Ventures Validate

Validate your venture and take the first steps to make it a reality.

We address the main reason why most startups fail — a product or service that does not solve a big enough problem for the right customer.

Whether you are working on a for-profit, a social enterprise or a not-for-profit enterprise, through talking to your potential customers you will understand the market needs and devise a sustainable business model with Ventures Validate.

After the 10-week program (meet every second Thursday), your team will pitch to a judging panel for a share of $10,000 in cash prizes.

Apply to Ventures Validate

Applications to Ventures Validate will close Wednesday 4 August at 12pm.

Ventures Validate is designed to help you and your team develop a validated business model in an interactive learning space over five sessions over ten weeks (every second Thursday).

In-person workshops and mentoring sessions
In the workshops, you will focus on key skills and processes to enhance the likelihood of your startups success. Teams will meet in-person every second Thursday to discuss what they have learned and will receive feedback from startup experts and mentors.

Session 1. Kick-off evening 3-6pm
In this session, we will get you familiar with the Lean Launchpad Program (LLP), developed at Stanford University to discover the best first customer, the problem the idea solves, and a sustainable and scalable Business Model Canvas. We will facilitate the formation of small teams to work on each of the ideas put forward, based on the complementary skills and experiences of all participants. 

Session 2.  Mentoring Slots: 2-3pm / 3-4pm / 4-5pm & Workshop: Market Validation 5-6pm
During the program, teams are required to conduct interviews with a minimum of 100 potential customers. In these workshops and mentoring sessions participants will gain feedback and mentoring on their progress. You need to attend one mentoring session and the workshop.

Session 3. Mentoring Slots: 2-3pm / 3-4pm / 4-5pm & Panel of Entrepreneurs and Experts: 5-6pm
In the mentoring sessions, each team will get feedback on their market validation process. You need to attend one mentoring session and the panel. 

Session 4. Mentoring Slots: 2-3pm / 3-4pm / 4-5pm & Workshop: Pitching and Presenting 5-6pm
In the mentoring sessions, each team will get feedback on their market validation process. You need to attend one mentoring session and the workshop on how to pitch.

Session 5. Final Presentations: 2-6pm
The program concludes with a pitching event to an invited audience of entrepreneurship experts, founders, and industry leaders. The teams will be pitching for a share of $10,000 in prize money to take their idea to market. 

Ventures Validate Semester 1

Program: Thursday 11 March - Thursday 13 May (meet every second Thursday)
Time: 3-6pm

Ventures Validate Semester 2

Program: Thursday 12 August - Thursday 14 October (meet every second Thursday)
Time: 2-6pm (mentoring Session from 2pm-4pm and workshop from 5pm-6pm)
Delivery: In-person with livestream available
Apply now 


Ventures Validate is open to all UQ students, staff, and recent alumni from all backgrounds and levels at UQ. To be eligible to apply, you must be:

  • a current UQ student, staff member or young alumni (graduated in the last 10 years)
  • commit to attending all five sessions over ten weeks
  • agree to our Terms and Conditions

You do not need a background in business or tech to apply, just an interest in entrepreneurship and innovation.

You can apply as either an individual or as a team. Looking to find your team? Network and find your team at our next Ventures Connect event.

Ventures Validate Semester 1

Program commences Thursday 11 March from 3-6pm 
Applications are now closed

Ventures Validate Semester 2

Program commences Thursday 12 August from 2-6pm
Apply now 


The Ventures Validate program was previously known as Startup Academy.

Ventures Connect

Want some advice on where to get started? Ventures Connect is your chance to come together with Ventures staff, student innovators and industry experts. 

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