The Velocity Program


Applications for our Pre-Accelerator Program are now open!
Click the button below to apply for our Velocity Winter Cohort.
Applications close Sunday 31 March at 11.59pm

Velocity is MAP’s part-time, pre- accelerator program for earlier stage founders. The program comprises 11 workshops centred around customer discovery and market validation with specialised experiences for both for-profit and for-purpose entrepreneurs.

Designed to give clarity and guidance to early-stage founders who are determined to uncover and understand their customers while validating their market, the Velocity program accelerators early-stage founders. Open to both for-profit and impact startups, our goal is to foster mutual inspiration and motivation for success in business and in impact.

Over the 3 months, Velocity provides support through evening workshops featuring expert speakers, founder stories, and group activities. Surrounded by a cohort of high-potential founders, our carefully designed program aims to propel early-stage startups and their founders forward, increasing the likelihood of founder success. To enhance the journey, Velocity boasts a diverse and supportive community that ensures participants have a support system, a collaborative environment and a safe space to be challenged and test their startup.

In 2024, we are running two Velocity Programs. Our first program for the year will run from early May to July, and our second program will run from September to early December. Both programs will be delivered on Thursday evenings, from 5.30 to 8.30pm, in person at our offices in Melbourne Connect

The program costs $500 per founder, and a University of Melbourne affiliation is not required for this program.

The Velocity founder's journey

Online application

4 March - 31 March 2024

Your journey begins with an online application that consists of a 3 minute video and series of short questions about your startup and team. You will be notified if you have been successful for the second stage of selection by Monday 8 April 2024. We advise that you begin preparing your 3 minute pitch ahead of time.

Interviews

11 and 15  April 2024

Shortlisted startups will be invited to Stage 2 which is a 20 minute interview with the MAP team and/or an industry specialist and/or alumni of the program. Up to 30 selected founders will be invited to participate in Velocity.

Velocity program

2 May - 18 July 2024

The Velocity Program involves evening workshops, hosted by mentors, founders, and domain experts from across the MAP network. The focus of these workshops will be accountability, validating problem-solution fit, and finding first customers. Workshops generally run from 5.30pm to 8.30pm on Thursday evenings and will kick off with a program induction on Thursday 2 May 2024.

Velocity program benefits
01

Curriculum of high-quality evening workshops.

Each workshop builds your startup ‘toolbelt’ with a mixture of theory, group activities, accountability actions, and networking to equip you with knowledge and tools, and keep you on track.

02

Mentorship from the best and brightest advisors.

Our mentors have been there and done it! They are excited to share stories and listen to your challenges to help you grow your startup.

03

Support from other startups in the program.

Velocity program is filled with founders from different startups, professions and expertise ready to work with each other, sharing skills and experience to help each other solve their biggest challenges.

04

Community connections with the greater ecosystem

Network, connect and collaborate with our incredible entrepreneurial community at Melbourne Connect including other program participants, alumni, EIRs, mentors and the MEC team. Attend incredible events such as the MAP Launch and Demo Day, your opportunity to mingle and even debut your startup to Melbourne's ecosystem

Frequently asked questions

The MAP team are here to help you, and we encourage you to visit our team page and connect with us if we can help in any way. For instant answers, browse our comprehensive FAQ section below.

Who can apply for the Velocity Program?

The program is industry-agnostic and is open to both for-profit and impact startups. This is because we believe in creating an environment where startup and impact founders can influence and support each other with their business, technical and impact acumen. You are required to be affiliated with the University of Melbourne to take part.

What is a startup?

MAP defines startups as organisations that are scalable, have potential for high growth and or high impact, that use innovation and or address scalable markets.

Can I apply to the Velocity Program if I am located outside Victoria?

No, to be eligible for Velocity programs, the participating founder must be located in Victoria.

What if I'm a first time founder, a sole-founder or a non-technical founder?

First-time founders
Yes. We have had many first-time founders in the Velocity program. We support you by surrounding you with people running companies at similar stage to yours and founders who run similar companies to share networks and expertise.

Solo founders
Yes. While we focus on a startup's team, we do take solo founders who have deep knowledge of the problem they are solving and the ability to deliver it.

Non-technical founders
Whilst we certainly like to see startups lead by teams with strong technical talent, it is not a requirement to be accepted into Velocity. If you don’t have a technical co-founder or employee, we encourage founders to seek out that talent while in the program.

What stage does my startup need to be in order to be considered for the Velocity Program?

Our Velocity Program supports early stage startups that are at problem-solution fit where startups are focused on validating whether they are solving a meaningful problem and pressure test the biggest assumptions in their business model. We accept startups with innovative solutions, transformative ideas and scale for impact. To be competitive, you will need to have a clear concept, and done some early validation prior to entering the program. We also need to see a strong commitment from you and your team - demonstrate an ability to execute.

