UniMelb StartUp

Pitch your business idea to a panel of experts for the chance to win some amazing prizes and receive feedback to help turn your dream into a reality.

About UniMelb StartUp

The UniMelb StartUp Pitch Competition aims to activate an entrepreneurial mindset within the University’s student community. It provides students a unique opportunity to learn to develop and test a startup idea. Team up with budding entrepreneurs from across the University and learn from experts and mentors from the startup world. There will also be prizes up for grabs!

This program is as much a competition as it is a learning experience. Whether or not you have a start-up idea in mind, we encourage all students across the University to take part in the program’s workshops.

You must be a current University of Melbourne student to participate and can register as a team or as an individual. Full training and support will be provided and no prior experience is required.

Registrations for Unimelb StartUp Pitch Competition 2021 (US21) are now open. The program will be delivered virtually from Week 3 to Week 10 of Semester 1 2021.

For any enquiries related to the program, please contact unimelb-startup@unimelb.edu.au

Team toto – Christian Gashi, Indiana Cooper, and Jasun Li

“I would certainly encourage any students considering entering the UniMelb StartUp competition to do so. It is a fantastic program that provides a solid foundation for your entrepreneurship journey, with the workshops alone having proved invaluable to my understanding of the entrepreneurship space.”

Christian Gashi, 2020 UniMelb StartUp Pitch Competition winner

Read more about Christian and his team's experience

Who can apply?

All current University of Melbourne students are eligible to enter, except for MBA (including dual degrees), Executive MBA, Senior Executive MBA and Master of Entrepreneurship students.

  • Team size must be between two and six members.
  • Teams must not submit an idea that is operating as a going concern by the members (this includes operating under a business incubator or accelerator), at the time of registration.
  • Where the proposed business model is the same as, or sufficiently similar to, an existing business model, acknowledgement and full disclosure must be made, with justification for differentiation. We expect teams to complete a thorough competitor analysis before entering.
  • Selection criteria includes consideration of team disciplinary mix. It is strongly advised that teams include members from multiple faculties, disciplines, or skill sets.
  • The program will be delivered online and is open to students currently residing within and outside Australia.

Please refer to the US21 Competition Handbook for details on the competition structure and rules. Participation in this competition is subject to the acceptance of the competition’s Terms & Conditions outlined in the handbook. Please ensure all team members have read these before registering.


Registrations for the UniMelb StartUp 2021 Pitch Competition are open between Monday 15 February - Sunday 14 March.

Please complete the US21 Expression of Interest Form here.

Key Dates

ActivityDateTime (AEDT/AEST)Description
Online Registrations OpenMonday 15 February10:00am (AEDT)Submit your Expression of Interest
Online Registrations CloseSunday 14 March11:59pm (AEDT)Deadline to submit your Expression of Interest
US21 Event LaunchThursday 18 March 5:15 - 6:15pm (AEDT)Hear from inspiring entrepreneurs and learn about the structure of the competition in more detail. There will a Q&A session too.
Mixer Tuesday 23 March4:00 - 5:15pm (AEDT)Informal networking event for US21 participants. A great opportunity for you to connect with other participants to form a team for the competition.
Virtual Bootcamp – Workshop 1Thursday 25 March 4:00 - 7:00pm (AEDT)Virtual Bootcamp
Virtual Bootcamp – Workshop 2Tuesday 30 March 4:00 - 7:00pm (AEDT)Virtual Bootcamp
Virtual Bootcamp – Workshop 3Tuesday 13 April4:00 - 7:00pm (AEST)Virtual Bootcamp
Virtual Bootcamp – Workshop 4Thursday 15 April4:00 - 7:00pm (AEST)Virtual Bootcamp
Mentor Drop-In Session 1Tuesday 20 April TBC Receive guidance and support from experienced entrepreneurs to refine your team's business idea
Mentor Drop-In Session 2Friday 23 AprilTBCReceive guidance and support from experienced entrepreneurs to refine your team's business idea
Preliminary Video Pitch dueSunday 25 April11:59pm (AEST)Submit your video pitch for assessment by a panel of judges
Consultations with mentor7-11 May TBCFinalists will be able to consult with a mentor to prepare for their final pitch
FinalsFriday 14 May 5:30 - 8pm (AEST)Finalists to present their final pitch to a panel of entrepreneurs and industry experts
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Melbourne Accelerator Program (MAP)

Launched in 2012, the Melbourne Accelerator Program (MAP) is a startup accelerator based within the University of Melbourne. Each year, MAP accepts 10 startups for a 5-month program to help grow and scale their business, and has supported over 100 startups.

Wade Institute of Entrepreneurship

Established in 2015, Wade Institute of Entrepreneurship is a leading centre for entrepreneurial training, delivering immersive education programs to accelerate learning, creation and connection.

Competition Prizes

By entering the 2021 UniMelb StartUp, you’ll get a 30% discount code on GoDaddy’s products, plus support and mentorship from startup experts.

Thanks to GoDaddy, the winning team will score a share in $2k as well as $250 worth of GoDaddy products to help them set up and succeed online.

In addition, the winning team will receive a Startup prize package sponsored by MAP:

  • Up to 2 founder places in MAP’s Velocity Program (valued at $500 each); OR
  • 1 month of hot desking at the new Melbourne Connect supported by 4 x 30-minute coaching slots from the MAP Program Manager/MAP Founder.