La Trobe Accelerator Program welcomes 21 startups for 2019 cohort

The La Trobe Accelerator Program welcomed 21 startups from across Victoria who began their 12-week journey, commencing 17th September 2019.

Authored by Abby Shrivastava |

The day started with a morning goal-setting session followed by a launch event in the evening, hosted at the 11th Space, a co-working space in Melbourne, CBD.

Eco-friendly (biodegradable) disposable nappies, silicone breast prostheses, recycling plastic waste, a software solution to monitor the health of beehives, bespoke itineraries for solo female travelers, and innovative storage system for home garage are some of the business ideas that will be going through the 12-week accelerator program.

“We want to support local Colombian cocoa farmers through the sale of healthy, vegan-friendly chocolate products in the Australian market,” says Martin Cuellar from Bamba Chocolate.

Mildura based startup, Natural Approach, has been accepted into the 12-week program.  Founder, Tracey Hickmott, manufactures safe, natural deodorants that effectively eliminates odour-causing bacteria.  She hopes the program will help her take Natural Approach to the next level.

Similarly, Claire Kuiper from Red Elk Beverage Co. Albury-Wodonga wants to utilise this program to take her healthier drinking syrup manufacturing to the next level.

“The La Trobe Accelerator Program is a unique opportunity for La Trobe University students like me. I am delighted to be part of this diverse cohort and looking forward to learning new techniques and creating new networks to be able to take my business to the next level,” says Sophie Cox, who’s product Diesel Beanie prevents any debris or contaminants from building up around the filler neck of diesel tanks.

Dr. Megan Fisher, Pro Vice-Chancellor Industry Engagement said, “since 2017, we have accelerated 36 startups and awarded $253,000 equity-free funding. Of these startups over half of them have been from regional Victoria, which is a tremendous achievement in itself. And we have achieved this with the outstanding support from our campuses in Albury-Wodonga, Bendigo, Shepparton and Mildura and our network of mentors and advisors.”

The La Trobe Accelerator Program was awarded the prestigious 2018 Australian Financial Review Higher Education Community Engagement Award last year. Since its inception, the program has received about 222 formal applications, of which 111 startups have completed the intensive Primer program.

“The La Trobe Accelerator Program is all about assisting startups in their growth journey and equipping them with the right knowledge, tools and networks. I am very proud that we have been able to deliver what we had set out achieve since Day 1,” says Dr Cerasela Tanasescu, Director, La Trobe Accelerator.

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