Applications for our First Gens 2.0 program
are open!

What is First Gens 2.0?

First Gens 2.0 is a joint initiative by Catalysr & ygap. It is a comprehensive entrepreneurship program for Migrapreneurs in Victoria, supported by LaunchVic, where we will offer our pre-accelerator program to 60 migrapreneurs followed by ygap’s accelerator program for 12 early-stage startups.

It starts with a 6 month pre-accelerator run by Catalysr, followed by ygap’s flagship First Gens Accelerator program for another 6 months to provide end-to-end support for Migrapreneurs in Victoria. 

Who are we after?

We are looking for the A-team of exceptional Migrapreneurs who want to join us in creating Australia 2.0! Hear from our Migrapreneurs from the 2018 program on why they joined Catalysr in the video below.

  • Are you a hacker, engineer, hustler, scientist, thinker, marketer, business mogul or do'er?

  • Do you deeply care about solving hard-problems?

  • Have you had a problem or business opportunity in mind, but no way to make it real?

  • Are you interested in validating your problem, market, prototype, Proof-of-concept?

Even if some of these points speak to you, apply to join our next program in 2020. 

Or if this sounds like someone you know, share it with them below!


Program Overview

Our 6-month pre-accelerator program is run in 2 stages, Ideate & Validate. Top teams from this pre-accelerator program will get the opportunity to enter ygap’s 6-month accelerator program and access to funding opportunities.


Ideate program will run from the 11th January - 28th March 2020, and will be offered to the top 60 Migrapreneur applicants.

  • Weekly Master-classes: 12 x weekly masterclasses on startup essentials from our expert mentors, startup ecosystem and industry partners. Our curriculum is based on Design Thinking, Lean Startup Methodology and MIT’s Disciplined Entrepreneurship (DE) framework.
  • Experiential Learning with your Migrapreneur Community and Mentors: Collaborative work with other migrapreneurs every Saturday (for 12 weeks) in the presence of mentors to apply learnings from master-classes, build accountability, and make progress on your startup.
  • Community Events: Monthly community events such as hiking, dinners etc. with your cohort, Catalysr alumni, mentors and supporters.


Validate program will be offered to upto 25 start-ups from the Ideate program, and will run from the 4th of April - 1st July 2020. We require every Migrapreneur/Team to participate in the Ideate program before joining the Accelerate program, regardless of what stage their startup is at.

  • Off-site Startup Bootcamp: This is a day-long event out of the city that will be spent discussing your goals with the rest of the cohort, our Entrepreneurs in Residence and the Catalysr team.
  • 1-on-1 Mentoring with our world-class entrepreneurs-in-residence.
  • Introductions to investors, potential customers and follow-on accelerator programs.
  • Fireside chats, Ask Me Anything & Office Hours with global founders, Catalysr Alumni, industry experts and mentors.
  • Accelerator Roadshow: Meet potential funders, VCs and follow-on accelerators.
  • Support Services: Accounting, Legal, Marketing, etc. support when you need it.
  • Demo Day: Top startups pitch to our partners, supporters and investors for funding and other ongoing support.
  • Alumni Community: Startups are really hard. So we want to invite you to join our community of over 100 alumni after the program, that is growing every-day, to stay connected, access learn and support and share your journey with other migrapreneurs

Accelerate by ygap

The accelerator program will be run by ygap for 12 startups, with a particular focus on creating social impact.

The program will run from July - December 2020 (exact dates TBA), consisting of a five-day live-in accelerator followed by three months of tailored support and a chance to win $25,000 of funding for top startups.


A five-day intensive entrepreneurship program designed to fast-track your early-stage venture. ygap will provide training, mentorship and a community of inspiring, like-minded migrapreneurs who are all working towards creating a better Australia.


Following the ACCELERATE stage, ygap will provide your venture with three months of tailored business support, mentorship opportunities and access to small grants of up to $1,000. At the end of the support phase, a showcase event is held giving you the opportunity to share about your venture with investors, philanthropists and industry leaders.


The most promising & viable ventures from each cohort will move into the growth phase where they will have access to an increased support package of up to $25,000 of growth capital to scale.

2020 Key Dates +

  • Application Deadline: Sunday, 15th December 2019 5:00 pm AEDT
  • Phone Interviews for short-listed candidates: From date of application to Friday, 20th December 2019.
  • Decision Notification: All applicants will be informed by Friday, 20th December 2019.
  • Program dates: 11th of January 2020.

Eligibility criteria +

  • Migrapreneur Led: There must be at least one first-generation migrant or refugee co-founder in your team, who will participate in the pre-accelerator program. We also take international students/temporary work visas, but you have to ensure that you meet your visa requirements on working hours etc. In short, Permanent Residence OR Australian Citizenship is not a requirement, but you should be allowed to legally work in Australia.
  • Idea/Early Stage: You have an idea to start a start-up in Australia, OR are already running one and are currently at an early stage (less than 2 years old OR Pre-SEED).
  • Victoria-based: As our program is run face to face in Melbourne, you need to be based in Melbourne OR open to travelling to Melbourne for the duration of the program.

Cost of Attendance +

The First Gens 2.0 program is completely FREE to attend thanks to the generous support of our partners, mentors & LaunchVic.

Meet Tom & Laura from YogiBirth


“We joined Catalysr for three reasons. To provide (1) momentum, to keep us going, (2) structure, to keep us lean and disciplined, and (3) connections, to accelerate our learning. Throughout the programme, we actually realised a fourth, and possibly more important benefit: confidence. This led to me going from being a full-time employee of someone else's business, to becoming a full-time founder of our own business, YogiBirth, an online pregnancy yoga studio that helps women prepare for birth. As we launch, would we be here today without this confidence boost, probably not. Accelerators aren't always about the content, their greatest benefit can also come from their empowerment of self-belief.”

- Tom Ray & Laura Myers from YogiBirth (C18)