Open Talent Pathways Program

MID’s Open Talent Pathways program gives research students at the Masters and PhD level at RMIT and the University of Melbourne the opportunity to embark on their first journey in the startup ecosystem – to develop and test a business idea from inception to first pitch to mentors.


Applications for the 2021 cohort will open soon. To express your interest in the program, please complete the EOI form here.

As a successful applicant, you will be empowered to find, develop and test your own startup idea and grow your network in Melbourne’s startup ecosystem. Along the way, you will be introduced to entrepreneurial tools and approaches, including market opportunity analysis, customer discovery and validation techniques, value proposition and business model design. Co-developed by the MID partners, the program will

      • provide you with purposeful inspiration and the core skills of the entrepreneurial toolkit,
      • see you explore problem spaces in the HealthTech and SportsTech sectors and beyond,
      • give you the opportunity to apply your skills and entrepreneurial concepts to develop and test your own startup ideas, and
      • give you the chance to live the entrepreneurial experience through OTP- and partner-facilitated workshops and ‘open door’ sessions, collaborative startup projects that explore problem spaces and conceptualise solutions, through to developing a first pitch to mentors, program partners and stakeholders which prepares you to apply to later-stage accelerator programs at our partner organisations.

Approximately 50 students will have the opportunity to join the free program and receive entrepreneurship education as well as coaching and mentoring from industry- and academic experts to build their entrepreneurial potential. Workshops with our program partners at RMIT’s Activatorthe University of Melbourne’s TRaM, AntlerStartupbootcamp, and the Medtech Actuator will shed light on key entrepreneurial approaches and prepare participants for their journey into later-stage accelerator programs. Research students from RMIT and the University of Melbourne across all disciplines are invited to apply.



Program format

In line with current restrictions, the program is delivered remotely via a dedicated learning platform. Workshops, coaching, founder sessions and site visits will be conducted via Zoom using online collaboration tools such as virtual whiteboards and breakout rooms. We are taking this situation as a learning opportunity and are striving to deliver engaging content in an exciting new format. At the same time, we are watching the situation closely and are aiming to return to hybrid mode of delivery when it is appropriate.



The 2021 cohort is set to start in late June. The program runs for 12 weeks with a time commitment of two half-days per week. You will be expected to spend additional time in between sessions to conduct market and customer research and coordinate your team. Teams and projects will be defined in the weeks leading up to the program start.


Application process:

After submitting your expression of interest via the link below, we will invite eligible candidates via an application form to provide insight on their experience, outlook and ambitions. As this is a critical element of the application process, please ensure you demonstrate your specific capabilities – whether technical, managerial, creative or otherwise – and the passion and energy that you can bring to the program.

To be notified when applications open, express your interest here.

Learning outcomes:

      • to get a taste of the entrepreneur’s experience and build your network through developing and testing a startup idea with a team of like-minded people,
      • to develop core entrepreneurial skills in methods such as market opportunity analysis, customer discovery and validation, lean startup fundamentals and pitching, as well as to use online collaboration tools effectively,
      • to collaboratively develop and validate solutions that fit with customer problems and expectations in the broader Health- and SportsTech market and ecosystem, and
      • to prepare yourself and your startup idea for applying to later-stage accelerator programs.

Unlike most offerings in the accelerator space, Open Talent Pathways is an investment in the person and their skills, rather than the idea per se. As such, participants do not need a startup idea or team to be accepted to the program but will be introduced to focus industry sectors in which to apply their knowledge and skills. We will support participants in the lead-up to the program to build a team and develop a rough idea to start from.


OTP’s delivery partners:




Project Lead

RMIT University




2021 cohort to commence in August 2020; Expressions of interest open now

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