SydStart 2014 Live
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We are on the edge of a monumental opportunity for out nation and ourselves
Alex Greenwich Independent Member
Great to see local government looking to support business of the future rather than propping up industries of the past.
Wow a politician that gets it!!
Visas for Startup Entrepreneurs
Everything going to software
Need a scalable business, one that customers gorw fater than costs.
Incremental cost of introducing a customer is approaching zero for software
Not scalable – Human Services
Max number of students or customers, limited to the number of people you have on payroll.
A scalable business on the other hand might be software that powers a services business.
Looking for markets the size of Texas
If you had choice of Team, Market and Product you have to choose Market and Team first, product
Secrets that no one knows about, what do you believe that no one else does?
Big uncomfortable secrets
How do you create products that change a million peoples lives.
Back of the Napkin Sanity Check
How do I sell $1m in revenue?
How do I make $1m in profit?
How do I avoid a one hit wonder?
What is the Sustainable Advantage?
Announced Freelancer had purchase Warrior Forum
Demonstrated a new invention that was a shutter over the top of the Google Glass camera window.
Melanie Perkins – Canva – Startup Myths
- Myth 1 The best place to start is with a cool idea –
- Big Problem is more important
- Solve a problem that people care about
- Myth 2 Successful companies are born overnight – Took 7 tears to get Canva started, 3 years in parents living room
- Myth 3 The Goal is to raise investment ASAP – Lie, raising money is a time bomb, very dangerous position unless you have massive growth sooner or later your company will explode –
- Dont raise investment prematurely
- Myth 4 Getting Investment is quick and easy – Not true it takes a long time and many attempts – Lessons – Build relationships with investors early
- Myth 5 – Startup can be built in a weekend, if not successful just pivot – Startups take long time to get established
Just ordered a Tesla –
Doing 300,000 builds a week, 10,000,000 users a week.
50% of new customers on SAAS systems, the rest are behind the firewall, 3x trials come from downloads behind the corporate firewall.
<30% of Revenue is SAAS, the rest is behind the firewall, IT Admins want control, they don’t want to lose control.
Got Accel Partners (VCs) on board for $50m, when you get bigger you end up with much bigger problems to solve that the original team cant deal with. In order to grow you need to start employing much better professional management and teams.
Money keeps you alive, but the contacts and the right investor and their network is what helps you grow and move through the problems you experience when you grow massively.
The feeling of meeting a major celebrity and realising they are just like you and that they were just as excited to see you.
Everyone is just making it up, everyone is feeling like they all are making it up and wonder why they made it (classic imposter syndrome) You live in fear that someone will show up one day and say you have been faking it for 10 years you are under arrest.
You will become legacy at some point, someone will try to replace you.
Some days it feels like you are checking every single box to make sure you have screwed up in every possible way.
If you can’t smell the fire burning you havent been looking hard enough, because in a growth company its happening somewhere.
Are we producing enough engineers in Australia? Mike: Not enough, its not even a real question, we have to be producing more engineers
We have no option to but to massively increase our engineering capability.
Hard for the Government to help, they can’t force people to do CompSci, however we could change school curriculum, Computer Science & engineering needs to be part of school from a young age.
When asked about regional startup programs, Mike mentioned that he thought most of the regional programs was bunkum, there isn’t sufficient critical mass, not even sure we have critical mass in Sydney but its getting there, so its just not possible to get the density in the regional people.
Tech industry needs a lot of radical atoms based in one area that are bouncing off each other and networking, this doesn’t work in a regional or remote setting.
Niki Scevak from Startmate+ Blackbird + Lauren from Lightfox
Needed a really good startup accelerator that could get people to the US, Blackbird came after getting runs on the board with Startmate.
Funding Situation: Now possible to raise $500k here, and very possible to get $5-10m but not much in between. Not enough depth in the market to do this.
Niki + Mike went to UNSW together and dropped out to start their first business together.
Good VCs often come from journalism backgrounds because they constantly have to assess new businesses.
Niki: Atlassian was the 100th bug tracker, Campaign Monitor was the 100th email, nothing new with any of them they just changed the existing model.
Niki: Looking for first time founders who look like a joke, looking for unique insights that no one else believes.
Lauren McCloud Flightfox- been through Startmate and YCombinator access to 30 or 40 different advisors.
Niki: Thinks location will become irrelevant, Silicon Valley is not the default choice anymore until after you have started to get traction.
Flightfox is a marketplace of genuine flight experts. These experts have an extraordinarily deep understanding of flight routing, loyalty programs and airfare pricing.
You can use Flightfox by launching a trip request for any of our experts. Your chosen expert will review your trip details, ask any necessary questions, and work as hard as they can to find you the absolute best flights.
Our most loyal customers use Flightfox because they want to travel father, wider, better and cheaper. They also save a planeload of money by leaving it to the professionals.
