We upstart Startups

Vocus Upstart is all about helping you build a great tech startup. You bring the passion, ambition and your idea for the next big thing in tech, and we'll help you bring your idea to life.

Applications for 2016 are now closed. Register your interest to be notified about progress and related events, and about future programs.

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A World Class Program

Vocus Upstart is a launch member of the Global Accelerator Network, a network of the most respected accelerators around the world. The network comprises over 70 accelerators in 100 cities throughout the world. As a founder in our program you get access to amazing perks, a money-can't-buy group of mentors, landing pads in cities around the world and a network to help you take your startup global.

Supporting Your Startup


We'll kick in $40,000 cash in return for an 8% equity stake in your company. Don't worry if you haven't got a company yet, if you are accepted into the program we will help you set one up. On completion, we can help you with follow-on investment, if needed.

Download our standard term sheet


No garages or sheds here. You can look forward to an amazing workspace at Spacecubed throughout the program. Spacecubed is the heart of innovation in the Perth CBD, where teams can grow their businesses in a creative, supportive and collaborative environment.

Checkout Spacecubed


Want thousands of dollars worth of perks? Vocus Upstart participants have access to credits from the likes of Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Bizspark, SoftLayer, Stripe, Pipedrive, Mailchimp, Intercom and many more, to help you get your product to market.

Download our list of perks

Meet The Team and The Mentors

Our mentors are some of the best and the brightest minds around. They've been there and done that, and they're here to help your company succeed.

Matt Macfarlane

Venture Capital investment director, founder of Yuuwa Capital

Robert Nathan

Founder & CEO of Australian Tenders.com

Tony Grist

Principal at Albion Capital

Brett Looney

Solutions Architect at Amazon Web Services

Steve Baxter

Entrepreneur, investor, tech startup mentor & ‘Shark’

Jane Garret

Co-Founder & Principal, Glaciei

Charlie Gunningham

CEO, Business News

Claire McGregor

Co-Founder of Appbot

Brodie McCulloch

Founder of Spacecubed

Evan Cunningham-Dunlop

CEO & Founder of Living Online

Jon Amery

General Manager — Marketing at Vocus

Greg Riebe

Chairman WA Angel Investors

Laurie Smithdale

Founder of Seabreeze.com.au

Ian Gardiner

Business development, start-up community, Amazon Web Services

Tim Wise

Storytelling Trainer, Speaker and Consultant

Peter Clarke

Commercialisation Adviser at Ausindustry

Sheryl Frame

Commecialisation Adviser at Entrepreneur Infrastructure Program

Cliff Obrecht

Founder & COO at Canva

Tim Brewer

Director & Senior Partner Evolve Leadership Group

Andrew Larsen

Startup & Entrepreneurship Advocate & Investor

Ian Thubron

Founder & Chairman at AsiaStrategies

Rohan Wallace

Managing Director at IP Sentinels

Brendan Yell

Community Development at Softlayer

Rob Antulov

Executive Director at Venture Advisory

Kurt Falkenstein

Startup Lawyer

Sam Birmingham

Senior Startup Coach at Pollenizer Global

Derek Gerrard

Co-Founder and Director Go Capital

Nick Poll

Mentor, Director, Writer

Jeremy Nunn

Founder & Director, Health Safety Works

Jackie Bayer Shervington

Experienced multi-talented & skilled professional

Paul Ostergaard

CEO & Founder of Norwood Systems

Andrew Hall

Entrepreneur, Investor & Advisor

Howard Digby

Executive Director, Advisor, Investor

Bianca Wheeler

Strategy, Communications, Change

Graeme Speake

CEO / Founder at GoPC.net

Miles Burke

Founder & MD, 6Q.io

Brett Beaver

Partner at Gooding Partners Chartered Accountants

Justin Davies

Managing Director at Emergination

Alex Mazegga

Corporate Finance Executive at Euroz Limited

Anthony Hasluck

Managing Director at Clarity Communications

Marcus Christian

Principal Advisor - Commercialisation at Rio Tinto

Sharon Grosser

Founder SEQTA Software

Simon Owen

Principal at Grantleigh House

Sara Hector

Director at Sara Hector Communications

Ashley Aitken

CEO and Co-Founder at HEDventures and Innovately

Sam Mead

Upstart Startup and Surf Coach

Stephen Langsford

Tech, Entertainment, Media Entrepeneur & Investor

Tom Riordan

Marketing and Program Manager at Spacecubed

The Story So Far

Vocus & Innovation


Vocus Upstart is about supporting and growing the local startup ecosystem and encouraging more local entrepreneurs to take the plunge and bring their ideas to life.

Connecting & Collaborating

We aim to encourage innovation by the sharing of ideas and collaboration between teams and our network of mentors across Australia.


Upstart gives the next generation of entrepreneurs valuable lessons and insights from those successful entrepreneurs that have gone before them.


We want to create a platform to retain and grow the pool of talented entrepreneurs in the local software, design, marketing and related disciplines.


It has never been easier to start your own company but at the same time it is still a hard road. We are aiming to increase your chances of success and get you there faster.


This year's finalists

Last years finalists

(Photo Credit: WA Business News)

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can we apply with just an idea?

The program is geared towards teams that have a prototype, mock-up or beta of the concept they want to commercialise. The concept must also incorporate an element of software.

Q: What's the time commitment?

Nothing is gained without full commitment! Vocus Upstart is full-time from August 1st until the completion of the program at the end of October 2016 in Perth.

Q: How are applications reviewed?

We're investing in your future so we take every application seriously. Every application goes through a very rigorous review process via our Investment Committee. If you make our shortlist we will invite you in for an interview.

Q: What happens to my Intellectual Property?

As with any startup program, it's your business. We just invest, in return for a small stake of your business and help you as much as possible to achieve a successful market entrance. Think of our investment of time, resources and money as skin in the game to make your business a success.

Q: What if i can’t find a tech co-founder?

We believe you should have the technical skills to develop the first version of the product yourself. If you cant find a tech co-founder you might consider learning to code yourself. You’ve got two months to build your first prototype. Heaps of time.

Q: What sort of working requirements do I need to have to participate?

You need to be an Australian resident, over 18 with appropriate rights to work in Australia. No international fly-in, fly-out code Jedi's will be entertained.

Contact Us

Vocus Communications

202 Pier Street,

Perth WA 6000

Upstart Investments

Unit 10, 85 Forrest Street,

Cottesloe WA 6011



Ground Floor, 45 St. Georges Terrace,

Perth WA 6000