Eavesdropping on Sydney Startups: 6 quotes you might have missed

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The Sydney startup scene moves fast. So you can’t be blamed for missing a few golden nuggets of information over the last month or so. Here’s what we heard recently…

“In just eight weeks, these individuals have found their co-founders, identified a problem to solve, validated their solution and built a business model. Not only that, many of these teams have already started on their MVP, made first hires and secured customers.”
– Bede Moore, Managing Partner, Antler

Startup generator Antler recently announced the first 12 startups formed through their program, which launched in Sydney mid-June of this year. From the initial 71 participants accepted the 12 selected and awarded $100,000 in seed investment have moved swiftly to go from, in some cases not even having an idea, to creating their MVP and securing customers. Among the group are; Hollis an online mental wellbeing coach for employees, Nuzzl a veterinarian chat and video call service for pet owners, and Quicka a fintech focused on helping small businesses get paid. 

“This was a bad idea for a long time before it became a good one. There wasn’t an industry expert we didn’t meet that told us that this would never work.”
– 
Tim Brown, Co-founder, Allbirds

Tim Brown recently reflected on six years’ worth of challenges and unfruitful business decisions to build the New Zealand-born woollen shoe company Allbirds, which is now valued at $1.5 billion. Expanding their wooly empire, last month Allbirds unveiled its first non-shoe product ‘Trino’ socks, which look and feel like a standard pair of high-quality socks but are made from plants, merino wool and recycled bottes.

“It’s important, if you’re going to attract international investment, that you’ve proven a market for your product on the international scene.”
– 
Graham Jackson, CEO, Fluent Commerce

Cloud-based, retail startup, Fluent Commerce, designed to offer click-and-collect or delivery services for its clients, recently secured $33 million in Series B funding, led by US growth equity firm Arrowroot Capital. Founded in Sydney in 2015, the startup attributes its interest from international investors to its ability to demonstrate success abroad. “While Australia is a good testing ground for new technology products, it’s not enough to pique the interest of overseas investors,” adds Jackson.

“Take the plunge, take a risk, quit your job, and go for it.”
– Gabe Baker, Co-founder, Mosh

Founded in Sydney three years ago, the digital healthcare hub for men, Mosh, recently secured $1 million in funding to broaden its offering. While co-founders Gabe Baker and David Narunsky started Mosh as a side-hustle alongside their corporate careers and only began to work on Mosh full time at the end of 2018, Baker urges would-be entrepreneurs to dive right in going on to say “…the truth is, if you want to see real success in a business, you have to dedicate 100% of your time, love and attention to it.”

“We’re finding it’s mainly the women that are really driving the startup ecosystem in regional communities.”
– Nicole O’Brien, CEO, Fishburners

Fishburners recently opened its first regional co-working and innovation hub in Coffs Harbour partnering with 6 Degrees, a Coffs Harbour City Council initiative. With startups having the potential to support industry and employment within regional communities, Nicole O’Brien comments on the interesting trend of female founders leading the startup scene in regional areas supporting gender representation across the overall startup landscape. 

“I probably learnt more in the last couple of years when we were struggling than I did in the periods we had success. Failure forced me to reflect much harder on what had worked and what didn’t work.”
– Michael Fox, ex Shoes of Prey Co-Founder.

Speaking to the media for the first time since Shoes of Prey’s collapse, Michael Fox recently revealed he is preparing to launch a new plant-based meat company, utilising shiitake mushrooms as the core ingredient. Watch this space!