Monday, August 16, 2010

Maaaaaate- we're starting up StartMate...

Some of Australia’s best-known web entrepreneurs have banded together to deliver the first mentor-driven startup fund. Called "StartMate": it delivers a combination of seed funding, access to mentor’s experience, guidance, US networks and a launchpad to further angel funding.

StartMates aims to fill a gap that exists in the Australian startup scene today that may ultimately deliver greater success on a global level. The focus is to help startups through the process of building a business that solves real customer problems, overcoming a common mistake of “working in a vacuum” too long.

StartMate’s initial goal is to select and fund five startups, the program is similar to the US-based “TechStars” and Y-Combinator programs which has mentored and launched exciting companies like, Socialthing! And Omniscio.

The outcome of the program will be that each startup will have launched products and gained initial “traction”. The chance is there to then pitch the business in the US possibly for market entry of follow-on VC funding to grow the business. During the program the startups will leverage mentor pool (at not cost) whose experience and network.

Its possible the number of places in our program will change depending upon the quality of the applications we receive. Applications priority is given to technology-based startups, where code has already been written, and technologist founders. First intake is early-2011 but look here for the Application process.

In Summary:

  • Focussed on Lean
  • Mentors on tap at no cost
  • Seed Funding
  • Focussed Time period/program and tangible traction goals. How to get from zero to one real customers (not your mum and Aunty Joan)
  • Access to legal guidance (you will need it!)

StartMate is going to be super-valuable for people trying to build startup outside Silicon Valley and specifically I am sure the mentors will have some scars and stories to share based on the Australian experience.

I am pumped about seeing where this fund goes and grows and how it helps build not only the startup community but also capacity for success.

This was announced at Tech23 today be StartMates participants, Scott Farquhar from Atlassian and Ryan Junee from Omniscio (now YouTube). Startmate was brilliantly conceived and driven by Nikki Scevak (Founder of Homethinking).


  1. I like the aussie touch to the name mate.

  2. 'cept I keep saying "startmates". Sounds even better with a Dave Hughes-ian drawl, hence the "maaaaate" ;)