August 2021 Monthly Update

Michael Batko
September 1, 2021
August 2021

Hi SM Family,

We were featured on the cover of the inaugural List of Top 100 Innovators.

This is not a reflection on any one or four people, nor the Startmate team, but the entire Startmate community.

A reflection of the place we’ve built and are building to find your people, be yourself and chase ambitious dreams.

This is what you’re all part of.

A place where founders are encouraged to chase wild ambitions.

Fellows don’t have to work as a cog in a machine, but can work on something they are passionate about.

Student Fellows don’t have to join a bank or consulting company to get 'business experience' but can build a startup to work on the future.

  • Oli doesn’t need a degree, but Coursera on Neural Networks and the Student Fellowship set him up to join the future of agriculture at Halter; and
  • Eddie doesn’t have to join oil giant Chevron to have an impact on energy distribution, but can join Gridcognition’s team to work on decentralised energy projects instead.

The Startmate team can go and announce building a city, and state governments will take it seriously.

We’ve built a supportive epicentre where it is celebrated to be ambitious.


  • Do you have an unhappy Engineering friend who has always dreamt about startups? intro me! The Engineering Fellowship is kicking off soon!
  • Know anyone in government to help us make the Startmate City vision a reality? Pls intro me!

Startmate Goals


1. Lay the Foundations: Set up Startmate for long-term success

  • Ben Vickers joined us as Head of Financial Operations just in time for the EOFY and all our fund reporting obligations.
  • Nicole Meaker (Women Fellowship cohort 3) joined us to get the Engineering Fellowship up and running.
  • Lots of companies are interested in sponsoring the Startmate Fellowship Programs to get first access to great talent. If you are, hit reply!

2. Ambition Magnet: Attract the most ambitious founders, operators and investors

  • Liminal* is our operator conference to showcase the Fellowship talent and inspire new ambitious talent to join startups. The week-long festival had 1,012 people registered.
  • Our first-ever Founders Fellowship has kicked off with 87x future founders out of 365x applications. Stay tuned for all the new companies out of the cohort!

3. Smooth Operator: set us up as the smoothest plug-and-play system to serve the team

  • We’ve started experimenting with recording content to leverage across all programs.
  • The Founders Fellowship selection was another big experiment, where the applicants interviewed each other and decided themselves who was going to join the cohort.
  • We’ve made a start to bring the whole community onto one platform. Watch this space!


  • We were featured on the cover of The Australian's The List: Top 100 magazine, with our 10-year vision to build Startmate City. And off the back of this, lots of state government and regional councils are reaching out.
  • We had 1,012 registrations for Liminal*, the pre-cursor conference for the Women Fellowship.
  • 130 engineers attended our 'Engineer to Founder' event in partnership with Junior Devs, as an initial outreach for the upcoming Engineering Fellowship. Special mention to Anubhav for bringing the ideas and vibes.
  • Student Fellowship finished with an NPS of 80, with 33 students already in startup jobs.
  • Similarly, the last Women Fellowship cohort has already seen 49 women join a startup.


  • Small Bets Fund was delayed further but is now up and running with upgraded legal and fund docs. We have $415k in signed subscription agreements of the minimum fund size of $750k (targeted $1m).
  • The first few hundred Liminal* registrants got a whole heap of emails with calendar invites, and we soon realised not everyone uses Gmail. Epic fail. But we managed to quickly onboard everyone to a new platform called Luma which helped.


  • We’re sad to see our Product Manager go and have now started to rethink the future organisational structure of Startmate.

Startmate in the News

(As Startmate is slowly becoming a Media Empire under our Queen Bronte, we might have to rethink the next section of the update in the future.)


  • Startmate dubbed a “unicorn factory” and featured on the cover of The Australian’s inaugural magazine The List: 100 Innovators. Dozens of members of the Startmate family also featured! Shout out to Phoebe Gardner, Lewis Collins, Saron Berhane, Henry Brindle, Joshua Wilson, George Hartley, Julia Reisser, Michael Kingsbury, Kate Morris, Michael Fox, Kjetil Hansen, Nicole Liu, Lachlan McKnight, Evan Tait-Styles, Ursula Hogben, Ben Sze, Jeremy Cox, Duncan Anderson, Pieter Danhieux, Matias Madou, Fatemah Beydoun, Katherine McConnell.
  • We publicly released our vision for Startmate City
  • Startmate’s application spike and “city of innovation” plans featured in SmartCompany
  • Liminal* makes headlines in Idealog, B&T and Women Love Tech for demystifying startup careers


  • MEL20 Alumni Phoebe Gardner, Fellowship Sponsor Katherine McConnell, Women Fellow Nicole Liu and Mentor Kate Morris highlighted for “breaking boundaries in 2021”
  • Apple CEO Tim Cook plugs MEL18 Alumni JigSpace
  • Startmate Mentor Maxine Minter tells the Sydney Morning Herald Australia’s sophisticated investor test remains a significant barrier for novice investors
  • MEL20 Alumni Gridcognition has secured a $998,000 Accelerating Commercialisation grant
  • Sydney Morning Herald covers Adore Beauty Founder and Startmate Mentor Kate Morris’ new investor role
  • Our W21 climate cohort featured in Innovation Aus
  • S21 Alumni EntryLevel featured in Startup Daily for their plans to reskill the world
  • W21 Founder Prisca Ongonga-Daehn offers advice in Balance the Grind
  • SYD19 Alumni Muso announces on LinkedIn they’ve hired Startmate Mentor Simon Raik-Allen at CTO
  • S21 Alumni ResusRight featured in The Australian and on a list of 10 life-saving Australian inventions
  • W21 startup Ripe Robotics featured in Business News Australia
  • SYD17 Alumni Morse Micro featured in the Australian Financial Review for dodging a semiconductor crisis thanks to strong links to Asia
  • Fable Co-Founder and Startmate Mentor Michael Fox tells the Sydney Morning Herald plant-based meat products are nearing a tipping point
  • S21 Alumni Sicona featured in Saur Energy for their $3.7 million raise
  • Street Talk says SYD20 Alumni 5B is seeking up to $50 million for a Series B round
  • Vively acquires SYD17 Alumni Honee to become largest wellness booking platform


  • Bronte speaks with Women Fellow Katrina Hau about landing her dream job
  • Women Fellows Baidy Laffan and Anna Zam launch a podcast on Spotify to spotlight trailblazing women
  • I tweeted about Student Fellow Shanna Lam joining Accelerator Alumni Swoop Aero
  • Lawyers Weekly reports Josef hiring  Women Fellow Prue Burns as Head of Legal and Ops
  • Bronte writes about how the past 12 months have been transformational for A21 Women Fellow Stephanie Hall
  • Student Fellow Geena Grant writes up Linus Lee’s advice for pulling off the impossible
  • Bronte speaks with Student Fellow Tsamara Ramadhanti about falling in love with tech
  • Student Fellow (and Blackbird intern) Michael Lew writes up Niki Scevak’s words of wisdom for young people
  • Student Fellow Angela Huang blogs about the no-code revolution
  • Startmate Coach Jeff Deutsch takes to LinkedIn to support his coachee Lien Pham
  • Student Fellow Iris Chen shares some advice from Startmate Coach Hannah Field

Thanks Team!

Michael Batko

CEO, Startmate

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