Build Your Innovation-ready Future with Startup Year at Western... more

Startup year

$150,000 in grants for Startup Year participants

Immersive Learning Environment

Relevant Entrepreneurship Skills

Strategic Innovation and Creativity

Market Exploration and Development

Connect to the Future

Supportive Founder Community

build your innovation-driven future

Startup Year at Western empowers innovators across a wide range of backgrounds to become founders of startup companies and innovation leaders in the workforce. 

Participants of Startup Year at Western will receive an accredited Graduate Certificate in Start Up Scale Up.

Note: Applications will close 11.59pm 21 June 2024.

What is Startup Year?

Startup Year is a new initiative established by the Australian Government to support university students and graduates in becoming innovative entrepreneurs, solving real-world problems, creating meaningful solutions, and making a lasting impact. 

Startup Year aims to encourage innovation and support for Australia’s startup community, including social innovation and community-based entrepreneurship.

Startup Year is a Government-subsidised Program for eligible candidates. 


To be eligible for Startup Year at Western, you must be either:
  • a student in the final year of an undergraduate course of study; or
  • enrolled in a postgraduate course of study; or
  • completed a recognised degree from an accredited higher education or equivalent industry experience.

Startup Year at Western

As part of Startup Year, Western Sydney University’s Graduate Certificate in Start Up Scale Up provides a unique opportunity for students to pursue a choice of two streams:

  • building or growing their own venture (Entrepreneurs stream) for those seeking to begin, or are already are working on their startup company.
  • developing and honing their innovation skills (Industry Professionals Stream), for those working as an industry professional working within an organisation such as an SME, corporate, government agency, social enterprise or not-for-profit organisation. 

Graduate Certificate in
Start Up Scale Up

Delivered as a partnership between the university’s School of Business and Launch Pad, the university’s Technology Business Incubator, the Graduate Certificate in Start-up Scale-up provides a unique and real-world business environment where students will develop and apply their skills and knowledge within a dynamic innovation support ecosystem.

The course offers two dynamic workstreams to suit individual entrepreneurial aspirations, both with the opportunity to develop international experience through an optional Global Mobility Program:

Entrepreneurs Stream

Launch your startup venture

A platform for participants interested in building or growing their own venture or startup idea. Participants will learn the fundamental skills integral to starting or scaling up a business to meet local and global market demands and opportunities.

Industry Professionals Stream

Hone your business innovation skills

Designed for corporate professionals to refine corporate innovation skills. Participants will develop skills for the fast-paced world of industry innovation and entrepreneurship.

Mobility programs

Travel overseas to explore the global entrepreneurship landscape

Fees and delivery

Graduate Certificate in Start Up Scale Up​



Domestic Student


  • $6,360

Delivery: On-campus

International Student

Fees: $6,360

Delivery: On-campus

View the Graduate Certificate in Start-up Scale-up page under INTERNATIONAL to find out more about entry and admission requirements for international students.

What Financial Support is Available?


Undergraduates in their final year and current postgraduate students are eligible for a STARTUP-HELP loan, along with recent graduates. Students selected for STARTUP-HELP places will also be eligible for income support, where they meet other eligibility requirements.

STARTUP-HELP Eligibility

To get a STARTUP-HELP loan, you must:

  • be one of the following:
    • an Australian citizen; or
    • a permanent humanitarian visa holder (or eligible former permanent humanitarian visa holder) who will live in Australia for the entire Startup Year course; or
    • a New Zealand Special Category Visa (SCV) holder (or permanent resident who was former eligible NZ SCV holder) who meets the long-term residency requirements and who will live in Australia for the entire Startup Year course;
    • a pacific engagement visa (PEV) holder who is resident in Australia for the entire Startup Year course (note: a PEV holder becomes eligible from 1 February 2024)
  • be either:
    • a student in the final year of an undergraduate course of study; or
    • enrolled in a postgraduate course of study; or
    • a recent student who completed a bachelor degree (or higher level qualification) no more than 36 months before commencing the Startup Year course;
  • be enrolled in a Startup Year course at an Australian University or University College on or before the census date, and remain enrolled at the end of the census date;
  • be primarily studying on an Australian campus;
  • submit the Request for a STARTUP-HELP loan form (known as the STARTUP-HELP eCAF) on or before the census date;
  • not have received a STARTUP-HELP loan more than once before;
  • meet the tax file number (TFN) requirements – you can start your application for a TFN now at www.ato.gov.au/individuals-and-families/tax-file-number/apply-for-a-tfn(Opens in a new tab/window);
  • meet the Unique Student Identifier (USI) requirements; and
  • be assessed as a genuine student and as academically suitable for your course.