Mike: The Valley doesn’t do everything right, almost no successful e-commerce companies have come from Silicon Valley, thinks that we have per capita Centurions ($100m) or Unicorns ($1 billion) equal or better than the US.
Matt: Hears about companies everyday from AU that he has never heard of with $10-50 million revenue.
Niki: Thinks Envato is a $ Billion company that no one knows about, but along with a lot of other companies unless they do a financing round you dont have an external valuation or validation. Pepperstone FX $70b in Forex transactions a year.
Niki: Thesunrise.co is a new conference organised by Niki that has 9 founders of big growth companies talking about very early years.
Pete: What do you guys read or follow everyday?
Mike: Stratechery is a one man band
Lauren: Growthhackers.com Hackernews.com
Adir Shiffman Catapult
Every team and player in the AFL and ARL, half the NFL, Hockey League.
Whats the most interesting use case, the Judiciary in the AFL using it work out if an athlete has committed a foul from the deceleration data.
Around 500 customers worldwide. Next competitor 10% of that. Marketshare of 80-90% but still a very small market.
However still staying in Headquartered in Australia, engineers are better to work with her and less .
Mark Cuban invested alongside others total $6m. Great PR,
VC market is not developed enough, Super Angels are more common.
However there is a lot of Institutional Money that most people don’t know about, family funds and very quite funds which
None of their raise came from US or AU VCs, it was all private money.
If you want your pants down around your ankles go pubic, if you want to keep the business a little private then stay private.
Hates being number 1 in market, always have number 2 over your shoulder but you cant look behind you need to keep running and new innovation, however its the most rewarding position.
If you are starting a sports startup then you should do it, even though its probably going to fail, you should do it anyway if you are very passionate. You cant keep Australia as your market, needs to be global.
How did they get their first customer, lied and begged :).
3-5 Year Vision – 3-5% Global penetration. Market should be 100x in 5 years, its only execution risk, we want to stay the largest player in the sports market.
You are not as good or bad as your idea, if some one says you are great, you shouldn’t take it to seriously, if someone thinks you are shit, same thing.
If you have a great idea and are working on it, eventually investors will find you, when you need it you are going to struggle, nothing more desperate than an entrepreneurs hunting for cash.
Found that telling a personal story about his experience getting a loan when he came back to Australia and what a terrible customer experience it was the investors really understood the problem being solved.
Muru-D – Annie Parker & Charlotte Yarkoni & Mick Liubinskas
Charlotte – Telstra wasn’t sure what the journey was, brought over from the West Coast USA to look at new startup models.
More good Australian startups wandering the streets of the Valley than Sydney and Telstra felt that they needed to do something to drive the creation of new startups and to help Australia become a great place for entrepreneurs.
Annie ran seven different accelerator programs in Europe.
Annie – We give Startup capital to pay for noodles, a great workspace, 6 months of incubation to help you get from startup to first funding.
All 9 of the first round made it through, and all of them have a path to funding or already have funding, customers or some way to fund themselves.
Mike: Day one Global Businesses, with a focus on sales revenue from day one.
James Windon – Brigade.com
Worked at Facebook Causes with Sean Parker of Napster
20,000 non profits
2 billion tranasctions
A year ago teamed with Sean Parker to form a not for profit to address connecting citizens to the the mechanics of politics.
Needed to work how to get people to get involved in good causes, rather than make them feel like they had to do something, they managed to get them to work out how to make them want to get involved in supporting good causes.
Everyone knows they need to eat their Broccoli but everyone really just wants to feel good eating Bacon.
1. Make it something people want to do, not what the should do
2. Focus on end uses and networks to create leverage
3. Focus on creating a social effect – mutual reciprocity obligation feedback
Hugh O’Brien- Undaunted – A Life in Training
The only easy day was yesterday.
There is something innate in the attempt to do something difficult, without the prospect of award.
The Value Lies in the Attempt
Max Kraynov – JetRadar
Just raised $10m
Advice to help you secure an A Round financing.
Started with a $400 W0rdpress Blog
Elias Bizannes. 46 buses Globally. Reason he runs the bus is that he sees engineers like Brando who started Instacart who has turned from a nervous engineer to running a $500 million business.
This weeks startups
404 pages as a service to create a good experience from a 404 error page. Allows to you create a custom 404 page to to engage, monetise and capture customers that otherwise would have closed the browser on your site.
8 Customers since launching a few days ago, aiming at 100 by the end of the week.
App to to geolocate and book a dining companion. Trying to eradicate loneliness.
Mick: Tinder for Business or Diner companion, how is the problem, depression, whats it worth.
Personalised Shopping and ordering service
People of the Sun
Bringing Investors together to invest in Solar Power on other peoples roofs. Allows Already has 3200 SQM of roof space committed. 30,000 Watts Solar Array ready to go, 100 investors ready to commit and have raised $20k in 4 days. Great
Custom 3D Printed Glasses
Ed: Love it