THE ACCELERATOR

A THREE-MONTH INTENSIVE PROGRAM TO SCALE UP A VENTURE TO ACHIEVE GREATER IMPACT AND FINANCIAL VIABILITY

THEY SAY ENTREPRENEURSHIP IS ABOUT JUMPING OFF A CLIFF AND BUILDING A PARACHUTE ON THE WAY DOWN. THE ACCELERATOR TEACHES YOU TO GROW WINGS.

The Generator’s Accelerator Program is a three-month intensive to accelerate your startup. Once a year we provide up to $10,000 funding, dedicated co-working space and tailored mentoring to a small number of startups selected through a competitive application process. We take no equity in the startups that come through the program.

This program is intensive and focused on helping startups to gain early traction. Successful startups are homed in the Generator’s dedicated co-working space located at Monash University Clayton Campus, alongside our Entrepreneur in Residence. As a founder, you’ll have access to some of the best mentors in the ecosystem who have founded and scaled startups, and support from professional services including law firms, accountants, creative agencies and technology platforms.

The program culminates in a showcase, a public event where startups pitch to a diverse crowd.

Applications for the 2018 program are now open and close 11.59pm Sunday 6th May 2018.

WHO CAN APPLY?

At least one (1) founder of your startup must be a student, staff or alumni of Monash University. A founder is defined as someone with minimum 10% equity in the startup. The rest of your team can be composed of whoever makes sense and do not need have an affiliation to Monash University.

In addition to this, your startup company must have or is able to obtain an Australian Business Number (ABN) prior to the start of the program on 25th of June.

You must also be in a position to attend all core components of the program between June and September. We try to keep these to a minimum, to ensure you are spending the maximum amount of time building your business. Though when we do hold events, know that these are designed to benefit your business and you’ll get a tonne out of it.

The program is designed for startups who are at a point of committing to building their business full-time. While we understand there is a need to continue to study and work, we want to see at least one (1) founder in the co-working space every day. In our experience this is the minimum level of commitment required of a startup team that is serious about accelerator growth. If you have concerns about your capacity to commit in time or energy please have a chat with us. We want to help startups succeed and are open to creative solutions.

APPLICATION PROCESS

The application process includes three stages:

  • Round one: online application form plus a video introducing yourself and your co-founders. Applications close midnight 6th of May 2018.
  • Round two: detailed form completed by each founder.
  • Round three: team interviews with key founders in the week of 28th of May.

KEY DATES

Mid March 2018Applications open

Sunday 6th May 2018

11.59pm

Applications close
Monday 28th & Tuesday 29th May 2018Final interviews (you will be notified as to whether you have been invited to an interview by COB Monday 21st May)
Week ending Monday 28th May 2018Successful teams notified
Monday 25th June 2018Program commences - Induction Day
Mid SeptemberProgram Showcase

APPLICATIONS ARE NOW CLOSED

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FAQs

 

General

Q: I don’t have a team? Can I apply?

Yes, we accept applications from solo founders, in fact we had three startups go through the program last year that had solo founders.

Q: My team consists of people that don’t currently or have never attended Monash University, can we still apply?

As long as one founder (at least 10% equity) has a Monash University affiliation either as a current student, staff member or alumni, the remainder of your team can consist of anyone who makes sense and they do not need to be affiliated with Monash.

Q: I’m an international student at Monash University, can I apply?

Of course. The program is open to both international and domestic students, just note you need to be based in Melbourne for the duration of the program, so if you graduate before the end of the program, you need to be able to stay in Melbourne until the program concludes in September. Currently, the program only runs in Melbourne, so if you’re studying at an overseas location, unfortunately you won’t be eligible to participate.

Q: My startup is already going through an accelerator at the same time as the Generator’s Accelerator program, can I participate in both?

Unfortunately due to the time commitments (of both programs!) it’s unlikely that you’re going to get much value from participating in two programs at once, whist also trying to grow and scale your business. For that reason, we won’t be able to accept teams that have been accepted into an accelerator program that runs at the same time. If you think this is going to affect you, let us know and we can have a chat about it.

Q: I’m a second time founder and my first company didn’t work out. Will The Generator hold that against me?

We’re sure you learned a lot from the experience and are applying this to your current project, so we don’t take this as a negative.

Q: Can you apply to The Generator with just an idea?

Yes. We accept companies that are all at different stages into the program, from idea stage through to those that have already received funding. Not all startups that come into the program have a product and that’s ok!

