Have a bright idea for a local food enterprise, campaign or community project that will help improve Melbourne’s local food system and grow our local food economy? We’d like to help you make it happen.
Apply now for a place in this year’s Local Food Launchpad accelerator program, June — August 2018.

As a Local Food Launchpad participant our team will work with you over two months to refine your idea and help you develop the knowledge and skills to take your venture to the next stage. We’ll help you to create something your customers are going to love, and provide an opportunity for you to make a dollar as well as a difference.

Making our food system healthier, sustainable, resilient
and socially inclusive

Melbourne has developed a reputation as one of the world’s most liveable cities and is now the country’s fastest growing capital city, with a population that is expected to almost double to 8 million people by 2050. We believe that a food system that can support eight million people, and enable all to thrive, needs to be healthy, sustainable, resilient and socially inclusive — from paddock to plate. We also believe that a flourishing local food economy, is not only good for business, it’s also good for people and planet.

Since 2013 City of Melbourne, Doing Something Good, and Open Food Network have been working together to support the people, communities and organisations working to improve our local food system. Since 2015, through our Local Food Launchpad program, we’ve worked with dozens of passionate, inspiring and creative Melburnians to develop their ideas for local food ventures, and grow their ability to innovate, collaborate and shape a better food future.

Read about the 11 inspiring and innovative local food ventures that came out of the 2016 Local Food Launchpad here.

Building a resilient and sustainable future for Melbourne, by starting with the growing of a resilient city foodbowl. From University of Melbourne’s report: Melbourne’s Food Future.

“The LFLP drew together a fascinating group of people with inspiring ideas of how to change our food system. Working together to develop these ideas into projects, under the guidance of the Doing Something Good team, was a really valuable experience.”

“Just having the space to play with ideas in a setting where everyone was in the same frame of mind was really incredible. It was a great think tank, and its been amazing to see how everyone else’s projects have developed and collaborate with other LFLP people in the last few months.”

“A terrific structured program that was results orientated.”

“…each session I was able to go away and progress the project based on what was discussed. In addition, the contacts were great to discuss the project with and also find out what else was happening in this field.”

We’d like to help you take your bright idea to the next stage, and get you and your venture ready to launch.

We’re looking for individuals, organisations and communities who have a passion for local food and a bright idea for a new product, service, enterprise, campaign or community project that they believe will contribute to:

  • increasing food production in Melbourne, and/or
  • increasing opportunities for Melburnians and visitors to Melbourne to purchase locally and regionally-grown food.

If this sounds like you, then we’d love you to join us for the 2018 Local Food Launchpad.

About Local Food Launchpad 2018

Apply now for this year’s Local Food Launchpad accelerator program and over ten consecutive weeks, our experienced team of facilitators, presenters and mentors will help you get ready to launch, go for funding, build your team, find partners, or whatever it is that you need to take that next big step with your local food venture.

Through face-to-face presentations, practical workshops, group coaching circles, and mentoring sessions you’ll:

  • grow your understanding of key issues, challenges and opportunities in the food sector;
  • learn how to identify, engage with, and grow your target audience;
  • discover how to develop products and services that your customers will love — and how better understanding their needs can help you grow your business, innovate and make a difference;    
  • connect with and learn from some of Australia’s most passionate, innovative and inspiring “foodpreneurs”;
  • learn a simple and transformative approach to testing and continually improving your big idea — that will save you an incredible amount of time, money and potential heartache, and
  • grow your capability to innovate, collaborate, be strategic and make an impact.

Program Content & Structure

The Local Food Launchpad program is made up of over a dozen practical modules delivered over ten weeks. The program kicks off with a full weekend Bootcamp on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 June, followed by weekly sessions every Wednesday evening (6pm-9pm) from 6 June — 18 July, with a final full weekend Clinic on Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 June, ending with Pitch Night Wednesday 8 August*.

Local Food Launchpad Pitch Night, provides a unique opportunity for Local Food Launchpad participants to present their big ideas to potential funders, partners and team mates. It’s also a celebration of the great work participants have done throughout the program and is also open to family, friends and other supporters.

Details on Pitch Night will be available after the commencement of the Local Food Launchpad program.


Saturday 2 JuneSession One9:00am—5:00pm
Sunday 3 JuneSession Two9:00am—5:00pm
Wednesday 6 JuneSession Three6:00pm—9:00pm
Wednesday 13 JuneSession Four6:00pm—9:00pm
Wednesday 20 JuneSession Five6:00pm—9:00pm
Wednesday 27 JuneSession Six6:00pm—9:00pm
Wednesday 4 JulySession Seven6:00pm—9:00pm
Wednesday 11 JulySession Eight6:00pm—9:00pm
Wednesday 18 JulySession Nine6:00pm—9:00pm
Saturday 28 JulySession Ten9:00am—5:00pm
Sunday 29 JulySession Eleven9:00am—5:00pm
Wednesday 8 AugustPitch Night6:00am—9:00pm
*Session dates and times subject to change.

Who Should Apply

We’re looking for people who are passionate about fresh, healthy, sustainable or fair food, and have an idea for a venture that will put more locally or regionally grown food in the hands (and bellies) of the people of Melbourne.

We’re looking for people who want help getting started with their local food venture, and who are looking to answer the following two questions for themselves:

  1. “Should I build this thing?”, and
  2. “How might I increase my likelihood of success?”

If this sounds like you, and you have an idea for any of the following:

  • a tech startup,
  • a social enterprise,
  • a community project,
  • an education or behaviour change campaign, or
  • a new product or service

…then you should apply.

