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Startups in Australia

Discussion in 'Business & Startup Investing' started by Player, 21st Sep, 2016.

  1. Player

    Player Member

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    Not sure who is investing in startups at present or looking at this space for potential future investments, whether as angels finance or through follow on rounds of funding.

    Here's an interesting article for both investors and those on the founder side of the equation.

    It highlights some of the shortcomings that are present here compared to places like San Francisco.


    ".....................In short, here is where we fall short compared to Americans:

    • We tend to underplay our achievements and our businesses
    • We hold our connections tight to our chest, rather than openly offer them up to help others
    • We are secretive about our business ideas, thinking that others will steal them, rather than believing that ideas are cheap and execution is everything
    • We typically only have meetings that have a specific agenda, rather than meeting to explore and see how we might help or collaborate
    • We lack the “pay it forward” attitude that is pervasive in Silicon Valley
    • We are more transaction-focused than relationship-focused in our business dealings
    • We operate with distrust as our default position, rather than trust. This results in a high cost of transaction which is counter-intuitive to the way startups need to operate
    • Australian business often has a lack of a sense of urgency. This is in part because we have a much less competitive market than the US. Aussie startups often under-estimate the lost opportunity by moving too slowly
    • We are much more focused on having a great lifestyle than we are on being successful
    Cultural change is not a fast process; but with a concerted approach towards changing it, it is possible. Without this change, Australian startups will always start on the back foot............"


    Where Australia sucks for startups and what needs to be done to make the ecosystem shine - StartupSmart

    Keen to hear from others looking at this space.
     
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  2. Player

    Player Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Paradiso
    StartCon 2016 is on in Sydney 26-27 Nov. Here's a link to a thread posted by
    @Simon Hampel over at Business Chat for those who might be interested.

    I am going and really looking forward to it


    StartCon 2016
     
  3. Player

    Player Member

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    Location:
    Paradiso
    Here's some info from StartCon 2016 that I shared over on Business Chat as well.....................

    I thought I’d report back on StartCon for those unable to make it and who may have interest in what went on there. I found StartCon 2016 an interesting two days. It was my first time attending and bear in mind my perspective in being there was as an investor. I did receive some business insights albeit most of those were from the perspective of a startup involved in technology and mostly platform based thereby allowing fairly rapid scaling and growth.


    These notes are by no means exhaustive and I did venture out to see some pitches from time to time. They are my key take away ideas from the speakers who I found of interest. There was much concurrent activity going on……too much in fact. This should have really been a three day event instead of two days which was insufficient IMHO. That was my biggest criticism.


    Matt Barrie of Freelancer fame opened as the first speaker. He was going on about not striving to be a unicorn (the rare 1 Billion pre-exit valuation metric) as this was often camouflage for ridiculous valuations to entice employees with lofty stock options and less pay. He also has a fair amount of dislike of venture capital firms. He only sought funding once before he eventually took Freelancer to IPO. Take away was to aim to be a startup that stays lean as long as possible survives under any conditions.


    Chandini Aminemi of 500 Startups was next and she basically had the message of not spreading too thin and trying to do too many things with too few resources. She considered having one metric that matters (or two at most) would define the true north of the business and focus should be given in that one direction/goal. Growth then becomes a function of execution not scattered activity.


    Maggie Zhou from Alibaba spoke and merely told a story of the growth of the company. My takeaways was that Jack Ma saw the IPO as raising trust rather than just raising money. Also the priorities they foster are Customer 1st. Employees 2nd and Shareholders 3rd.


    Bill Reichert spoke about Getting to Wow to craft a compelling summary of your businesses value proposition. A good communicator engages three body parts: The head (logical). The Heart (emotional) and The gut (trust). Conveying the value proposition.:

    1. Head

    2. Heart

    3. Gut


    Get them emotionally first (2) then be trustworthy (3) and then make it sound logical (1).


    Twenty seconds to capture them



    Patrick Malatack spoke on how to use messaging to improve your customer experience. He is involved in product management at Twillio. He indicated that businesses should communicate with their customers in whatever channel the customer wanted and should be in basic ”human/people” language. He spoke of the development of chats in apps and apps in chats. This can only get bigger with AI, deep machine learning and so forth.

    The ever so humble Mike Cannon Brookes of Atlassian fame spoke on fintech and the move toward portable banking where the customers details will soon become much easier to move from provider to provider rather than having to endure the archaic banking system we have been accustomed to for so long. He wore thongs, a t-shirt and jeans and sported a very unkept beard. Forget about the millionaire next door, this guy is a billionaire……………talk about not judging a book by its cover. Not unexpectedly he admitted to being a big reader and was concerned about the lack of STEM skills and interest amongst students/parents/schools.


    Sujan Patel spoke about growing your startup and focusing more on traffic to your online presence to achieve better conversion. The aim should be to make people fall in love with you (your product/service). He considers that people don’t thank their customers enough and should stay in touch to receive feedback and to have them spread the word. Getting the customers opinion on what their product does for them should give clues about what the headline should be in advertising/branding.


    Nate Moch from Zillow spoke about growth by design. Culture of growth and focusing on key metrics and goals (not tactics) was important. BHAG’s should be five years out. Yearly goals should be worked upon by small autonomous teams that fail fast and are able to pivot and swing quickly when required. Biggest take home (the antithesis to the Aussie mentality for the most part) was that you cannot have innovation without failure. Employees and team members should be made to feel safe with risk.


    Andrew Chen from Uber spoke on what’s next in growth. He suggests to zoom out and see what’s come before (history). Technology changes but people stay the same. He showed how classic strategies (in marketing/copy/tracking) are what appealed to people (who stay the same) and that with technology such as new platforms and smarter execution the growth is faster today. He said that what worked 100 years ago will work today and in the future. He gave examples of advertising in newspapers with special offers and coupons (that were uniquely numbered) to follow/track what newspapers and localities converted more. Today we have the url to track the origin of a buyer. Different, but really the same. He suggested not trying to be too smart. UBER took something simple like transportation and made use of technology to make it easier and simpler…..new platform and smart execution.
     
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