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Startup momentum building in Australia

After leading a number of startups in Australia, I can testify that being an entrepreneur is sometimes a lonely, difficult and thankless journey. But the satisfaction and pride that you feel having achieved just some of the goals far outweighs the sleepless nights and stress.

It’s inspiring to see the Australian startup community alive and thriving. At several events recently I’ve met energetic young people, who’ve left their well paying traditional jobs to ride the emotional roller coaster that is entrepreneurship.

One of the highlights was the StartUp Weekend Melbourne at digital incubator York Butter Factory for which Xero was the premium sponsor. It was amazing to see the ideas that the entrepreneurs are building out, from a marketplace for financial modelsdynamic image and location tagging and analytics, to an all-in-one bottle opener & iPhone case. The greatest validation for us was that all these innovative startups are either using Xero or will use Xero in the future.

Congratulations to ThemePivot and Print My Life on their fantastic win. We were also thrilled to see our own and very talented Owen Evans be part of the winning team at the StartUp Weekend Wellington held in New Zealand that same weekend.

Learning from others

It’s one thing to be in a room of budding entrepreneurs on a mission, but hearing insights from those who’ve made it can be just as entertaining. Recently, Xero Australian Partner of the Year Guy Pearson of Interactive Accounting asked me to speak at IA meetup #3 – a great event for entrepreneurs. Here we traversed the topic: “business and online metrics”. What really struck me was the capacity these entrepreneurs have to resolve issues in life and in business with innovation and creativity.

As a company that has moved beyond the startup phase and raised significant capital, we believe Xero has a role to play to mentor and encourage the innovators of today and builders of tomorrow’s business environment. We’re looking forward to working with York Butter Factory and others as we expand our role in this arena in coming months.

As always we’re keen to hear your views, comments and suggestions on anything startup.


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9 November 2011 #

Great stuff. I’ve been waiting for an Australian company to pop up in this week in startups!

David Truong
9 November 2011 #

Hey that’s me and the team from SWMELB in the photo! We won best MVP for the iPad Math learning game we created over the weekend (

Stuart, it’s great to know that established entrepreneurs like yourself want to mentor and encourage up and coming startups. The startup community (and the support around it) in Melbourne and Sydney is great. I’m trying to replicate the community in Adelaide and am the organiser of Startup Weekend Adelaide and Silicon Beach Drinks Adelaide. I’d love to know your opinions on how to create or replicate such success in other states. :)

Stuart McLeod
9 November 2011 #

Congratulations @David on your win! Fantastic news.

I’d suggest that you engage as many startups / entrepreneurs from Adelaide as you possibly can. Get on to twitter and ping as many as you can! Usually these guys (and girls) are more than happy to share their experiences with you and your fellow attendees. By all means get in touch if you need a hand with anything.

Earl Rudolfo
16 November 2011 #

I think startups are gaining momentum globally. Just take a look at this amazing video on Lean Startups –

Good to see Australia is on board.

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