Startup Australia + Entrepreneurial Tips For Making It Big

21 Entrepreneurial Tips For Making It Big

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Inspiring Rare Birds founder Jo Burston offers her top tips for business success.

  1. Decide how badly you want it

As an entrepreneur, the biggest decision to make is, ‘Am I 100 percent in or 100 percent out?’ There is no middle ground, there never is.

  1. Be comfortable with uncertainty

The idea of being comfortable with uncertainty has to exist. I never know when things are going to start coming at me that I can’t control. But that’s okay.

  1. Master your emotions

I have the sense that I can choose how to respond to what happens to me. Emotional control, rapid problem-solving skills, and knowing and trusting in the infrastructure I’ve created all help me resolve the problem, no matter how big it is.

Equally, I never know when I am going to meet the next major opportunity on my journey. I am always mentally prepared for both. The strength of my resilience is a far greater asset than my overall knowledge.

  1. Learn from your mistakes

The more mistakes I make, the more I learn and the better entrepreneur I become.

  1. Bide your time

Time is always my truth. I never doubt this, my intuition or my gut instinct.

  1. Create your vision of the future

With vision, I can start to think about my capabilities and resources. I’m not just talking about the tools, people, skills and networks I need, but how I can create a product that will stand the test of time; is totally scalable, hard to replicate or disrupt. I think about how it makes the lives of my customers more abundant and how it gets them closer to their personal purpose and vision.

  1. Understand your purpose

My purpose is not a product, it’s a behaviour that drives an outcome. I want to see entrepreneurship as a choice globally for any woman, little girl and boy. Altruistically, this means that just like being an engineer, a nurse or a farmer there is also a choice involved with becoming an entrepreneur or business owner. Changing that script in the heads of people is my ultimate goal. I want all children to believe they can run their own company one day, if that’s what they really want.

  1. Be passionate

I want to have a life where I live with a ‘profitable, smart heart’. I want to live unconditionally, knowing the abundance I create will fulfil me in the ways I want to be fulfilled during my lifetime — emotionally, spiritually and financially. I want to leave a legacy that changes heart, minds and has economic and social impact globally.

Essentially, I want to slide into home base one day, all scratched up, with dirt on my face and my dress flying over my head thinking, ‘If those four bases have been my life then whoa, what a ride!’

I’ve never wanted ‘simple’ or ‘easy’, because the challenge is what drives my hunger to learn more, do more and try more.

  1. Look at the external environment

What is really going on out there in your industry and sector? I can absolutely lay hand on heart and say I am familiar with every player in my space. This allows me to create a sandpit they cannot fit into.

  1. Create a strategy and stick to it

Often I see entrepreneurs start a strategy without understanding their vision or environment first. Strategy comes after these two elements.

  1. Be an authentic, real, candid and vulnerable leader

I walk around in the same meat suit as everyone else. What differentiates my leadership is how I choose to lead — from the front, the side, the back and the top.

Each unique situation requires different leadership and that takes emotional intelligence. This means appreciating the differences between personalities, but also having a relentless, driving vision and an ability to think globally. I’m totally obsessed by what I do and I want people around me who are equally as obsessed.

  1. Measure everything

Data can provide insights that are deep, enlightening and useful. It is my language for future strategy, based on past behaviours. I equip myself with resources that provide these insights — services like Xero, the cloud-based accounting software.

  1. Sell yourself and your vision relentlessly

I tell anyone willing to listen about my global vision and mission. I would tell a million people my vision if I have a million people listening to me.

  1. Back yourself and do it unashamedly

If you want to stand out, then go ahead and stand out!

  1. Don’t think like a corporate

Thinking like a corporate doesn’t make you think big, it makes you incumbent and not an entrepreneur.

  1. Surround yourself with relationships that matter, not just big networks

My advisory board and peers are world class entrepreneurs and business people. They make decisions. They control outcomes. They have knowledge I do not have and willingly share it with me, as I do with them when I know something they don’t know.

  1. Think a decade ahead of where you are now

What do you want to be known for in 10 years’ time? I ‘forward cast’ my name to be associated with the world’s largest hub for women entrepreneurs.

  1. Ask for what you really want, not what you may get

Focus on what you really want and don’t be afraid to ask for it. If you only ask for what you think is realistically achievable, you limit your own potential.

  1. Be open to change to the point that you wish to be the change that makes others uncomfortable

This shifts paradigms and thinking. An entrepreneur’s polarising thoughts are often the most interesting.

  1. Be curious

Read widely and frequently. An insatiable quest for knowledge will provide you with business answers when you least suspect it, and make you a more interesting and engaging entrepreneur.

  1. Allow creativity to be a central focus of business, not the other way round

Creative thinking should be at the core of everything you do. Encourage ideas to flow — be creative, experimental and radical — and you’re more likely to produce original and exceptional concepts.

What are your tips for entrepreneurial success? Please post a comment and join in the conversation.