We’ll be taking up to 12 teams (maximum of three people per team) in this year’s Local Food Launchpad. Past experience has shown us that it significantly helps to have someone else to work with you on your project, someone who will be learning what you are learning and who you will be able to share an understanding of the concepts, theory, tools and practices with. So if you can, recruit a team mate or buddy with whom you will be able to share the journey.

Why You Should Apply

Join us for the 2018 Local Food Launchpad and you will leave with:

  • a completed Business Model Canvas;
  • a completed Value Proposition Canvas;
  • a strategic Communications and Engagement Plan;
  • a prototype of your local food venture that has been tested and refined;
  • an engaging and informative Pitch Deck to present to prospective partners, funders, supporters and team members;
  • a solid understanding of key principles and practices of Design Thinking, Lean Startup, social innovation and systems change, and
  • a Launch Plan mapping out the steps you need to take to launch your big idea.

You will be provided with tools, templates and a range of resources to help you develop your local food venture, or any other project you may be working on now or in the future. You’ll also have the guidance and support of our incredibly experienced team of facilitators, guest speakers and mentors.

Most importantly, you will become part of a growing community of Launchpad mentors and ‘fellows’ that will share the journey with you and support you along your road to success.


Programs like the Local Food Launchpad, can cost $5,000 or more for participants. Thanks to City of Melbourne, Open Food Network, and the generosity of our mentors and volunteer team, we’re able to offer places in the 2018 Local Food Launchpad for considerably less.

The registration cost per team (of one to three people) is:
> One person: $495
> Two people: $695
> Three people: $845

Your registration fee covers participation in all 11 face-to-face Local Food Launchpad sessions, Pitch Night, an hour per week additional time with mentors, materials, access to online resources, and food and drinks at each of the sessions.

Successful applicants will need to pay their team’s registration fee in full upon acceptance of their place in the program, no later than Wednesday 30 May, 2018.


The opening weekend Bootcamp will be held at The Platform at Donkey Wheel House on Bourke St in Melbourne’s CBD — a short walk from Southern Cross Station.

Weekly Wednesday evening sessions will be held at the Multicultural Hub on Elizabeth Street opposite Queen Victoria Market in Melbourne’s CBD — a few blocks from Melbourne Central train station.

The final weekend Clinic will be held at Ross House on Flinders Lane in Melbourne’s CBD — a short walk from Flinders St Station.

Additional details on session location will be provided to successful applicants prior to commencement.

> If you’d like to be notified when the Local Food Launchpad program has been released, or of other Local Food Launchpad news, please subscribe for email updates here.

Interested in applying for the 2018 Local Food Launchpad?
Applications close Sunday 20 May.

Application Criteria

Do you have an idea for a product, service, enterprise, campaign or community project that you believe will contribute to:

A map of Melbourne’s Foodbowl (adapted), from Foodprint Melbourne.

  • increasing food production in and around Melbourne*, and/or
  • increasing opportunities for Melburnians and visitors to Melbourne to purchase locally and regionally-grown food.

Are you dedicated to improving Melbourne’s food system and making it healthier, sustainable, resilient and socially inclusive?

Can you, or a team member, commit to attending at least 10 out of the 11 Local Food Launchpad sessions?

Do you have at least five hours per week, in addition to Local Food Launchpad sessions, to work on your project and complete the required program activities?

If you can answer yes to all of these questions, then we invite you to apply for the 2018 Local Food Launchpad.

*Please note that this year the boundaries for the program have been extended beyond City of Melbourne local council area to the Greater Melbourne Metropolitan Area.

Important Dates

Wednesday 14 MarchLocal Food Launchpad Concept Development Workshop
Sunday 20 MayLocal Food Launchpad 2018 applications close, 12:00am (midnight)
Thursday 24 MaySuccessful applicants notified by phone
Saturday 2 JuneLocal Food Launchpad Session One
Sunday 29 July Local Food Launchpad Session Eleven (final)
Wednesday 8 AugustPitch Night

How to Apply

Submitting your Local Food Launchpad Application is simple. All you need to do is fill out an online application with just a few paragraphs about you and your project — less than 600 words in total — the equivalent to about one page of text. No references, business plans or pitch decks needed.


We suggest you start working on your application now. Start by drafting responses to the application questions which you’ll find here. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time — applications close Sunday 20 May, 2018 at 12:00am (midnight).

Once you’ve completed your draft application, and are ready to submit your application, head straight to the online Application Form. You can review and edit your submission right up until when applications close on Sunday 20 May.

If you have any questions about submitting your application, please get in touch with David Hood via email at david[at]doingsomethinggood.com.au

> If you’d like to keep up with Local Food Launchpad announcements and other Good Food Project news, you can do so by signing up for updates here. You can also join the conversation online by following @GoodFoodProj on Twitter, liking Doing Something Good on Facebook, and following Doing Something Good on Instagram, and by using hashtag #LFLP18.

What else past participants have said about the Local Food Launchpad program

“Just having the space to play with ideas in a setting where everyone was in the same frame of mind was really incredible. It was a great think tank, and its been amazing to see how everyone else’s projects have developed and collaborate with other LFLP people in the last few months.”

“Collection of a range of tools to help me think about business development in a structured manner.”

“Meeting other food networkers from vegan to food waste minimisation projects. One thing bound us together which was to change the status quo around food.”

“Personal connections with amazing people in the sustainable food space…. met some great people who I have stayed in contact with.”

Local Food Launchpad 2018 Partners

The Local Food Launchpad is brought to you by Doing Something Good in partnership with City of Melbourne and Open Food Network. If you’re interested in supporting the Local Food Launchpad as a volunteer or Launchpad partner, please contact David Hood via email at david[at]doingsomethinggood.com.au

LFLP16 Partner Logos