MAP16 Startup Accelerator Application

Applications are now closed!

Applications for the MAP16 Startup Accelerator are open from 17 March-17 April 2016.

Once a year, the MAP Startup Accelerator funds a group of startups (currently 10 per intake) and we work with them to grow their businesses.

Top startups are awarded access into the Startup Accelerator. Startups are provided:

  • $20,000 funding (no equity taken)
  • Office space
  • Structured mentoring
  • Unparalleled networking opportunities
  • Pitching opportunities across Melbourne, Sydney and Silicon Valley

Our 24 alumni teams have raised over $10.0 million in funding, created more than 150 jobs and generated over $10 million in revenue.

MAP funds all kinds of startups across a broad range of categories.

In order to be eligible for the MAP Startup Accelerator, at least one founder needs to be a student, staff or alumni from our participating faculties:

  • Melbourne School of Engineering;
  • Faculty of Business and Economics / Melbourne Business School;
  • Faculty of Arts;
  • Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences;
  • Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning;
  • Melbourne Law School;
  • Faculty of Science; or
  • Faculty of Victorian College of the Arts and Melbourne Conservatorium of Music.


Startup Accelerator Selection Process

  • Online application (17 March- 17 April)
    • As a first step, you will submit an online application (including a pitch video). Your 3-minute video should outline:
      • The problem you are solving
      • Your solution
      • Market size and total addressable market
      • Your business model
      • You traction and progress to date
      • Existing competitors (and how you’re better)
      • Your team
  • Pitch Night (28 April)
    • Successful applicants will be invited to the Pitch Night and given 3 minutes to present their idea to the MAP mentors. There will be no Q&A during this time
  • Interview- MAP Team (4-6 May)
    • The next stage will be a discussion with the MAP team around your business specifics
  • Interview- Selection Panel (12 May)
    • Finally, teams which progress to this stage will present a 3-minute pitch and have 12-minute Q&A with the MAP Selection Panel.
  • The Journey Begins (18 May)
    • MAP16 Startup Accelerator welcome, briefing and inductions for the selected teams
  • MAP Launch Party (25 May)
    • Get to know the top 10 teams of the MAP16 Startup Accelerator and watch them pitch at the MAP Launch Party

If  you have any questions please email



MAP Startup Accelerator Eligibility Criteria Amendments

Happy long weekend everyone! In case the long weekend wasn’t enough good news we wanted to let you know of some exciting developments for our Startup Accelerator.

In the past, in order to be eligible for the MAP Startup Accelerator one founding team member must have been connected with our affiliated faculties at the University of Melbourne in one of the below ways:

  • Staff
  • Student
  • Alumni within 5 years

We’re excited to announce that we have amended the alumni restriction so that all alumni of participating faculties are eligible to apply. For our new eligibility criteria, one founding member must be connected with our affiliated faculties at the University of Melbourne in one of the below ways:

  • Staff
  • Student
  • Alumni

There are two key reasons for this change:

  1. Our learnings of late have indicated that women are more likely to take the plunge into entrepreneurship a little later in life than men. We want to encourage greater participation of women in entrepreneurship and believe this amendment will help that cause.
  2. We also realised that many alumni are still relatively entrepreneurially inexperienced even though they’ve been in the workforce for more than 5 years. We would like to support people to launch their own ventures at all stages of life if they need help.

There are now even more reasons for you to come to the Info Night next week. Get your tickets now!

Happy International Women’s Day

Version 2

Rikky Muller, Co-founder of Cortera Neurotechnologies

Happy International Women’s Day!


On this special day we would like to acknowledge the achievements of our alumna Dr. Rikky Muller. Rikky is a genuine superstar- PhD from UC Berkeley, undergraduate degree from MIT, UniMelb staff member, Co-Founder and CTO of Cortera Neurotechnogies a MAP13 startup.


She’s been recognised as an Honouree of MIT Technology Review’s Annual Innovators Under 35 List (previous winners on the list include Larry Page and Mark Zuckerberg). Rikky is an inspiration to scientists and entrepreneurs all around the world and we’re proud that she’s part of the MAP family! 

Melbourne Accelerator Program FAQs


Maxine Lee, MAP Accelerator Manager

(Updated: April 2017)

That time of the year again!

