Victoria’s independent $60 million innovation fund has opened applications for its second round, looking for ideas that will strengthen the state’s startup infrastructure and ecosystem.

LaunchVic’s first round of funding saw the government organisation dish out $6.5 million to 18 different ideas, including a leadership program for female entrepreneurs and the creation of an innovation hub in Abbotsford Convent.

The second round of funding is focusing on ideas that foster a “more collaborative and linked” network of co-working spaces, incubators and accelerators, work to improve diversity in the tech sector and encourage the “clustering of infrastructure and activities” to lift global visibility of the Victorian startup ecosystem.

The fund is also particularly on the look out for proposals that are addressing an area where Victoria already has a “unique cultural or competitive advantage on the world stage”, including sports, health, food and education, LaunchVic board chair Ahmed Fahour says.

“We will consider both small and large proposals that will improve collaboration, build capacity and grow Victoria’s startup capability,” Fahour says.

“LaunchVic has already allocated $6.5 million from the total pool of $60 million and we are excited about what the next round will bring.”

The small ideas will be eligible for up to $100,000 in one-off grants, will the larger ideas can apply for “significant” seed funding for up to three years.

All applications must include a commitment of matched funding.

“We are not in the business of co-investing into individual startups,” Fahour says.

“Rather, we want to support the infrastructure which supports startups, entrepreneurs and scallops – our preference is to be a financial co-partner for successful initiatives.

“This investment in the startup and tech industry will help make Victoria the location of choice for startups across the Asia-Pacific region.”

Applications for LaunchVic’s second round of funding are now open and close on November 11.

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