Australia: Corrs Chambers Westgarth backs Melbourne Accelerator Program, equipping startups with first-class legal advice
Last Updated: 30 September 2016

Corrs Chambers Westgarth and the University of Melbourne based Melbourne Accelerator Program (MAP) today announced they have entered into a three-year financial partnership.

Each year, ten startups are accepted into the Melbourne Accelerator Program and provided with: $20,000 (with no equity taken), office space, structured mentoring, and networking and pitching opportunities across Melbourne and Silicon Valley.

Under the partnership, Corrs will: run regular half-day legal clinics (during which MAP founders and alumni can seek legal advice), provide MAP founders and alumni with free access to Corrs' proprietary legal software designed to helps startups produce legal documents – from incorporation to hiring, all the way to fundraising), and deliver the content of legal-themed "Master Classes" which will be run out of MAP's Lab-14 office space in Carlton in Melbourne's north.

Corrs partners Jonathan Farrer, Philip Catania and John Tuck will all be involved in delivering components of the program.

Corrs is Australia's leading independent law firm and one of the most globally connected law firms in the country. Named by the Financial Times as one of the most innovative law firms headquartered in Asia Pacific in the 2016 innovation awards, Corrs is well known in the market for its ability to adapt and advise on the ever-changing business landscapes of its clients.

"Our partnership with MAP will help us to further connect with the next wave of disruptive businesses," said Corrs partner Jonathan Farrer.

"We will be able to learn from them, advise them and help them to increase their competitiveness, and in turn the competitiveness of Australia," Mr Farrer added.

Melbourne Accelerator Program deputy director Dr Clare Harding said the startup program was delighted to partner officially with one of Australia's leading legal firms. "Corrs Chambers Westgarth is committed to helping build the innovation economy and our founders and extended community will benefit immensely from their support and expertise," Dr Harding said.

Some of the startups that have been through MAP (or are going through it now) include:

  • Brosa - "Australia's No.1 furniture store online"
  • Palette – Producers of 'cube', a device that fits in your hand and with one tap captures any colour on any surface.
  • Cadmus - A startup that is trialling anti-cheating software with a number of universities.
  • Nura - Headphones that learn and adapt to your unique hearing profile
  • BajaBoard – An all-terrain buggy at your feet invented because one of its co-founders was frustrated by the small window of time for people to go snowboarding.
  • CNSDose – A company developing a genomic test to predict psychiatric drug dose requirements to tailor antidepressants to people's individual ability to metabolise the drugs, improving their response.

Jon Kenton, chief operating officer at Corrs, said that in an increasingly globalised and hyper-connected world, Corrs was focused on finding ways to help businesses succeed – no matter what stage they were at.

"As the only legal firm to partner with the Melbourne Accelerator Program, we will have the opportunity to deepen our own startup experience while also supporting the growing culture of entrepreneurship and innovation in Australia," Mr Kenton said.

About Corrs Chambers Westgarth

With an enviable reputation reflected in its high quality relationships, law firm Corrs Chambers Westgarth is one of Australia's most globally connected firms. Our solid partnering networks throughout the Asia–Pacific region and internationally, enable us to support our clients whose businesses extend across national borders. Recognised as a leader in the market for the quality advice and commercial outcomes achieved for its clients – we are innovative lawyers. Our people are consistently recognised for world class services and results. We do more than advise; we adapt. In an increasingly globalised, hyper-connected world, we will continue to assist our clients by focusing on their needs – both anticipated and unanticipated, now and in the future. We are proud to be shaping the business landscape for our client's tomorrow. Please visit our website at for more.

Corrs is the exclusive legal provider of the University of Melbourne and the Wade Institute's Master of Entrepreneurship program and is also supporting the ongoing development of female entrepreneurs, as the exclusive legal provider for Springboard.

About Melbourne Accelerator Program

Melbourne Accelerator Program is the leading entrepreneurship program in Australia. MAP's mission is to launch high-growth ventures into the world. Founded in 2012 with the support of The University of Melbourne, MAP was the first university-based accelerator in Australia. In2015 MAP was ranked the 8th best accelerator of its kind in the world by UBI Global, a Swedish research firm that analysed over 300 programs in 64 countries.

MAP provides a comprehensive suite of talent development programs catering to the wider startup community, including Public Forums, Master Classes, networking events and the Velocity Series of intensive bootcamps, designed to prepare startups for acceleration. Each year MAP accepts ten startups into its official accelerator program, providing $20,000 (no equity taken), office space, structured mentoring, unparalleled networking opportunities and pitching opportunities across Melbourne and Silicon Valley.

MAP has 24 startups and 56 founders in its alumni network. Together, it is estimated that these companies have created over 200 jobs, raised over $11 million in funding, and generated over $10 million in revenue, with a contribution to Australian GDP estimated at over $32 million. For more information please visit:

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