June 2021 Monthly Update

Michael Batko
June 30, 2021
June 2021

Hi SM Family,

We’re halfway through the year.

Last month - here - I provided an overview of the SM team + our products. 

Now, it is time to take a step back and reflect on where we’re at.


Startmate’s mission is to increase the likelihood of founder success.

We’re building the epicentre for startup ambition - the best place to build a company.


This is what I presented in Dec 2020:

2021 Theme: Team and Product Growth

  1. Team - hire 7x FTE ✅
  2. Product - launch full-scale Student ✅, Engineering Fellowship 💫 and First Believers ✅
  3. Back Founders before they are Founders - raise $1m small bets fund 💫 and launch Founders Fellowship 💫

We’re on track to hit all these milestones by the end of the year.

The Founders Fellowship applications are open, Engineering Fellowship is being planned and the Small Bets Fund is verbally committed at above $1m with legal docs in the works.

What else happened at Startmate in the past 6 months? Brace yourselves...

  • Grew the team from 4 to 14 people.
  • Created an ESOP and made the team owners of Startmate
  • Distributed 1.4x of the 2016 fund through Elevio’s acquisition, and 1.1x of the 2015 fund through a secondary in Propeller
  • Confirmed LaunchVic funding of $1.8m direct and $1.25m fund investment over the next 3 years
  • Ran S21 Accelerator with 18x startups, and cohort 5 Women Fellowship with 100x women
  • Kicked off Student Fellowship cohort 2 of 177x students, and First Believers cohort 2 of 40x aspiring investors
  • Facilitated 1,000+ 1:1 mentor <> founder conversations through Open House and exposed 1,000+ operators to world-class operators through the Liminal conference

What the hell is happening?

A lot is happening at Startmate, so let me visualise our strategy.

Let me tell you the story of Startmate’s Diamond Rocket.💎 🚀 ©

  • H1 2021 - going wide - was all about team and product growth 
  • H2 2021 - going narrow - is all about the team hitting our stride, creating processes, templates and narrowing down the Startmate product template
  • 2022 - going to the moon - we’ll be taking all the learnings, templates and best practices and accelerating even faster


  • Know someone looking for a co-founder or who wants to start a company? Send them to the Founders Fellowship. Applications are open!
  • Student Interns >> Do you want junior talent to jump in to help with Engineering, Design or BizOps? Sign up here if you want a Student intern for 3-6+ months!

Startmate Goals


1. Extend our reach - team, outreach, events, equitable design, segmented database

  • Welcome 3x new Startmates - Phoebe Pincus (Chief of Staff), Joey Wong (Product Manager) and Renee Bibby (Intern)
  • We’re in the first round interview stage of hiring our new FinOps Manager
  • We’ve made the whole Startmate team owners of Startmate Ops Pty Ltd through an ESOP. This is a massive milestone for the team which embodies our ownership mindset

2. Explicit infrastructure - copy paste program infrastructure, dashboards, FinOps

  • Kicked off the ‘going narrow’ part of the diamond by creating our first playbooks

3. Experiment with products - Accelerator, Fellowship (Women, Student, Eng, Founders), First Believers, City

  • The full-scale Student Fellowship launched with 177x students and 150x coaches (vs 20 students in our summer MVP cohort)
  • Kicked off full-scale First Believers with 40x people in cohort 2 (vs 14 First Believers in MVP cohort)


  • Student Fellowship and First Believers Slack channels are buzzing
  • Committed $2.1m fund for W21 before Interview Days
  • Made 21x offers for the W21 accelerator


  • Small Bets Fund legal documents are further delayed. The fund still expected to close by end of July
  • We’re a bit behind on fully rolling out our H2 goals, mismanaged on my behalf as our team grew so much


  • Sadly, we had to last-minute cancel our in-person offsite. The remote one was fun - but we still don’t know if Ryan Walker (NZ-based) is real as we’ve never met him in person 👀

Startmate in the news



Women Fellowship


  • Christina Hobbs on the budget reforms that could make women’s lives better in retirement - Sydney Morning Herald

Thanks, Team!

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