Why does Startmate exist?

Startmate exists to creates waves of Australian founders building world-class companies.

To do that, we need to be a magnetic force to the smartest people and convince them that starting a company is the highest expression of their talent.

Since Startmate launched 7 years ago, we’ve helped 62 companies.

We would like to help many more.

Helping Australian founders realise they can be the best in the world

One thing that we have observed is that the very best Australian founders don’t pattern match to Silicon Valley investor expectations.

It is relatively easy to assume a Stanford CS grad with Product Management experience at AirBnB and Slack will have startup DNA.

It is harder to spot that DNA in Australian founders.

Luke from Safety Culture started out organising boxing matches in Townsville.

Chris from Vero was a consultant at PWC.

Cliff and Mel from Canva had a website that helped high schools print yearbooks.

The Edrolo team met at Goldman Sachs.

Tim from Zoox ran an animation studio.

They all had the DNA of best founders in the world, but the manifestation of that wasn’t screamingly obvious in its first iteration.

That’s our job at Startmate.

Finding the best Australian founders as early as possible and helping them realise they can be the best in the world.

Surrounding them with the best and brightest

Startmate exists because building a company is extremely difficult.

Unlike becoming a doctor or a dentist or an architect, there isn’t an established methodology for doing it.

The best way to make it less difficult is to surround yourself with people who have done it before.

The problem is that those people are hard to find. And the best ones are nearly impossible to find time with.

Startmate surrounds you with hard to find people and gets you time with them.

Startmate intends to be what Charlie Munger has described as: “The highest form civilization can reach is a seamless web of deserved trust. Not much procedure, just totally reliable people correctly trusting one another.”

Putting up the scaffolding for launch

Startmate operates like NASA’s Mobile Launcher Platform — supporting startups throughout the build-up and launch process.

Startmate ensures you are pointed in the right direction, have a full tank of fuel ($75,000) and don’t fatally damage yourself on the way to the launchpad.

There are so many things that founders get wrong at the early stage — founder equity, vesting, advisor shares, board structures, funding rounds — that many companies are irrevocably broken just a few months into the journey.

And even for the companies that avoid those pitfalls, there is so much theatre involved with startups that sometimes it’s difficult to know what to work on.

Fortunately, there are only two things that are worth working on in the early stage of building a company — building your product, and talking to your users.

Almost everything else (conferences, partnership discussions with big companies, worrying about your competitors) can be ignored for a long time.

Startmate will make sure you work on the things that matter.

Startmate is a startup too

Startmate is like the startups we’re trying to help.

We grow and learn alongside every cohort we invest in. We continually try things and inevitably some of them break. That’s OK. That’s a sign we’re trying hard.

Startmate is for Australia. All of us are driven by a sense of building a better future through the creation of more startups.

We will succeed in proportion to the number of startups we help and the amount we help them.

Our goal is to:

  1. Inspire the smartest people to become founders earlier.
  2. Surround those founders with the best and brightest in the Australian startup community.
  3. Provide money, advice and and support to massively increase the chances they succeed.
  4. When they succeed, have them come back to Startmate to help the next generation succeed again.

If Startmate does its job, there will be a lot more successful Australian startups.

We are here to help.


If you would like to meet our most recent Melbourne cohort, Demo Day is next week!

We’re in Sydney on October 9 (Sold Out).

And Melbourne on October 11 (Just 23 tickets left!).