Three Chinese startups begin three-month Australian residency

FinTech itself is one of the fastest growing sectors in global financial services industry, withtotal investments in peer-to-peer lenders, payment services companies and internet insurersrising 60 percent to $19.1 billion in 2015.

Australia is seeking to become the financial technology (FinTech) hub of the Asia-Pacificregion through their FinTech Asia program, while removing regulatory barriers and implementing other mechanisms to help drag the economy away from mining led growth.

The three start-ups creating cloud-based accounting software, QR-code point of sale systemsfor businesses servicing Chinese tourists and a “bank for entrepreneurs” that is streamlining cash management were selected via a highly competitive pitching competition at PeopleStone & Chalk, Australia’s leading startup incubator, is a coup for the New South Wales stategovernment as it seeks to make Sydney the innovation hub for financial services in the Asia-Pacific against stiff competition from Melbourne in Victoria state.Squared Shanghai during April’s Australia Week in China.

TruRating raises $16.5 million to grow Australian operations

UK-based fintech startup TruRating has closed a $16.5 million Series A funding round as it looks to rapidly expand its operations across Australia. TruRating is a system that allows customers to rate businesses on a scale of 0–9 on their experience, service, value, atmosphere and product while making their payment. This provides a more immediate feedback system than alternatives such as Tripadvisor or Yelp.

Australian energy start-up reaches final of social enterprise awards

Pollinate Energy, Australia’s first ever finalist in Chivas Regal’s The Venture awards for social enterprise, made it into the top 12 before being eliminated in the final round.

Pollinate Energy uses solar-powered lights to replace kerosene lamps, primarily in the poor communities of India, where kerosene lamps are the main cause of death in women and children, 24% of the population live in the dark, and 304 million live without electricity.

Child care tech start-up Xplor raises $6m to keep parents connected

A Melbourne-based tech start-up, which has been rapidly signing up child care centres across Australia, Malaysia and the US to its app, has locked in a $6 million funding round from Sydney-based Airtree Ventures.

Xplor has created an online platform which is used to allow parents to interact with their children in real-time during the day, but also by the child care centres and schools to manage their operations, by accepting fees, processing payroll and monitoring real time data such as internal finances and childrens’ attendance and medical records.

News Corp, Fox Sports and Nova partner for startup equity fund

News Corp is launching a media fund for Australian startup businesses, providing advertising inventory and marketing support for those seeking to become household brands. It is the first time a media equity movie has been attempted in Australia, it says.

The initiative, called Scaleup Mediafund, works directly with businesses and venture capital to provide ad inventory, campaign executions and real-time reporting, in exchange for a minority shareholding in startups.

Troubled Music Streaming Startup Guvera Closes Up Shop in Australia

Following the news report on Digital Music News that Music Dealers was shutting down, Australian media outlets are reporting that troubled music streaming startup Guvera is shutting down their operations in the Australian market to focus on emerging markets.

The recent news to shutdown Australian operations comes after CEO and co-founder Darren Herft had just left the company to focus on overseas operations after the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) blocked Guvera’s $1.3 billion IPO in June for “confidential” reasons, forcing Guvera to “review its legal options and obligations.” Guvera has since replaced Herft with co-founder Claes Loeberg.

Blockchain Startups Join KPMG Accelerator Program

KPMG Australia has launched mLabs, an accelerator program aimed at connecting credit unions and mutual banks with the domestic fintech startup community. The firm has selected 14 fintech startups to join the program, including Fitchain and Moneycatcha, two blockchain ventures.

Moneycatcha is a loan origination solution built on blockchain technology that allows to reduce the loan origination and funding process time from an industry average of 42 days to 5 days.

Fi

tchain, developed by KPMG Australia, is a fitness-based reward program powered by blockchain technology. Available to KPMG Australia employees, Fitchain rewards users for physical activity and promotes a healthy lifestyle. The mobile app goes with the Fitbit wristband.

Words from Feld

When it comes to building a successful startup community, Brad Feld, managing director at venture capital firm Foundry Group and co-founder of startup accelerator Techstars, believes the key is having the right people in the right positions, with entrepreneurs leading the way.

“I have a deeply held belief that any city with more than 100,000 people should be able to build a robust startup community,” Feld said.

“The leaders of the startup community have to be entrepreneurs. All the other participants whether they be government, or university, or service providers like investors or accountants or lawyers, or non-profits supporting entrepreneurship are what I categorise as feeders.

“The feeders and leaders are just as important. We need lots of both but you need — you have to have, it’s essential that you have — a critical mass of entrepreneurs playing a leadership role or else your startup community won’t grow and evolve.”

In May, Airbnb, Amazon, Atlassian, and Uber joined forces with over 40 Australian startups, global tech giants, and entrepreneurs in yet another attempt to convert Sydney into Australia’s Silicon Valley.

The not-for-profit group TechSydney said at the time it would work to address what it considers the greatest challenge for Sydney’s innovation ecosystem — collaboration.

