ygap first gens

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 months 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 really 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?

  • Were you or your co-founder born outside of Australia?

  • Do you want to join us in creating a better Australia?

Even if some of these points speak to you, apply to join our First Gens 2.0 program in Melbourne in 2020. 

Looking for more inspiration? See our migrapreneurs pitch at end of the program Demo-fair in March 2019, in collaboration with Fishburners and AWS Startups.

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 Notifications: All applicants will be informed by Friday, 20th December 2019

  • Program starting date: 11th January 2020

Pre-Accelerator Program Overview

Our 6-month pre-accelerator program will be run by Catalysr in 2 stages. First stage is Ideate and second stage is called Validate. 

Top teams from this pre-accelerator program will also get an opportunity to get into a 6-months accelerator program by ygap and get access to funding opportunities. 


Ideate program has a focus on startup education will run from 11th January - 28th March 2020, and will be offered to up to 60 migrapreneurs.

  • 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 25 best start-ups from the Ideate program, and will run from 4th April  - 1st July 2020.

  • Off-site Startup Bootcamp: Great opportunity to get away from the city, to spend a weekend with other exceptional Migrapreneurs in the cohort, meet the Catalysr team and mentors.

  • 1-on-1 startup mentoring with our world-class entrepreneurs-in-residence.

  • Introductions to investors, potential customers and follow-on accelerator programs.

  • Fireside chats and Ask me Anything (AMA) sessions with global founders.

  • Office-hours with industry and startup mentors.

  • Roadshow with potential funders, VCs and follow-on accelerators.

  • Other startup support services on a needs basis (e.g. accounting, legal, marketing and customer acquisition support).

  • Demo-Fair: Top startups pitch to our partners, supporters and investors for funding and other on-going 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

Accelerator Program Overview

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 design 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 in addition to up to $25,000 of growth capital to scale. 

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 other areas in Victoria (open to travelling to Melbourne) for the duration of this program.

For any questions you can contact us here or email us on: hello@catalysr.com.au