Startup Central Victoria to Support Emerging Businesses

The City of Greater Bendigo is leading a new Startup Central Victoria initiative with a range of exciting free virtual programs for aspiring and emerging entrepreneurs based in Greater Bendigo, Loddon Campaspe, Mount Alexander, Central Goldfields and Macedon Ranges.

With Regional Development Victoria funding, the initiative has been designed to support new entrepreneurs and businesses looking to expand. A range of program activities will connect businesses with established entrepreneurs, industry leaders, developers and designers.

City Director Strategy and Growth Steve Hamilton said the central Victorian initiative was important to address wider regional needs and create new opportunities across central Victoria.

“Startup Central Victoria will provide invaluable support for startups and young businesses looking to scale-up in central Victoria,” Mr Hamilton said.

“We are seeking to nurture a culture of innovation across the central region and this is an opportunity for people to convert great ideas into reality, help burgeoning businesses to attract new markets and create future job opportunities in central Victoria.

“We are delighted that La Trobe University has come on board to deliver Startup Central Victoria’s two Accelerator Programs, one starting in late October 2021 and one taking place in February 2022, which will bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise for participants.”

La Trobe Vice-Chancellor Professor John Dewar AO said he welcomed the opportunity for the university to present three intensive learning streams as part of the Accelerator Program with support from experts, coaches and business mentors.

“We are deeply embedded in regional business communities and have a strong track record in supporting promising start-ups and local businesses to realise their potential,” Professor Dewar said.

“Many highly-successful entrepreneurs have gained valuable insights and financial support since La Trobe started offering accelerator programs in 2017, and hundreds of others have successfully adapted their business models as part of our popular COVID-19 industry response programs.

“We look forward to applying the significant knowledge and experience we have developed in this area to this important initiative, which comes at a critical time for regional businesses.”

The first virtual/hybrid 12-week Accelerator Program begins on Monday October 25 with schedules to suit participants and enable them to commit to eight hours per week. Applications close on Monday October 11, 2021.

Streams will cater for early stage founders and businesses, development for startups looking to create, test and validate their offering, and an advanced stream for businesses seeking to scale up nationally and internationally.

Startup Central Victoria’s other free virtual events this year include:

  • An Opportunities Forum on Thursday September 30 at 6pm will present regional opportunities for startup businesses. Topics covered will include robotics, the 100-gig initiative, supply chain security, circular economy, health and wellbeing, increasing food chain value and train stop and small-town renewal
  • A Hackathon from Friday October 15 to Sunday October 17 open to individuals and teams who have a great idea for a new business or are interested in seeing how a completely new business can be built in just a weekend

For more information and to book these events please visit

Media Contact:

Paula Hubert 0419 915 342