We've made changes to Open House, Office Hours and the Accelerator application process: Here's everything you need to know

Bronte McHenry
November 4, 2021
Open House Startmate
Eight of our Open House speakers

One of our values is ‘we’re a startup too’. What this means is we tend to move fast, experiment, test, and ditch what isn’t working.

It’s for this reason we’ve made changes to Open House (formerly Office Hours) and the Accelerator application process. 

Open House is now a standalone festival of startup ideas, built for founders at every stage of the journey. What’s changed is there will no longer be a 1:1 mentoring component to Open House. Instead, every startup that applies for the Accelerator will receive a 1:1 slot with one of our mentors.

Got questions? Here is the what, why and how of our changes to Open House and the Accelerator application process.

Q: What’s changed about Open House?

Open House is now a standalone events series, which will run twice a year, focused on bold new ideas and company-building best practice, featuring some of the most ambitious, talented and experienced founders and operators in the startup ecosystem. 

What’s changed is there is no longer a 1:1 mentoring component.

Q: Why did you change the Open House format?

When we began our Office Hours program, we wanted to make the idea of startup mentorship and investment much more accessible to a broader group of founders, especially those without warm networks in the industry. 

Since then, the industry has come in leaps and bounds and many different organisations have followed on to open up their calendars for mentorship and investment intros throughout the year. 

Looking ahead, we want to throw our energy and resources at two new challenges.

First, we want to offer more first round Accelerator interviews than ever before. This priority will be actioned for our Summer22 cohort.

Second, we want to find the region's most ambitious founders working in some of the most interesting areas of startup development, and bring the community together around these ideas.

We plan to achieve this through our new Discord community, SM Underground, and via a series of thematic events within Open House.

Q: Who are your mentors?

Our mentor community is made up of the most experienced founders and operators in the Australian and New Zealand startup ecosystem. They are selected not because they have money to invest, but because they have lessons to share. 

Every single one of our mentors is a handful of steps ahead of the founders who go through our Accelerator program, making them the best people to offer tailored mentorship. 

Our mentors include Adore Beauty’s Kate Morris, Canva’s Christian Iacullo, Sendle’s Craig Davis, former Google VP Hugh Williams, serial angel investor Rayn Ong, Flying Fox’s Kylie Frazer and Cicada’s Sally-Ann Williams.

Q: Should I apply for the Accelerator?

Yes. The Startmate Accelerator unleashes the ambition of Australia and New Zealand’s best founders, and propels them toward their goals. 

To date, we have invested in 170+ startups, with a collective portfolio value of more than $2 billion. 

Our alumni are in all different industries, and include the likes of Bugcrowd, Edrolo, Propeller Aero, WORK180, Josef, Jigspace, Amber, Verve Super, 5B, Bardee, Heaps Normal. 

Whether you’re a solo founder or part of a team, technical or non-technical, have $1 million in ARR or haven’t even got a product, we can help you. 

If you’re wildly ambitious and doing your life’s work, please apply.

Q: Should I register for Open House?

Yes. Open House has been designed to offer value to startups at all stages, from pre-seed through to Series A and beyond. 

You’ll learn from the likes of Culture Amp Co-Founder and Chief Product Office Rod Hamiltion, Future Founder and Silicon Valley veteran Rishi Mandal and HealthMatch Founder Manuri Gunawardena.

You’ll also have the opportunity to join us in the studio, as we record our brand new podcast series Underground, which dives deep on the big ideas at the fringe, and the innovations helping society make big leaps forward. 

Topics include Web3, sextech, the future of media, synbio and the future of waste. 

If you want a peek into the future, and to learn from the best of the best, this is the event for you.

Q: Haven’t you changed your standard investment terms too?

Yes. From Summer22 onward, Startmate will invest $120,000 on a $1.5m post-money SAFE* for founders without a prior valuation, and $120,000 matching the last valuation and terms for founders who have previously raised.

Why? The Australian and New Zealand startup ecosystem has grown in leaps and bounds in the past 5 years, but our standard investment terms have remained the same. 

We are changing our investment terms in order to give our founders additional runway, remain competitive and give our mentors sufficient skin in the game. 

*You can read all about these changes here.

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