Yesterday I was lucky enough to present at SydStart, a new conference organised by Peter Cooper, to bring together the startup scene here in Australia. It was a great day, and included some awesome speakers like the CEO of Freelancer.com, Matt Barrie, who's also just been crowned Australia's entrepreneur of the year, and Peter Davison, an early investor in PayPalÂ who talked about some of the amazing dudes he met (and how he passed on investing in WinAmp, MP3.com and many more startups when he was a Silicon Valley VC).
I sat on a panel towards the end of the day and saw great pitches from companies like Scan2List, Taxi Mate and Spin Way. I also gave a brief talk where I tried to encourage some of the entrepreneurs in the room to think of businesses as their customers. Australia is a small market, and achieving success with a consumer play which is often monetised through advertising or other market models requires scale to succeed. Rather than trying to win at something Aussies have such a disadvantage with, I thought it was worth highlighting how business can be a better market for Aussie startups. In the process of compiling the slide deck, I was amazed by just how many successes have already happened, as shown in my logo slide half way in.
The response was really positive, and while Foursquare and Facebook are sexier, Atlassian, who sell their product for real money to real customers with real chequebooks - is still my hero. Hopefully a bunch of other great Aussie companies can follow in their footsteps.
I also got the opportunity to give the audience a bit of an intro to Accelo, and the response was much better than I'd expected (our target audience is professional services rather than startups... they were a good crowd though!)
My slides, including the logo wall of glory, embedded below.