Q: Is The Generator just for early stage companies?

No. We’ve had companies in the past, such as Jarvis (2017) who had been running for almost a year and were profitable when they entered the program.

Q: Can you apply if you haven’t launched?

Yes, but ideally you have already launched and have some traction as it makes it easier for us to identify a team worth backing. However, we have accepted a number of companies that have not launched before they apply.

Q: This program sounds amazing, but I don’t have a side project or idea, can I join a team?

Unfortunately we don’t have capacity to help people join teams, but we encourage you to come to our events and our other programs, such as the Validator, and get to know the startup community at Monash. You never know, you may meet your future cofounder or find a team that needs another team member!

Q: Can you apply if you have raised money?

Yes. Each batch has companies that have already raised. We think we can be helpful for any company that hasn’t yet raised a Series B.

Q: Do you only accept certain types of businesses? Are not-for-profits able to apply?

We fund and support all kinds of businesses, irrespective of industry or domain. This includes not-for-profits, social enterprises, commercial enterprises – we even had a charity participate last year.

Q: Does the startup need to be based in Australia and for the Australian market?

Not necessarily. At least one founder needs to be based in and working on the startup in Melbourne for the duration of the program to attend the compulsory elements of the program, in order for you to get the most out of the program. If you have any concerns about this, reach out to us for a chat.

Q: I don’t have a technical background, can I still apply?

Of course! We accept all different types of ideas – it doesn’t need to be tech based to come through the program and we’re not just looking for technical founders.. If your idea is technical but you don’t have the skills, don’t worry, apply and we can help you figure that out along the way.

Equity and Funding

Q: Do you have to pay the money back?

No. The money from the Generator as part of the program is a grant, not a loan, so you don’t have to pay the money back. Even if your business doesn’t succeed we don’t expect you to return the grant.

Q: Does The Generator take any equity in my startup?

No, but we do expect founders to give back to the community in two ways. First by growing incredible and sustainable businesses. Second by participating in our culture of paying-it-forward by passing on your learnings to the next generation of founders. This may involve being a mentor, guest speaker or workshop leader. Please note this does not preclude any claims to intellectual property by Monash University or other third parties. We recommend you seek professional advice if there is any uncertainty about ownership.

Q: Can you use The Generator grant to pay your salary?

Yes. The money is to be used to pay for business-related expenses in order for your business to make the most progress during the program. This can include founder salaries if that makes the most sense for business and situation.

Application Process

Q: Does a real person actually read my application?

Yes, our Entrepreneur-in-Residence reads every application plus at least one other founder with industry specific knowledge to your idea and another member of The Generator team. Most applications are read multiple times.

Q: Does seed funding, exposure to other accelerators, media coverage count as traction too?

Sure does! Anything that shows us you are making progress with your businesses or to launch your idea counts as traction. Traction will look different

Q: Argh we just realised we have to include a video on our application submission! What are you looking for? How professional does it need to be?

Relax. Take a deep breath. We ask for the video as another way of getting to know you and your team during the application process. It doesn’t need to be fancy, record it on your phone or webcam and just be yourselves – you don’t need to rehearse it or make it polished! But do stick to the time limit, we won’t (and don’t have the time to) view anything over one minute.

Program

Q: Do you have to spend the full three months of the program in Clayton?

Yes. However, we want you to spend as much time with customers as possible, so if that means trips interstate or overseas we are understanding. We also understand that you may be juggling uni and/or work, so we take this into consideration when putting together the program.

Q: Do all the founders have to attend the entire program?

Not if your business needs you to be elsewhere. We encourage founders to be wherever their business requires, but we do expect participation in core program events, unless you have a valid reason that means you can’t make it. If you foresee an issue with this, let us know during the application process so we can work with you on this.

Q: I have uni/work/a family that I also need to attend to, do I have to be working on this full time?

Yes and no. We expect you to be dedicated to making your idea/side project/startup a reality and that takes commitment. We understand that you may have uni/work/a family that you need to also juggle and we take that into consideration when developing the program. However we do expect to see at least one founder in the coworking most days (at least three days a week) for the duration of the program.

Q: What happens after the program? Does the Generator continue to support the teams?

Of course, you can’t get rid of us that easily! We continue to support the Accelerator teams after the conclusion of the program through mentoring and a further three months of coworking space.

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CONTACT US

7 Innovation Walk (AG03), Clayton VIC 3145

E: entrepreneurship@monash.edu