Startmate First Believers

Deal flow, investor networks, plus the tools you need to be an angel investor

If you want to develop your skills, build your network, and grow your confidence in early stage startup investing, then First Believers is the place for you.

You don't need to be a sophisticated investor or have $ to invest.  The course is suitable for those with and without prior investing experience.

The course is run online with some in person events.

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Program Dates: 14 WEEKS, SEP - DEC 2024

Program Dates:
14 WEEKS, SEP - DEC 2024

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Applications Close: 11:59PM, JULY 28

Applications Close:
11:59PM, JULY 28

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Program cost: $5,500 (incl. GST)

Program cost:
$5,500 (incl. GST)

"Startmates track record of investment returns place it alongside the best in the world "

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Applications close 11:59PM, JULY 28

Start ApplicationRegister interest

9.3/10 program rating
from 50+ alumni reviews.

Chenelle Tanglao

Trawalla Group - Investor

Chenelle Tanglao

Trawalla Group - Investor

"First Believers is like getting thrown into the deep end of the pool -- with all your friends! Bad metaphors aside: whether you're in the beginning of your investing journey or a seasoned investor, the hands-on experience and the community at First Believers is truly incomparable. You learn quickly that investing is a team sport, and First Believers is one of the best teams!"

Claire Bull

Extolla - Director of Sustainability

Claire Bull

Extolla - Director of Sustainability

“I was working from a super low base from a knowledge perspective and didn’t feel like a idiot at any point (rare!) content was super inclusive. WOW! I loved the HANDS ON EXPERIENCE. Actually getting to meet founders with real investment outcomes was an incredible way to apply knowledge immediately.”

Joel Hassin

Cambooya Capital - Investor

Joel Hassin

Cambooya Capital - Investor

"If you’ve ever wanted to start investing in the people who are building big things for the future and solving high-value problems but don’t feel like you’d know where to start or feel there are barriers to getting involved, First Believers is for you. What you’ll find is a powerful community of some of the most ambitious and open-minded investors, operators and founders in the world."

Kim Burke

Wharf Road Investments - Director

Kim Burke

Wharf Road Investments - Director

“Startmate gives virtually unlimited opportunity to see deal flow and build pattern recognition.  Best education in the space you could imagine.  Even seasoned investors would benefit.”

Matt Herring

KPMG - Partner

Matt Herring

KPMG - Partner

"First Believers is the must-do program for any aspiring or current angel investor. It took my understanding and connections within the start-up ecosystem from 1 to 100. I could not recommend this program more highly to anyone who is keen to learn more about the ANZ start-up ecosystem and how to back aspiring founders."

Melissa Beaumont Lee

Skip Capital Foundation - CEO

Melissa Beaumont Lee

Skip Capital Foundation - CEO

"First Believers transformed me into an Angel Investor. It’s part of my identity now and I am thrilled. Being able to support Australia’s newest Founders is a huge privilege, sometimes I still pinch myself. First Believers has been a pivotal life moment for me."

Nick Sinclair

Airbnb - Head of Marketing APAC

Nick Sinclair

Airbnb - Head of Marketing APAC

"This program really opens doors! I really loved the practical and hand-on nature of the learning which was always geared toward action. It was an excellent way to take my knowledge from near-zero to hero in only 12 weeks."

Verity Tuck

LVLY - Co-founder

Verity Tuck

LVLY - Co-founder

“My experience on the First Believers program was beyond expectations. First Believers provided an inclusive, expansive community to share and explore how to get involved in angel investing. The SM team were awesome. No BS, no egos, just great people. Would highly recommend!”

What is
First Believers?

  • Join our next cohort of budding angel investors, obsessed with backing and believing in the next generation of founders
  • Over 14 weeks, learn from world-class investors, while simultaneously get hands-on experience vetting 500+ of the best Aussie and NZ startups
  • You’ll be learning by doing and making real investment decisions on real companies with real outcomes (even if you don’t have capital to invest in startups right now)
  • Develop a deep network of other angel investors, and be part of the Startmate and First Believers alumni communities for life
  • Get access to Startmate’s deal flow, during the course and beyond

This is not about passively learning theory and concepts - First Believers is all about giving you the tools to invest, then putting those tools to use during the course.  By the end of the course, you’re already well on your way to being a seasoned angel investor.

