September 2022 Monthly Update

Michael Batko
October 3, 2022

Hi SM family,

I have some huge news for you: Demo Day is back in real life!

After years of lockdown restrictions wreaking havoc on everyone's Demo Day plans, multiple virtual Demo Days and a hybrid Demo Day earlier this year, the biggest and best startup night of the (half) year is back.

On October 12th, 16 ambitious founders will pitch their hearts out in front of a crowd of hundreds at the State Library of Victoria. We are so proud of this cohort and are excited to celebrate everything they have and will achieve.


🚀 Accelerator applications are open!

We’re on a mission to unleash the best early-stage founders... and we’re working through our community of mates to scour all corners of ANZ to find them. Often, the best founders are referred through our community, so we’d be so grateful if you could share this link with your founder friends.

🏆 Customer Success Fellowship applications are open too

Applications for our first-ever Customer Success Fellowship are now open. This program has been created to supercharge the careers of those working in (or aspiring to work in) customer-facing roles. Fellows will learn world-class strategies for improving the customer experience, reducing churn, and driving revenue, as well as joining a community of customer-obsessed legends. If you know anyone who is looking to upskill (or land a job) in this function, please send them here.

Startmate goals

Our mission is to make Australia and New Zealand the best places in the world to build a company.

In pursuit of our mission, we are investing in four key streams. The next three months are all about building focus, momentum and integration in these streams.

🦄 Founders: find the best early-stage founders and help them grow into unicorns.

  • The Winter22 cohort has some of the highest mid-program feedback we’ve had yet, with scores of 90 (team) and 85 (individual) from the founders.
  • Mentor NPS has dropped. Analysis is in progress. I will report more on our action plan in the next GBU.
  • Applications for S22 are streaming in! We’re already at over 100 started, with a long way to go before applications close.

💸 Investments: surround these founders with the investors to back their wild ideas.

  • We’ve secured $10m in verbal commitments for the Continuity Fund, so we’re going full steam ahead with legal docs to get it into the bank and able to deploy.
  • Our fourth First Believers cohort is in progress with high levels of engagement... especially after Brady and Benji went to welcome drinks in three different states across two countries!
  • We’re looking into systemising and scaling our Small Bets Fund to enable us to review hundreds of potential investments.

🔈 Media: build Startmate into a beacon for ANZ’s most ambitious people.

  • Founder storytelling is on track. Check out our series of Winter22 founder intro videos here and our investment notes here.

🚀 Careers: build the richest community of operators in ANZ and supercharge their careers.

  • Product Management 101 has wrapped up. The post-mortem is in progress, but feedback is overwhelmingly positive. The mid-program NPS was 43, for example, which is a great first validation for an MVP.
  • Women Fellowship onboarding is in progress with 100+ incredibly talented women joining our Spring22 cohort. If the energy at the community drinks across Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Auckland last night is anything to go by, this could be our vibest cohort yet…


Stream Leadership offsite: Our stream leadership team recently spent a few days down the coast to reflect on where Startmate is going and how we’re getting there. We’re all walking away feeling incredibly amped about the uncapped potential and future of this team.

🏔 New Zealand: The whole team went to Auckland for Blackbird's Sunrise festival and our quarterly offsite! It was an epic week of hanging out, meeting people, exploring, boardgames, escape rooms, hikes, and just generally revelling in each other’s company. Some very snazzy and formal photo evidence below.


Farewell Cassie and Ben: With heavy hearts, we say adios to the wonderful Cassie and the incredible Ben. Both have quickly become such a beloved part of the Startmate team and we absolutely loved having them on board.


😞 Wellbeing drop: This month, we got our lowest ever wellbeing score. We move fast at Startmate and the high levels of autonomy and responsibility combined with the challenging nature of taking time away from work in a small team has caught up with us. There will be lots of actions and ambitions in this space as we keep pushing for improvement here.

As always open for any questions. Hit me up or post into #ama on Slack!

Thanks, team!

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