In order to help you navigate all the programs that MAP offers, I’ve prepared the following tips to assist you.

“This MAP thing sounds cool, how can I get involved?”

There are two components to MAP:

  1. The MAP Startup Accelerator

The MAP Startup Accelerator is for the most advanced entrepreneurs in our talent pool.

We provide 10 teams (in 2016) with $20,000 (no equity taken), free workspace at MAP and structured mentoring over a period of 5 months. Startups are given the opportunity to pitch to potential investors or channel partners at the end of the program. Our portfolio of startups can be found hereEligibility requirements include one team member having a University of Melbourne affiliation, however, I’d like to stress that the MAP Development Programs (below) is open to anyone and everyone from the startup community.

If you’re really feeling curious, check out pitches from our last intake of startups at the MAP15 Launch Party here.

  1. The MAP Development Programs

The Velocity Program is for earlier-stage founders in our talent pool. It is a 6-month part-time program with monthly workshops designed to help validate your market and customer groups. The Velocity Program does not have any eligibility requirements, but still involves a competitive application process.

In addition, we host other events such as: Public Forums, Master Classes, Startup Bootcamps and Meetups to connect aspiring entrepreneurs and work through the challenges that they’re facing. Themes we have covered in the past include: preparing for growth, startup legal essentials, fundraising etc.

Our Information Night usually happens mid-March of every year and provides an in-depth description about the startup accelerator and all other programs. Slides from 2017 can be found here.

“How do I get involved with the Startup Accelerator or Velocity Program?”

In 2017, there will be one application process for all Startup Accelerator and Velocity Program applicants. You may submit your application here (2017 deadline: April 17th).

Please read our application workshop slides here. A recording is also available from last year here.

Once you have gone through all the content from our application workshops, you may also contact to sign up for our open office hours. Please come prepared with i) a pitch deck including information about your progress to date and ii) specific and relevant questions for the MAP team.

These sessions are usually run by our alumni, program managers or chief entrepreneur-in-residence.

In case you’re wondering if we’ll sign any NDAs, please read: The Cult of the NDA.

“How can I ensure that I don’t miss out on any MAP events?”

Get onto our newsletter, fresh off the press! Go to website and look for the ‘Stay in the loop’ button on the bottom right of the page. It’s a little inconspicuous, but we’re working on that. Pop your email in, and you’ll begin receive updates on all our events!

If you want to take it further with news about our startups, blog posts and the like, follow our Facebook page.

“Am I eligible for the Startup Accelerator”?

All pre-requisites can be found here.

Bear in mind that even if you are ineligible to participate (without a University of Melbourne affiliation), we’d still love to help you out through our development programs  (see point number 2: MAP Development Programs above!)

“What does a good pitch and startup accelerator application look like?”

Please read our application workshop slides (from 2017) here and watch a recording (from 2016) here.

“I don’t have an affiliation to the University of Melbourne, but I’d still like to talk”

That’s fine, but be completely upfront on how we can help you.  Also, give us some information to work with (ie: your elevator pitch, progress to date, how specifically we can help).  We can’t promise we’ll always be able to give you extensive feedback or make an introduction, but if you come prepared, we will be better placed to steer you in the right direction!

We also have heaps of recorded content from our Master Classes (which cover startup fundamentals) here.

Maxine Lee

MAP Accelerator Manager


How to nail the selection process for MAP

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xLabs Team

Even an unsuccessful MAP application can be tremendously valuable to your startup. The process will force you to identify the cracks and weaknesses in your plans and come up with solutions to mitigate them. Don’t think you can dodge the tricky questions! The interviews and pitches with MAP’s panel will shine a spotlight on any murky details.

Your preparation for the MAP application shouldn’t be “how can I convince them of my original idea” but rather “what” the limitations and risks and how can I improve my idea to fix them?”. Continually evolving and improving your business strategies will really help you to present the best possible application.

Think critically about your business. Ask friends – especially any with experience running a business – to grill you on your plans. You’ll be surprised at some of the questions they ask, especially if they have experience of business administration and you don’t.

I also recommend you attend MAP’s startup lectures to get the background knowledge you need to develop business plans.


Co-founder of xLabs

Register for MAP16 Info Night to see how you can make history with us!