Four Gippsland Councils Partner to Launch ‘Startup Gippsland’

Published on 04 December 2018


Baw Baw Shire, Latrobe City, Bass Coast and Wellington Shire Councils have secured funding through a joint bid from LaunchVic to create Startup Gippsland, supporting 40 local Gippsland entrepreneurs in its inaugural year.

The Startup Gippsland program will allow up to 10 startups from participating local government area to develop, launch or grow their business through a 12-week schedule of masterclasses, workshops, mentoring and meetups.

The program will also tell the stories of local entrepreneurs to help them grow their businesses, to inspire others across Gippsland, and to showcase Gippsland success stories to the world.

Gippsland received $400,000 in funding, the equal largest funding recipient in LaunchVIC’s recent regional startups funding round.

The program will be delivered by local startup experts and Gippsland Business Award winners, GippsTech. GippsTech are passionate about ensuring the program draws on business expertise already thriving in the region, and helps local entrepreneurs to grow their businesses, reach new markets and create local jobs.

GippsTech CEO, Dr Elena Kelareva, a former Product Manager at Google and mentor at the Melbourne University Startup Accelerator program, is thrilled to be pioneering the Startup Gippsland program.

Applications for the program will begin on 7 January 2019, with the program running from mid-March until mid-June.

Anyone interested in the program can sign up to a mailing list to be notified when applications open.

Find out more about the Gippsland Startup program at

Quotes attributable to Cr Mikaela Power, Mayor of Baw Baw Shire Council

“This program is important to economic development in our region, since startups have been shown both here and overseas to create more jobs. Companies less than two years old in Australia created nearly all of the 1.6 million jobs in the country between 2003-2016, according to a report from the Australian Financial Review.”

Quotes attributable to Cr Brett Tessari, Mayor of Bass Coast Shire Council

“We are excited to be working alongside our neighbouring councils on the delivery of this initiative. The Startup Gippsland program aims to bring business growth and job opportunities to Gippslanders by kickstarting entrepreneurial activity across the region."

Quotes attributable to Cr Alan Hall, Mayor of Wellington Shire Council

“Anyone who lives or works in these four council areas with a potentially scalable business idea or current small business that they want to take to the next level is encouraged to apply for this program."

Quotes attributable to Cr Graeme Middlemiss, Mayor of Latrobe City Council

“If you have been dreaming of starting your own business, or have a small business that’s ready to go to the next level, then this program is for you.”

Quotes attributable to GippsTech CEO, Dr Elena Kelareva

“We’re excited to be delivering this program to help local businesses in Gippsland reach their full potential and create more local jobs. We’ll also be using local service providers to directly create jobs in the region and build local capacity into the future.”


Image: Cr Alan Hall (Mayor, Wellington Shire Council), Cr Graeme Middlemiss (Mayor, Latrobe City Council), Dr Elena Kelareva (CEO, GippsTech), Cr Brett Tessari (Mayor, Bass Coast Shire Council), Cr Mikaela Power (Mayor, Baw Baw Shire Council) announce the launch of the Startup Gippsland program.