup agency LaunchVic will find the Wade Institute of Entrepreneurship to deliver a university-affiliated startup investor course, which will be run by VC experts and practitioners.
The course will be open to international and local ‘high net worth' investors, family office investment managers, corporate venturing team members, emerging and future venture fund managers, and current or potential angel investors.
"We know from research and discussions with global and local investors, there is more work to do to strengthen our local investment landscape,” says LaunchVic CEO Dr Kate Cornick.
“A focus on investor education will help strengthen our local angel and VC networks and increase the amount of early-stage, improving overall outcomes for Victorian startups.
LaunchVic is also working with Scale Networks to convert existing investor education materials to an online course. The course is designed to reach prospective investors in Victoria's rural and regional areas.
“Victoria has no shortage of startup success stories, but we want those startups to be attracting more funding so they can reach their full potential and create local jobs,” says Minister for Innovation and the Digital Economy, Philip Dalidakis.
“It's clear that the money is out there, we just need to educate potential investors and show them the benefits of investing in our strong startup sector.
A Melbourne-specific report by Startup Genome released in May found that while there is no shortage of capital in Victoria, the key issue is connecting that capital to the startup community and educating investors on how to invest in startups.
In July, the Andrews Labor Government announced that it would invest $2.4 million to boost access and participation in Victoria's startup sector. The funding is supporting 15 local projects across 26 local government areas in Victoria.
The Andrews Labor Government also committed $13.45 million to establish three accelerators in Victoria. SBE Australia, Skalata Ventures, and Techstars will develop programmes for early- to mid-stage startups.
“These globally connected accelerators complement the strengths of Victoria's startup sector and will help priority sectors including life sciences and sports tech,” commented Cornick at the time of the announcement.
The selected accelerators have cash and in-kind funding along with powerful connections and access to global networks – a major advantage for participating startups looking to grow and access international markets.