Australian site PushStart.com.au recently announced its first class of startup funding/mentoring.
I spoke to Kim Heris about PushStart and start-ups generally.
Q. How did Pushstart start?
A. PushStart was the result of my over 10 years in the startup industry and 6 years organising startup community events and tech blogging. Through thousands of conversations with Aussie startup entrepreneurs I realised the biggest thing that was missing was a better way for experienced startup people – founders, execs, investors – to pass give advice and guidance to newer founders.
I joined up with Roger Kermode and John Haining (who is no longer with PushStart) in 2010 and we put in place a plan to create a range of activities focused on mentoring, education and startup acceleration.
In March 2011 PushStart launched at the SydStart conference.
Since then we’ve helped over 1200 startups, done over 800 mentor/startup connection and we’re in the middle of our first PushStart Startup Accelerator which gives 8 teams 20K in seed capital, focused mentoring, office space and over 100K in other benefits from organisations like Ninefold, Microsoft, Deloitte’s and DLA Piper as part of a 3 month program to accelerate the growth of high potential teams.
Q. How would you compare the Aussie startup scene compared to the US/International scene?
A. Behind but catching up, rapidly.
Q. Do you or your startups get government assistance during the startup stage?
A. Some may but most don’t.
Q. What would you say to other investors about the startup method of creating a company?
A. I think tech startups are leading the way in terms of redefining the innovation process into one that’s inexpensive, metric driven and scalable. There is no other industry in the world that allows for so much value to be created out of so little.
Q. What are your feelings on the skills and entrepreneurial spirit of you first class of projects?
A. The people and businesses all have a great deal of potential. It’s our job now to help shape, build and prepare them for follow on funding.
Q. Where do you see Push Start (and/or venture capital investment) in five years?
A. PushStart is committed to the creation of a sustainable tech startup ecosystem in Australia. In 5 years we aim to be a key part of that ecosystem through a variety of activities that help to support the creation of Australian tech startups and provide them with the skills and knowledge to become globally significant businesses.
Many thanks to Kim, and check out PushStart.com.au for further startup opportunities.