The Victorian government has announced the recipients of the first round of LaunchVic funding, handing out AU$6.5 million to universities, startups, incubators, and projects to "drive new ideas" and create jobs in the state.
Global IT firm Dimension Data will receive a AU$450,000 boost from the LaunchVic startup kitty to set up a cybersecurity incubator with Deakin University.
The incubator will be located at Deakin's Waurn Ponds campus and hopes to address the skills shortage in the Australian cybersecurity industry by accelerating the development of unique cybersecurity solutions and intellectual property.
The incubator will sit alongside the new cybersecurity degree program being developed at Deakin University, which is scheduled to commence in 2017.
Headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, Dimension Data was acquired by Japanese telco giant NTT in 2010 for $3.2 billion.
Community run Fintech Melbourne will also receive AU$30,000 from LaunchVic; the Foundation for Young Australians will receive AU$75,000 to build a network of local hubs in regional areas; RMIT University will use its AU$100,000 injection for its Bright Sparks program targeting female entrepreneurs; school holiday initiative Lemonade Stand: Startups for kids will receive AU$100,000 to scale the program; and the Runway project will receive AU$1.25 million over four years to establish a major startup hub in Geelong.
Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade Philip Dalidakis expects Runway will act as a catalyst for innovation in the region, creating new businesses and jobs through mentoring, networks, training, and access to venture capital.
LaunchVic was established in November and will be given AU$60 million over four years to invest in core infrastructure, improve access to capital for local startups, advocate on Commonwealth legislation and regulation, as well as engage in startup events, campaigns, competitions, and mentoring programs.
The LaunchVic funding comes from the AU$508 million Premier's Jobs and Investment Fund.
"We want Victoria to be the location of choice for startups across the Asia-Pacific region and LaunchVic is making it happen. These projects will help young companies and ideas develop to create jobs and industries that will support Victoria for decades to come," Dalidakis said in a statement.
"Victoria is leading the country in startup and small business growth, with around 8,000 new businesses created in the last year alone, and we need to ensure the right support is in place to help them thrive."
Also on Monday, the federal government sent its first batch of entrepreneurs overseas, heading to California to learn from international talent as part of its AU$11 million startup landing pad initiative.
Announced in February, the first of five pads has taken up tenancy at RocketSpace technology campus in San Francisco and will see six Australian startups head to Silicon Valley in a bid to bring their ideas to market and build high-growth and high-return enterprises.
The startup landing pad initiative forms part of the government's AU$1.1 billion National Innovation and Science Agenda announced in December.