Foundry658

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Foundry658 is an initiative of the Victorian Government’s Creative State strategy delivered by ACMI and State Library Victoria. Foundry658 supports creative people to transform their ideas into sustainable businesses.

The Foundry658 program includes a range of business support initiatives, with:

  • Roadshow talks and information sessions across Victoria
  • Bootcamp sessions designed to test and support the development of a proposed business project
  • An Accelerator skills-building intensive offering tailored advice, networking opportunities and seed funding of $20,000 for ten selected projects. 

Who is Foundry658 for?

Foundry658 is designed to support independent artists, small arts organisations, not-for-profits, commercial creative enterprises, early-stage entrepreneurs and creative industries practitioners.

Applications are also welcome from practitioners in fields that are directly working with, or wish to work in fruitful collaborative opportunities with creative industries practitioners (for example augmented reality, robotics, digital media etc).

If you’d like to know whether you are eligible, please email the team at startspace@slv.vic.gov.au.

How it works

Foundry658 aims to grow and scale creative ideas into sustainable and successful businesses, using a ‘start-grow-scale-connect’ model:

  • Start – build a group comprised of peers from related fields and develop early concepts.
  • Grow – provide business skills, resources, facilities and advice for real business incubation.
  • Scale – provide business development support and link projects with investment opportunities.
  • Connect – connect projects with Foundry658’s wider business and expert network.

A network of industry speakers, trainers and mentors support the project, including: 

  • Michael Agar, creative industries investor
  • Christine Christian, Kirwood Capital Group
  • Dominic Dirupo, Principal, Alphastation Communications
  • Jeremy Kraybill, co-founder, Dashcord and previously at MAP
  • Kevin Lim, Deputy Director, Co:Lab X (Singapore)
  • Anna Reeves, CEO & co-founder, That Startup Show
  • Tui Te Ha, General Manager at Mahuki Innovation Accelerator, Te Papa Museum (NZ)
  • Victor Tong, Co:Lab X (Singapore)
  • Seb Chan, CXO, ACMI
  • Dr Greg Turner, Chief Technology Officer, ACMI
  • Kate Torney, CEO, State Library Victoria
  • Anna Burkey, Head of StartSpace, State Library Victoria
  • Simon Cronshaw, co-founder, REMIX & CultureLabel.com
  • Peter Tullin, co-founder, REMIX & CultureLabel.com

Roadshow

Foundry658 Roadshows tour regional and metropolitan Victoria to introduce the program and its opportunities to interested individuals.

Sessions are free, and run for two hours. Locations and dates will be announced soon.

For those who are unable to attend, Roadshow sessions will be recorded and uploaded to the Foundry658 website.

Please email the State Library’s StartSpace team at startspace@slv.vic.gov.au to register your interest and stay up to date.

Bootcamp

Bootcamp sessions are designed to test and support the development of a proposed business project. The curriculum includes:

  • lean startup methodology
  • development (or refinement) and testing of a business plan
  • essential skills including digital marketing, scaling strategies and building teams
  • access to mentors who can provide tailored business development advice.

There is no cost to attend a Bootcamp.

Timetable & requirements

Two Bootcamps will run for seven-and-a-half days each, over three weeks.

Some days will be full-time (typically between 10am and 4pm) and others part-time. 

Bootcamps will take place at State Library Victoria or ACMI X, both in central Melbourne. 

While the Bootcamp program is designed to be flexible, it’s worth noting that one of its benefits is that participants are part of a cohort, or group, in which peer learning and networking play a valuable role.

More information on the Bootcamp timetable will be available soon.

Please email the State Library’s StartSpace team at startspace@slv.vic.gov.au to register your interest and keep up-to-date with the Foundry658 program.

Note: participation in Bootcamp is not a prerequisite for taking part in the Accelerator, but it plays a key role in helping the Foundry658 team evaluate potential applicants for the Accelerator.

Accelerator

The Accelerator is at the heart of Foundry658.

It is an intensive, 12-week skills-building program providing tailored advice, networking opportunities and business support for 10 selected projects.

Participation is by application and participants must demonstrate the potential for scalable innovation, or the potential to transform their creative business to deliver commercial outcomes.

Participants will be provided with a financial investment of $20,000 in addition to mentorship and business development training from leading creative entrepreneurs.

The Accelerator program culminates in a public pitch event, demo day or exhibition with investors.

There is no cost to participate in the Accelerator.

Timetable & requirements

The Accelerator program will typically involve programming over 20 hours per week over a 12-week period. Some days will be full-time (usually between 10am and 4pm) and others part-time. Evening and weekend sessions will also be provided to support flexibility and encourage the widest possible range of applicants.

A three-month commitment is the minimum time requirement and teams will need to attend cohort-based sessions for up to 20 hours per week. Accelerator participants can immerse themselves in the programs full-time.

Accelerator cohorts will be located at either State Library Victoria or ACMI and participants will be provided with free hot desk space for the duration of the program. The program will also encompass some off-site visits within Melbourne.

    Eligibility

    The program is designed to support artists, practitioners and creative businesses living and working in Victoria. If your startup or company has a presence both in Victoria and interstate, you are still eligible to participate in the Accelerator. However, organisations must have a registered address in Victoria and teams must include at least one permanent Victorian resident and be based in Victoria for the duration of the program (at least three months).

    FAQs

    Does Foundry658 invest in projects or make connections to potential investors?

    Foundry658 does not take an equity stake in participating businesses, so you will retain full ownership rights. Potential investors and funders will be involved across the curriculum. The Accelerator’s conclusion will also feature a pitch event where participants can showcase their work to potential investors and funders.

    How will Foundry658 continue to engage with its alumni community?

    Both ACMI and StartSpace at the Library will feature ongoing opportunities to participate in select professional development programs, networking events, public programs and access to desk space (charges may apply). We anticipate that Foundry658 alumni from Year 1 will participate as mentors in Year 2.

    Who is delivering Foundry658?

     Foundry658 was created through the Victorian Government’s Creative State strategy, and is delivered jointly by State Library Victoria and the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) to support the growth, innovation and sustainability of Victoria’s creative industries.

    Why are we trying to support and grow the creative industries in Victoria?

    The creative industries are significant to Victoria’s culture, economy and society. Victoria’s creative sector is worth more than $22 billion and makes up approximately 8% of the state’s economy. The creative industries influence our quality of life and the strength of our communities, and provide a source of inspiration and entertainment with wide-ranging impacts that resonate across our culture, society and economy. Across all disciplines, Victoria’s creative industries are driven by a powerhouse of small organisations, micro-businesses and sole practitioners who sit alongside iconic cultural organisations, global businesses, educational institutions, government bodies and community groups.

    What does the name Foundry658 mean?

    Foundries are places of artisan craft and industry, and the number 658 is the Dewey decimal reference for entrepreneurship.

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