What questions do you ask as part of the application?

Our online application process involves you submitting a 3 minute video and answering simple questions about your startup and founding team. If you'd like to see the questions asked and to help you prepare, please have a look at this document for details.

I’d like to have a chat with someone from the MAP team before I apply, how do I arrange a meeting?

Office hours are currently closed while we are between programs. In future, office times can be booked here.

Will my application be publicly available?

Absolutely not. All information you submit to us throughout the selection process will remain strictly confidential and private.

I have more than one startup that I've been working on, can I make more than one application?

You are welcome to submit more than one application if you want to submit multiple startups for consideration, but please note that we will ask you to select only one if both make it past the second round of applications (MAP Team Interview).

I missed the deadline, can I submit a late application?

Unfortunately we can’t accept applications past the deadline.

How do I prepare for the interview?

The interview stage is for the MAP team to better get to know you and your business, and understand how the Velocity Program could help you. We don't expect you to prepare a pitch; just be ready to have an open and honest conversation about your business and be yourself.

What stage does my startup need to be in order to be considered for the Velocity Program?

Our Velocity Program supports early stage startups that are at problem-solution fit where startups are focused on validating whether they are solving a meaningful problem and pressure test the biggest assumptions in their business model. We accept startups with innovative solutions, transformative ideas and scale for impact. To be competitive, you will need to have a clear concept, and done some early validation prior to entering the program. We also need to see a strong commitment from you and your team - demonstrate an ability to execute.

Do I need a live demo of my product or service for the selection process?

No you don’t. We understand that you may not be at this stage just yet. Even if you do have a demo ready to go, we encourage you to chat to our team about when in stage two (the in-person interview) if it would be most appropriate to show it off.

When will I hear back from you about the outcome of my application?

We understand that you will be very keen to hear back about the status of your application, and we will endeavour to process applications as soon as we can. At each stage of the process you will be notified about when you can expect a response by.

Does MAP conduct due diligence on my startup as part of the selection process?

Yes. All startups who make it to the second stage of selection process will go through light due diligence facilitated by members of the MAP team. Due diligence is nothing to be worried about, we’re simply looking to confirm the accuracy of information in your application, and to ensure you’re the right fit.

Will I receive feedback from the judges and MAP team about my application if I’m unsuccessful?

We make every effort to provide each unsuccessful candidate with feedback about their application. This will come in the form of an Office Hours meeting. Unfortunately due to the volume of applications, we can’t guarantee your startup will receive feedback.

When does the Velocity program run? What is a typical week like?

The program runs over 12 weeks from May to July for Cohort 1, and September to December for cohort 2. Evening workshops run live at our Melbourne Connect office on Thursday evenings from 5.30pm - 8.30pm.

Does MAP take equity or ownership in my company? What about intellectual property?

Equity or ownership
No. MAP does not take any equity or ownership in your company. Instead, we expect MAP founders to join our community, which means giving back by supporting the next generation of startup founders, and being a mentor and ambassador for MAP. This may include contributing to workshops, mentoring a startup in a future cohort, or making a helpful connection to a fellow founder in our community.

Intellectual property
No. You retain full ownership of all intellectual property (IP) your startup creates.

How much does it cost to take part in the Velocity Program?

It is $500 per founder to participate in the program. If you have a multi-founder team, we recommend at least 2 founders participate and/or set up a process to feedback information to the rest of the team so key learnings are shared.

Is there a risk of being kicked out of the Velocity Program?

MAP operates on a culture of respect. We require that all founders hold themselves at the highest standards as ambassadors in our community. We have not had to ask anyone to leave yet, and our values and code of conduct (which will be covered during inductions) ensure that we hopefully won’t have to do so in the future!

Where is the MAP office?

The MAP office is located at Melbourne Connect, Level 1, 700 Swanston Street, Carlton 3053.

I need space to experiment with physical prototypes. Can I do this at the MAP office?

Within reason, yes. We have dedicated space for light prototyping work during your co-working times, however any work that produces significant noise or smells will have to be done offsite. Please ensure that you discuss any physical prototyping requirements in your application if needed.

Does the MAP office have meeting facilities?

Yes, we have multiple meeting spaces available that you can book for free, as well as video conferencing facilities as well. The MAP office is also surrounded by some of the best cafes and restaurants in Melbourne, a secret list of which will be provided to startups during induction.

WANT TO GET IN TOUCH?

Contact the teamMedia enquiries
Melbourne Accelerator Program
Level 1, Melbourne Connect
700 Swanston Street
Carlton, Victoria 3053

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