UPDATE: Local Food Launchpad 2016 has finished, but our participants are just getting started. Check out their projects and see what’s next here.
> Applications are now open for Local Food Launchpad 2018 (closing 20 May). Learn more and apply here.

Have an idea for a local food product, service, social enterprise, campaign, event or community project that will help improve Melbourne’s food system and grow our local food economy? We’d like to help you make it happen.

Over eight weeks our team will work with you to develop your idea, your team and your self to take your idea to the next stage.
We’ll help you to create something your audience is going to love, that is financially viable, and that can make a real difference.

Local Food Launchpad:
launching innovative ideas to improve Melbourne’s food system.

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 vibrant local food economy, is not only good for business, it’s also good for people and planet.

To help grow Melbourne’s local food economy, last year City of Melbourne, working with Doing Something Good, Open Food Network and Food Alliance, developed and ran Australia’s first design-led accelerator program to develop new local food projects. The 2015 Local Food Launchpad was an open, six session program over eight weeks, with over 30 participants working on 23 projects. 

Projects covered a wide range of products, services, programs and community initiatives including: 

  • a mobile store for healthy, waste-free snacks;
  • a vegetable garden starter kit as a fundraiser for schools;
  • a healthy and fresh food community hub with a local food marketplace and cooking studio;
  • a website with inspiration and resources for people growing their own food;
  • an urban farm that promotes sustainable, innovative production practices;
  • a food hub to bring fresh produce from the Bass Coast direct to Melbourne consumers;
  • an organic food cooperative; and
  • farm tours for local producers.

“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.”

In 2016 we’d like to help you launch your big idea,
or take that next big step.

Building on the success of the 2015 Local Food Launchpad accelerator program, we’re running a second Local Food Launchpad, with more than double the contact hours, starting this August. We’re looking for individuals and organisations that have an idea for a new product, service, social enterprise, campaign, event, or community project that they believe will contribute to:

  • increasing food production in the City of Melbourne [see map], and/or
  • increasing opportunities for for city residents and visitors to purchase local and regionally-produced food.

If this sounds like you, then we’d love you to join us for the 2016 Local Food Launchpad.

What you’ll get as a Local Food Launchpad participant

Over eight 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 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 get to: 

  • grow your understanding of key issues, challenges and opportunities in the food sector;
  • build your capability to be innovative and scale your impact — by learning and applying the principles of design thinking, Lean Startup and systems thinking;
  • produce an effective Communications and Engagement Plan based on the principles of strategic communications and 21st century movement building;
  • complete a project plan with a sustainable business or funding model, and
  • develop your ability to work creatively and collaboratively in groups, effectively lead teams, and achieve measurable outcomes through your work.

You will be provided with tools, templates and information resources to help you develop your local food project, or any other project you may be working on now or in the future. You will also become part of a community of mentors and peers to support you along the road to success.



About the 2016 Local Food Launchpad accelerator program


The Local Food Launchpad program is made up of over a dozen practice-based modules to be delivered over two months. The program will kick off with a full weekend Bootcamp kicking on Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 August, followed by weekly sessions every Wednesday evening, 6pm-9pm, from 10 August — 28 September.

The final session will be a special event open to the public — a pitch night. At the Local Food Launchpad Pitch Night, Launchpad participants will present their projects to potential funders and project partners, and have the opportunity to recruit potential team members. Details on Pitch Night will be available after the commencement of the Local Food Launchpad program.


We’ll be taking up to 12 teams (maximum of three people per team) in this year’s Local Food Launchpad. If you’re a team of one, we still encourage you to apply, but past experience has shown us that it significantly helps to have someone else to work on your project with, who are learning what you are learning and are also familiar with the concepts, theory, tools and practices you’ll be using to develop your big idea. So if you can, bring someone along.


Programs like the Local Food Launchpad, usually cost participants up to $5,000 each. 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 2016 Local Food Launchpad for considerably less.

The registration cost per team (of one to three people) is:
> One person: $295
> Two people: $495
> Three people: $645

Your registration fee will cover participation in all ten face-to-face Local Food Launchpad sessions, additional time with mentors, materials, access to online resources, and food and beverages at each of the sessions.

Successful applicants will need to pay their team’s registration fee in full, prior to Session One, Saturday 6 August.


Local Food Launchpad sessions will be held at Melbourne Multicultural Hub on Elizabeth St in Melbourne’s CBD — opposite Queen Victoria Market, and a short walk from Melbourne Central train station.

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

Interested in applying for the 2016 Local Food Launchpad?
Make sure you get your application in by Friday 22 July, 5pm. 

Application Criteria

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

  1. increasing food production within the City of Melbourne [see map], or
  2. increasing the opportunities for city residents and visitors to purchase local and regionally-produced food?

Are you dedicated to improving Melbourne’s food system?

Can you, or a team member, commit to attending at least nine of the ten 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?

If you can answer yes to all of these questions, then we invite you to apply for the 2016 Local Food Launchpad.

Important Dates

Fri 22 July — LFLP 2016 Applications Close, 5:00pm
Wed 27 July — Successful applicants notified via email


Sat 6 August — LFLP Session 1, 9:30am-4:30pm
Sun 7 August — LFLP Session 2, 9:30am-4:30pm
Wed 10 August — LFLP Session 3, 6:00pm-9:00pm
Wed 17 August — LFLP Session 4, 6:00pm-9:00pm
Wed 24 August — LFLP Session 5, 6:00pm-9:00pm
Wed 31 August — LFLP Session 6, 6:00pm-9:00pm
Wed 7 September — LFLP Session 7, 6:00pm-9:00pm
Wed 14 September — LFLP Session 8, 6:00pm-9:00pm
Wed 21 September — LFLP Session 9, 6:00pm-9:00pm
Sat 24 September — LFLP Session 10, 9:00am-5:00pm
Wed 28 September — PITCH NIGHT — 6:00pm-9:00pm

*Session dates and times subject to change.

How to Apply

local food image 2Submitting your Local Food Launchpad Application is reasonably simple. All you need to do is fill out an online form with your details and a few paragraphs about your project — less than 600 words in total — the equivalent to about one page of text. No references, business plans or pitch decks needed. To give yourself the best chance of submitting a successful application, we suggest spending about an hour going over the recommended reading below, and start working on your application now, drafting responses to the application questions which you’ll find here. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time — applications close Friday 22 July at 5pm.

We recommend reading through the slides from our recent Local Food Concept Development Workshop where we covered how to shape and effectively communicate concepts for innovative new products, services, projects and ventures. We’ve included additional content on understanding your target customer/user/audience, and developing your Value Proposition, with some food related examples. You can find the presentation slides here. We also recommend watching Simon Sinek’s TEDTalk on “How great leaders inspire action” (they start with ‘why’). 

Once you’re ready to go, then head straight to the online Application Form. If you decide you want to change something later, you can always go back and edit your submission before applications close on Friday 22 July at 5pm. Successful applicants will be informed via email on Wednesday 27 July.

If you have any questions about submitting your application, please get in touch with Steph via email at steph@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 #LFLP16.

What Local Food Launchpad 2015 participants had to say about the 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.”

“…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.”

“A terrific structured program that was results orientated.”

“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.”

“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 2016 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 Stephanie Gesling via email at steph@doingsomethinggood.com.au

LFLP16 Partner Logos