More information about STARTUP-HELP and how to apply can be found here.

$5,000 Startup Year at Western Grants*

To make innovation & entrepreneurship education more accessible to everyone, $5,000 grants available through Startup Year at Western to help participants achieve their #unlimited potential. 

*Subject to eligibility, selection criteria, and other T&Cs. 

$5,000 Grants Eligibility & Selection Criteria

Grants Eligibility & Selection Criteria will be published shortly. 

$10,000 Startup Stream Winner Grants**

Participating in Startup Year at Western just got even more rewarding! The best Startup Stream projects will be awarded $10,000 grants to turn their innovative ideas into reality.

**Subject to eligibility, selection criteria, and other T&Cs. 

$10,000 Grants Eligibility & Selection Criteria

Grants Eligibility & Selection Criteria will be published shortly. 

The Benefits

Why Participate in Startup Year at Western?

Immersive Learning Environment

Work within Launch Pad, the University’s Technology Business incubator providing a unique innovation ecosystem where students can collaborate with a range of entrepreneurs and develop key contacts.

Relevant Entrepreneurship Skills

Develop entrepreneurship skills for starting or scaling a new business and driving new ideas within existing businesses. From understanding new markets to mastering digital tech. and management capabilities, students gain a comprehensive skill set aligned with current business demands.

Strategic Innovation and Creativity

Dive into modern approaches and methods for creativity, ideation, and innovation. Students explore various brainstorming methods and scenario planning, developing skills crucial for strategic innovation and creative problem-solving.

Market Exploration and Development

Gain a comprehensive understanding of core activities of entrepreneurship, innovation, and new markets. Through collaboration with Startups, potential customers and industry partners, students gain practical experience in exploring opportunities, understanding market dynamics, and identifying emerging trends.

Connect to the Future

Get exposed to scenario planning methods, emphasising economic, social, technological, and sustainable development to address disruption, change and uncertainty likely over the next 10-30 years. This forward-thinking approach equips students with the skills to navigate future challenges and opportunities.

Supportive Founder Community

Engage with a vibrant community of like-minded peers, entrepreneurs, and industry experts who share your passion for innovation and entrepreneurship. You are in safe hands as you launch your ideas, benefitting from collaborative insights, mentorship, and a network that propels your entrepreneurial journey forward.

Program Structure

Available campuses

Parramatta City
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Study Mode

Half year full-time

Start Time

Q3 (24/06/2024)


Evening classes


The School of Business has been awarded AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) accreditation for its excellence in business education.

missed the info session?

Watch the recording to get all the details you need to know about Startup Year at Western.

Break away from the traditional corporate career path!

“Through my studies, I am equipping myself with the necessary knowledge and competencies to not only succeed in any business setting, but also lay the foundation for achieving my goal of becoming an entrepreneur.”

— Clint Carver, Graduate Diploma in Start Up Scale Up

Note: Applications will close 11.59pm 21 June 2024.

Your Career

As a graduate of Startup Year, you can look forward to career opportunities in:

  • Venture Building
  • Corporate Innovation

Shape the world's future
at the #1 Uni*

Note: Applications will close 11.59pm 21 June 2024.

Want to know more?
We’re here to provide clarity.

Contact us at launchpad@westernsydney.edu.au