How to make Australia’s startup ecosystem shine
Audrey Melnik
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Good article Audrey. We’ve been running a number of hackathons and find we get greatest traction on ideas with Uni students, but they then hit the wall when there are no formal incubation pathways for them to keep building out the idea into traction and seed funding. It’s a structural weakness for a bunch of Unis and ecosystems. Atlassian are a great role model for investment patterns and bootstrapping IMO (Disclosure: Laughing Mind is an Atlassian Experts consulting company)- you value the capital of your own sweat and trust of Family, Friends, more than externally sourced -that has a prudent impact on burn rate and gets startups focussed on traction, organic growth and capital. I recognise it also has a constraining effect. We’re based on Central Coast NSW, where we have access to ecosystems in Sydney and a growing density north of us in Newcastle. Cash strapped startups often need lower cost operations, which is why regional centres make sense, provided there is external connectivity to networks. Similarly, we regularly see expat/repats who’ve started in SV, but came home to raise families — they represent important bridging connectors. I’d agree that you need Entrepreneurs in the Ecosystem advocate role who’ve walked a few miles in startup shoes..

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