Fresh off launching a new mentorship program for female founders, Startup Victoria is set to open Office Hours. Similar to a lecturer’s office hours at university, Startup Victoria is allowing members to book some one on one time with a number of founders, investors, and industry experts.
Forming Circles, an organisation launched in Australia in 2011 to support small business, innovation, and charitable projects, has evolved into Forming Circles Global with the opening an angel investment fund that will see $500,000 put into women-led startups and small businesses over three years.
Ask nearly any business leader how they came to be successful and they will tell you that they had a lot of help and advice from mentors along the way. Now, mentoring – or the facilitation of it – has turned into a business itself.
At just 26 years old in 2013, entrepreneur Dustin Leonard launched his venture HERO Condoms. The business originally spun-off from a university assignment he was completing in 2012, and now it is a company with a humanitarian cause at its core.
Time and time again in my old corporate gig, it used to be joked about that WA stood for “wait awhile”. I strongly disagree with this sentiment and would probably relocate to Perth if I hadn’t become such a Sydney-sider, aside from the fact that it is one of the most gorgeous, chilled cities in Australia – what is happening in the tech space there is quite phenomenal.
Based on its growth and the companies that have emerged from the city, we can safely say that Adelaide has one of the strongest startup scenes in Australia. There are around 68 professional support networks in Adelaide, making it one of the most structured environments in the country; and with accelerator programs such as ANZ Innovyz and conferences like South Start, it is quite clear that our southern cousins mean business when it comes to innovation and technology.
Thriving would perhaps be the best way to describe the Brisbane startup scene right now. One of the most interesting aspects of the Queensland startup ecosystem as an observer is the close relationship that both Brisbane and the Gold Coast have with one another, from Silicon Lakes to River City labs, the entire community seems to have an innate focus on making their state the best ecosystem rather than be distracted by postcode rivalry.
In part two of our Australian Mentors series, we change our focus to Melbourne’s startup scene. Just like Sydney, Melbourne has a strong tech entrepreneur scene with plenty of coworking spaces and accelerator programs. It is a strong ecosystem and home to some of Australia’s biggest online success stories such as Catch of the Day, Kogan, Envato and 99designs.
Mentors are critical to the success of building our eco-system and if you talk to any startup founder, they play a very integrated role in the growth and journey within a new business owners life.
ANZ Innovyz START is a 13-week accelerator program located in Adelaide, Australia. The program will provide a $20,000 stipend and ANZ will provide a $20,000 unsecured loan to each company chosen to participate in the program. The Managing Director works with each company to commercialise its break-through innovation.
While we were holidaying over summer, James Alexander and the startups of Incubate were hard at work pulling their businesses together for a February launch date. And their hard work is about to pay off with everyone getting ready for Demo Day on February the 27th. This is actually the first time that Incubate has run their Incubator program and so in their own way, Incubate is following a startup path. We talked to James about how Incubate came to be and you can be part of it next round.
INCUBATE is the University of Sydney Union’s inaugural business-focused program which is open to all students, researchers and recent alumni (2009 onwards) of the University of Sydney. The program will fund eight high potential startup projects with $5,000 business grants, co-working space over the summer break and mentoring from some of Australia’s most recognised entrepreneurs.
To make the most of your mentoring relationship, carefully consider a few things.
Firstly, consider what it is you want from the relationship. Knowing what you want from the relationship will help you see the value in it and will also provide clarity about the roles and expectations. Know your strengths and weaknesses so that you know exactly what areas you want to grow and develop. This will also help you narrow down what advice you’re looking for.