Despite efforts from major tech companies as well as state and federal government intervention, the consortium said Sydney’s global startup ecosystem ranking slipped from 12 in 2012 down to 16 in 2015.

“Recent moves from all levels of government to support our startup and technology sector have been heartening, but we can’t rely on them to carry it forward,” Dean McEvoy, TechSydney CEO and founder, said. “By working together, we will drive the initiatives that will turn Sydney into a world class, top 10 hub for technology companies.”

The federal government unveiled its AU$1.1 billion National Innovation and Science Agendain December, which covers over 20 measures centred on its “Ideas Boom” rhetoric, which Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull believes will incentivise innovation and entrepreneurship, reward risk taking, and promote science, maths, and computing in schools.

While Feld agrees the government has a place in the startup ecosystem, he believes it should not be in a position of authority.

“I think government can play a very active and important role but there’s a big difference between that leadership role and a support role of that ecosystem as it develops,” he said.

During his short time as Assistant Minister for Innovation, former MP Wyatt Roy said thatAustralia had a lot learn from thriving startup epicentres such as Tel Aviv in Israel.

“They have more startups per capita than any other country on earth, they have more investment in research and development per capita than any other country on earth, and more venture capital invested per capita than any other country on earth. They really are the global golden standard when it comes to innovation,” Roy said previously.

Drawing on his years of experience in the heart of California’s Silicon Valley, Adrian Turner, Data61 CEO, disagrees with Roy’s assertion on capital funding.

SMH

(more in the Sydney Morning Herald)

Shares in ASX-listed bitcoin startup DigitalX plummeted 39 per cent after authorities in the US charged the company’s founder and director, Perth rich-lister Zhenya Tsvetnenko, over alleged fraud.

Mr Tsvetnenko is facing 20 years in jail over claims he was involved in a multimillion-dollar scheme to defraud consumers by charging unsuspecting mobile phone users for unwanted text messages.

Zhenya Tsvetnenko’s media adviser said he would defend all allegations against him. Photo: Aaron Bunch

An indictment filed in Federal Court in Manhattan on Friday charged Mr Tsvetnenko, Fraser Thompson, an ex-executive at mobile aggregation company Mobile Messenger, as well as Francis Assifuah, who authorities say ran digital content providers. The indictments relate to a period from 2011 to 2013.

Mr Tsvetnenko’s media adviser, Evelyn Duffy, said the 36-year-old would defend all allegations against him but would not comment further as the matter was before the court.

Mr Tsvetnenko is the founder of ASX-listed bitcoin company DigitalX, which claimed to be the first digital currency company to list on a stock exchange. The Perth-based company issued a notice to shareholders on Monday saying he had resigned as director due to “personal interests”.

A startup data centre builder/operator called AirTrunk has applied to build a substantial data centre on the fringes of Melbourne.

AirTrunk outed itself to financial press a couple of weeks ago, claiming it has plans for bit barns in Sydney, Melbourne, Singapore and Hong Kong, a tenant ready to rent substantial space, perhaps even whole halls, and the prospect of attracting US$1.7bn in investment to make it all happen. The company has also said it’s approach to building data centres reduces the complexity of electrical infrastructure and therefore saves both construction and operational costs.

90 Seconds

A New Zealand-founded startup is setting up shop in Australia after just securing $10 million in funding led by one of the world’s biggest VC firms.

Cloud-based video production platform 90 Seconds closed the funding round in April from Sequoia Capital and will now be expanding rapidly around Australia.

90 Seconds digital marketplace connects brands and agencies with various video professionals from directors and editors through to drone operators.

The company will be opening offices in Sydney and Melbourne and recruiting new staff across sales, product and customer support, with 15 team members in Australia already.

Sleep disorder startup debuts on AXS, raises $12 M

Oventus Medical Ltd., which manufactures sleep apnoea devices, has successfully listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), raising $12 million, which will be used to commercialize and distribute its O2Vent sleep apnoea devices.

The device received clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in April this year, paving the way for its entry in the US market.

The O2Vent is a 3-D printed customizable mouthpiece designed to reduce the effects of snoring and sleep apnoea.

Blue Sky Ventures enters Southeast Asia Australian venture capital (VC) firm Blue Sky Ventures, has made its first investment in the Southeast Asian market as it participated in an A$13.6 million ($10.18 million) funding round for Thailand-based aCommerce in a move that will catapult its reach across Asia. Other investors included MDI Ventures, a venture capital fund run by Indonesian government-owned Telkom and DKSH, a Switzerland-based market expansion company.

Victoria’s peak start-up body Startup Victoria has appointed a new CEO, local entrepreneur Georgia Beattie.

Ms Beattie started the role yesterday after a career studying entrepreneurship at RMIT and Babson College in Boston, then going on to create Australia’s first single serve glass of wine under the Lupe and BeattieWines brands.

She expanded the manufacturing start-up into 6 countries over the space of 5 years, before successfully exiting the business in 2016.

Ms Beattie said she was excited to help organise and run the biggest regular tech start-up events in the country, with more than 400 attendees every month