Three Victorian councils have launched a program that encourages startups to improve outcomes for local communities with the support of government funding.
In partnership with consultancy Collective Campus, the Cities of Ballarat, Casey, and Whittlesea will give startups and scaleups the opportunity to share their solutions to address problems through the Springboard program. The program will focus on issues related to transport, waste, and health and wellbeing.
City of Ballarat Mayor Samantha McIntosh said the council is excited to be involved with the initiative.
“We want to identify startups from across the world to find dynamic solutions,” she said. “We look forward to leveraging the power of new and emerging technologies, such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, and the internet of things, to help us shape a better and brighter future for Ballarat.”
Startups can use a range of tools, such as data analytics, machine learning, artificial intelligence, social impact platforms, last-mile transportation, and sustainable food options in their solutions.
City of Whittlesea Mayor Lawrie Cox said it’s important to drive improved community outcomes with innovation.
“Local government faces increasingly demanding and complex community expectations, with limited resources and competing demands, it’s critical that councils find new ways to deliver services,” he said.
Collective Campus CEO Steve Glaveski argued local councils have the power to foster innovation within their communities.
“They have deep domain expertise, networks and access to infrastructure that both startups and scaleups crave, and by leveraging each other’s strengths, innovation is fast-tracked and additional value is generated for the community,” he said.
Startups and scaleups can apply to the program on the Springboard website. Applications close 18 October, and shortlisted companies will be required to attend a pitch event in Melbourne in November.