Do you want to found a company rather than work for one, but not sure what happens next? Have an idea that keeps you awake at night and looking for someone to share the ride with?

Startmate's Founders Fellowship has your back. The Founders Fellowship provides a clear path to launching a company with the knowledge, guidance and networks you need to succeed.

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Continuous Learning

“Startups are super interesting. The teams are small and the velocity is high. … You learn enough to fix the problem, build a solution and move on to the next problem. This results in exposure to a lot of technologies and approaches, and a lot of personal growth.”
— Eddie Atkinson, Student Fellow (Summer 2020/21)


Technical to non-technical

“By the third day of my internship, I was already pitching to the Queensland Small Business Commission.”
— Tsamara, Student Fellow (Summer 2020/21)


Solo founder to founding team

“The great thing about hiring through Startmate is the people who join through one of the Fellowship programs are already pre-selected for being amazing. They are looking for change and roles where they can have a big impact, and everything that working for a startup can provide.”
— Gridcognition (Startmate, Mel20 Alumni)


Solo founder to founding team

“Why does the UK have such a financial services driven economy? Basically … ask the smartest undergraduates ‘what are you going to do next?’, they're all like, ‘oh, I'm going to go work at Goldman Sachs’ or whatever. … The reason Silicon Valley is so special? It is the one place in the world where [ambitious students] say ‘we’ll start a company’.”
— Matt Clifford, Founder at Entrepreneur First.

What problem are we trying to solve?

There are numerous barriers to starting a company. These include financial means, assembling the right founding team, confidence and knowledge of business basics

Digging a little deeper, it is hard to find:

  • Compatible co-founders;
  • The right big problem to work on;
  • Access to mentoring;
  • Access to a talent pool for hiring;
  • Funding or investment;
  • Tools, resources and perks; and
  • Community.

The Founders Fellowship is built to dismantle these barriers, and increase the number of passionate founders starting companies and entering the ecosystem.

“The SFF1 has been such an incredible experience for me - just the right balance of structured and unstructured learning. It's given me confidence, networks and learnings to take me forward."

So, what is the Founders Fellowship?

The Founders Fellowship brings together equally talented and hungry individuals and facilitates life-changing connections.

You’ll find ambition aplenty to tackle your idea with, all while being surrounded by the best community of founders, operators and investors in Australia and New Zealand.

The Fellowship is a pressure cooker focused on maximising the number of opportunities participants have to test ideas and relationships, and will accelerate early progress on traction, hires and funding.

And much like your startup journey will exceed 20 weeks, so will the Founders Fellowship, as you’ll join a lifelong community that you can lean on at every stage of your journey

“The community is more welcoming and open than that in Silicon Valley and NYC and being surrounded by people in the same stage and mindset was invaluable."

Who is right for the Founders Fellowship?

Regardless of whether you’ve dabbled with entrepreneurship, worked at a big corporate, worked at a startup or have a technical background, if you have a deep-burning desire to build a business, we want to help you unleash your potential.

We are looking for Founders who:

  • Want to launch and run a company as opposed to work for one;
  • Have unique insights into broken industries, and love solving problems; and
  • Are ambitious, curious and thrive in chaos and uncertainty.

We place intersectionality at the forefront of our program, and invite people of all ages, races, cultural backgrounds and sexualities to apply.

"These are my people. I clicked immediately with everyone, I just didn't get enough catchup time with them."

What else can we tell you at this stage?

The Founders Fellowship MVP will kick off in August 2021 and will run for 10 weeks.

It’s free if you quit your job to throw yourself headlong at this opportunity, and $1,000 + GST if you still work full-time. This ensures everyone in the program with you is as fully committed to founding a company as you are.

"The biggest benefit out of the Startmate Founders Fellowship was the change around mindset. The numerous conversations with potential co-founders, pitching to First Believers has helped me appreciate the potential of my 'side experiment'.

Apply for the Startmate Founders Fellowship

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