New program to kickstart creative startups in Victoria

SLV Reading RoomThe Victorian Government has launched a new business development program to kickstart the next generation of creative and cultural businesses.

Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley has announced Foundry658 – an accelerator program that will help emerging creative entrepreneurs, organisations and collectives turn their ideas into successful businesses.

“When we were developing the Creative State strategy, access to tailored business development advice and support was identified as a top priority for Victorian creatives,” said Minister for Creative Industries, Martin Foley. “Ambitious artists and creatives are highly skilled in creative domains but need help to establish and grow successful businesses. I look forward to the many creative ideas that will flourish through this program.”

The program is an initiative of the Government’s Creative State strategy and will provide free business development expertise and advice that will help creatives working across all fields – including arts and culture, film and television, media, publishing, fashion, digital games and design.

Led by State Library Victoria and the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, the multifaceted program will comprise an annual regional roadshow, bootcamps to help entrepreneurs and artists develop their business ideas, and an intensive three-month accelerator program for 10 high-potential creative startups.

Accelerator teams will each receive $20,000 in seed funding and mentoring support from leading creative entrepreneurs. Participants in the program will be guided on how to develop a feasible business plan and strategy, refine their pitch, approach potential investors, and test or demonstrate their idea to future customers.

The program will start in July, but ambitious artists, practitioners and creative businesses can get a taste of what will be on offer at this year’s Creative State Summit. The summit will feature a series of talks and workshops focusing on ways creatives can build a business, scale their ideas and attract financial support.

The 2018 Creative State Summit will take place on 14 – 15 June 2018 at Melbourne Museum – with the Creative Enterprise stream to take place on Friday 15 June. For more information about Foundry658, including roadshow and application dates, visit: for details.

Image: La Trobe Reading Room – State Library Victoria