First Believers Are Diverse

First Believer come from all walks of life. From musicians, event-planners, doctors, bankers, and more. We also proudly include founders and top operators from...

Check out our
track record

  • 50% of companies raise post-accelerator
  • Startups raise an average of $1.8mil. off the back of the accelerator

Are you a wildly ambitious founder and pre Series A fundraise?
The Accelerator is for you.

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We're industry agnostic.

We've invested in companies spanning an insanely diverse range of industries. From ed-tech, health-tech, prop-tech and climate-tech to space-tech, fin-tech and legal-tech.

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You're never too early.

67% of Accelerator companies had no revenue when they appliedand every cohort has had at least one company that is idea-stage and pre-MVP.

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We strive for equal representation.

Diversity builds smarter solutions. Since 2021, 40% of our companies have 1 or more women co-founders.

Do you believe that great founders and great startups are the key to building a better future?
First Believers is for you.

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You want to have an outsized impact on the world.
We believe startups are the single most powerful way to build a better future. If you do too, then come learn the theory of investing and put it into practice.

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You’re excited about startups, and keen to uncover and foster the next generation of great founders.
First Believers have front row seats in helping us select, mentor and invest in the next gen of Accelerator founders.

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You're curious about the investment side of startups.
Maybe you have experience in startups, maybe you don't. Either way, you want to learn more about what makes a good startup and how to make strategic investment decisions.

Apply for
Startmate First Believers

If you want to develop your skills, build your network, and grow your confidence in early stage startup investing, then First Believers is the place for you.

Runs online, with an estimated time commitment of 3 hours per week (1.5 hours of zoom sessions, the rest is homework).

📆

Program Dates:
14 WEEKS, SEP - DEC 2024

Program Dates: 14 WEEKS, SEP - DEC 2024

✏️

Applications Close:
11:59PM, JULY 28

Applications Close: 11:59PM, JULY 28

💸

Program cost: $5,500 (incl. GST)

Program cost:
$5,500 (incl. GST)

What you’ll get out of the Accelerator 
  1. Investment: We invest AUD 120k in each company so that all your energy is focused on building your startup.
  2. Founder friends: You’ll be surrounded by a cohort of equally ambitious founders on the same journey.
  3. Pitch perfect: We’ll tear your pitch deck to shreds and by the end of the Accelerator you’ll have a bulletproof deck ready for investors.
  4. Launch your startup to the world: Pitch your startup to an audience of thousands at Demo Day.
  5. A product people want: You’ll spend 12 weeks laser-focused on your customer, how you can improve your product and the results to drive meaningful growth
  6. Mentorship: You’ll be partnered with ANZ’s most successful founders, operators and investors who have skin in the game and will run through brick walls to see you succeed 
  7. SME: We’ll connect you with subject matter experts who can provide tailored industry advice on how to approach your business
  8. Community: You’ll gain access to ANZ’s largest startup community of founders, operators and investors who are ready to support you on your journey.  
  9. World-class talent pool: Within our 2000+ startmate fellowship alumni are the hires you need to take your startup to the next level at your fingertips: pre-vetted, upskilled, and hungry to join a high-growth startup. 
  10. The best platform in ANZ to raise capital: Having the Startmate brand behind you will be a stamp of approval to every potential investor or employee you meet.

Frequently asked questions

How much does the program cost?

The First Believers program fee is $5,500 including GST.

We're committed to seeing better representation in the startup ecosystem, and we don't want financial limitations to be a prohibiting factor from participating in First Believers. Startmate offers full and part scholarships for the First Believers program. This fee will only be invoiced after program acceptance. The fee can be paid upfront or via instalments.

NZGCP proudly sponsor one NZ position per cohort.

Minderoo proudly sponsor up to three places for First Nations participants per cohort.

What is the time commitment?

First Believers requires a time commitment of three hours per week to engage with the content and community.

When does the program run?

The program runs virtually twice a year, kicking off in March and September, with applications due the month before.

As the program is run remotely, we encourage you to apply from anywhere in Australia or New Zealand.

