Upstart Ideas Lab

Geelong entrepreneurship training
  • Want to create your own business or make a difference in the world but not sure how?

  • Got an idea for a business but need some connections and help?

  • Already got a business up and running and ready to take it to the next level?


We’ve got you covered with the Upstart Challenge!

Take the Challenge to win your share of this year’s prize pool and immerse yourself with the best of the region’s business startup community. It all starts with the Upstart Ideas Lab. Come along to this energetic, hands on workshop. You’ll learn how to generate lots of business ideas and evaluate them to pick the best. After all you want to spend your precious time on the ones most likely to succeed. Make connections with some of the region’s movers and shakers and get help to take your ideas to the next level!

You’ll leave the Ideas Lab equipped with the know how to make your best entry into the Upstart Challenge where you can win cash prizes and an entry to the Upstart Accelerator!

Upstart Accelerator

Get hands-on in this accelerator program to take your idea to the next level. Over 6 weekly sessions, you’ll discover what you need to take your idea from inception to creation and beyond and put it into practice!

Members of our expert business mentoring team will work alongside you over the course of the journey, ensuring you maximum benefit and give you the chance to build your own networks with leaders in their fields.

Once you’ve got it all in the bag you’re ready to tell the world about it!

You’ll progress to the Upstart Pitching Showdown where you could win your share of the prize pool!

Upstart Pitching Showdown

Woohoo, you’ve made the final round! Congratulations, you’re part of an elite and talented team of change-makers to get this far! It’s your time to shine (and win some $$$$)

  • So you’ve come up with a business idea (commercial or social), you’ve had your thinking challenged through the accelerator program and it’s probably shifted quite a bit from the original concept.

  • You’ve done some customer testing and better understand what your potential customers really want and will pay for.
  • You’re now an awesome communicator having learned what a great pitch looks and sounds like and had a practice go! YOU’RE READY TO TAKE ON THE ULTIMATE CHALLENGE – THE UPSTART PITCHING SHOWDOWN!


This is your chance to get some extra resources to grow your business. You might need connections in a particular industry or with a particular skillset, perhaps it’s an introduction into a business and of course let’s not forget about some cash.

Whatever your needs, the Upstart Pitching Showdown is a great opportunity to find it.

You’ll pitch your business to a panel of expert judges from the startup community and a broader audience of guests from industry, education, investors, government and the community to take out the coveted Upstart Entrepreneur of the Year title.  Winners will also be awarded $1000 seed funding, tech prizes and share of the prize pool.

There’s also cash prizes for the runner up and a People’s Choice award.

“The more we can educate secondary school students to learn both business basics and entrepreneurial traits, the better off as a country we will be. The Upstart Challenge program manages to successfully weave in both. ”

Maurice Grasso, Melbourne Angel Investment