Each cohort is made up of ~60 people across a range of industries, locations and levels of experience.

Do you need to have money to invest?

No! First Believers is about developing future investors.

We understand the ambition to be an investor might come before the financial position to back your belief in founders.

Amongst a number of pathways for non-sophisticated investors, we have uniquely raised a $1 million Small Bets Fund exclusively for First Believers of all backgrounds to invest into founders at the very beginning (and earn carry in the fund while doing so).

Who is right for First Believers?

If you want to build confidence in making early-stage startup investments, better understand the investor lens, or build life-changing relationships with other ambitious investors and founders, First Believers is the place for you.

You don’t have to be a sophisticated investor. You don’t need to have $$$ to invest. You can join with or without any prior experience.

First Believers come from a range of backgrounds, including past founders, corporate venture capitalists, high-growth technology company employees, and ecosystem champions.

How is First Believers different?

We focus on the things you can't Google and provide unparalleled hands-on investing opportunities.

Over 14 weeks, you'll learn the craft of investing from world-class investors through the Startmate network, while simultaneously being exposed to 500+ early-stage startups. This is not about passively learning abstract concepts. It's about learning by doing and making real investment decisions on real companies with real outcomes.

Alongside other First Believers, you'll refine and develop your investment strategy, establish clear next steps in your journey to investing, and be supported in realising them.

Investing is a decade-long journey. We’re building a community to be there with you every step of the way. You'll develop deep relationships with First Believers and be a part of a community for life.

You also get ongoing exposure to Startmate's deal flow, and have opportunities to learn-by-doing (even if you don't have capital to invest right now).

How is Startmate different?

Startmate is the most active early-stage investor in Australia. We invest at the very beginning of a founder's journey, making us best-placed to help budding angel investors. We help founders to realise their bold ambitions every day. We’ve been accelerating founders for more than a decade and we want to open this world to you.

Proudly supported by

NZGCP proudly sponsor one NZ position per cohort

Join a community that will help you go from idea to IPO

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Hiring

We have over 3000+ of ANZ’s most talented operators in our community. Our incredible Startmate fellows are hungry to join a high-growth startup and ready to support you on your journey.

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Investors

We have built an army of over 250 early stage investors who are inspired by your commitment to changing the world. They are here, ready to be your First Believers, and invest.

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Funding

We invest in you from day one and continue to believe in you forever after. This is a unique fund in ANZ that automatically invests all Startmate pro-rata for our alumni, which means you can go into your fundraising conversations already knowing you have the Startmate pro-rata committed

Essential Reading

Apply for the upcoming
Startmate Accelerator

If you’re ready to move faster than you ever thought possible, build a better product with more users, and get the best platform in ANZ to raise capital, apply for the Startmate Accelerator. 

📆

Program Dates: JAN 20–APRIL 18 2025 (12 WEEKS)

✏️

Applications Close: 11:59PM JUNE 2

What you’ll get out of the Accelerator 
  1. Investment: We invest AUD 120k in each company so that all your energy is focused on building your startup.
  2. Founder friends: You’ll be surrounded by a cohort of equally ambitious founders on the same journey.
  3. Pitch perfect: We’ll tear your pitch deck to shreds and by the end of the Accelerator you’ll have a bulletproof deck ready for investors.
  4. Launch your startup to the world: Pitch your startup to an audience of thousands at Demo Day.
  5. A product people want: You’ll spend 12 weeks laser-focused on your customer, how you can improve your product and the results to drive meaningful growth
  6. Mentorship: You’ll be partnered with ANZ’s most successful founders, operators and investors who have skin in the game and will run through brick walls to see you succeed 
  7. SME: We’ll connect you with subject matter experts who can provide tailored industry advice on how to approach your business
  8. Community: You’ll gain access to ANZ’s largest startup community of founders, operators and investors who are ready to support you on your journey.  
  9. World-class talent pool: Within our 2000+ startmate fellowship alumni are the hires you need to take your startup to the next level at your fingertips: pre-vetted, upskilled, and hungry to join a high-growth startup. 
  10. The best platform in ANZ to raise capital: Having the Startmate brand behind you will be a stamp of approval to every potential investor or employee you meet.