Launching a startup can be a daunting task in itself, without all the added questions of who to talk to, where to go and how to get involved in all the right communities. If you’re asking these questions and you happen to be in Melbourne, we’ve put together a handy guide just for you!
“If you have a strong, loyal community, you can do anything.” — Jacob DeHart (Co-Founder, Threadless)
It doesn’t have to be intimidating or lonely as a startup founder, in fact there are amazing communities out there aimed at supporting and bringing together startups to avoid this. Consider getting amongst one of Melbourne’s startup communities to meet new people, gain insight into the local culture, make valuable connections, ask questions and learn new things to take your business forward.
“Startup Victoria is all about helping you find the other people around you who are fighting the good fight as well. It’s a place to celebrate your wins, commiserate over struggles and push each other further along the path to success. Startup Victoria is the place to find resources to guide you and people to inspire you on your Startup journey.”
“Startup Melbourne is an organisation focused on events (designed to help connect the business community) and practical business education geared at enhancing the quality of local entrepreneurship.”
A great way to get to know people in the local startup community is to attend events. Go along, introduce yourself, hear some valuable talks, and get involved in the conversation afterwards. Events, whether directly related to your venture or not, will be a quick and effective way to integrate into the community.
“Melbourne Silicon Beach (MSB) is an informal group for anyone interested in founding or working in startups, dev/design in web/mobile tech, IoT, freelancing, investing or working with people in that space. We are a diverse bunch covering all ages, backgrounds and first point of call for newcomers to Melbourne. MSB is about you, we provide you the platform that will enable you to be that awesome startup founder, tech founder, coder, freelancer or whoever you want to be.”
Startup Grind Melbourne
“Startup Grind is the largest independent startup community, actively educating, inspiring, and connecting 1,000,000 entrepreneurs in over 200 cities. The cornerstone of our global community are monthly events featuring successful local founders, innovators, educators and investors who share lessons learned on the road to building great companies. To date, Startup Grind has helped millions of entrepreneurs find mentorship, connect to partners and hires, pursue funding, and reach new users.”
Creative Mornings Melbourne
CreativeMornings Melbourne is a monthly breakfast lecture series for creative types in Melbourne, Australia. Each event is free, includes a 20min talk + coffee!
“Everyone is creative. A creative life requires bravery and action, honesty and hard work. We are here to support you, celebrate with you, and encourage you to make the things you love. We believe in the power of community. We believe in giving a damn. We believe in face-to-face connections, in learning from others, in hugs and high-fives. We bring together people who are driven by passion and purpose, confident that they will inspire one another, and inspire change in neighborhoods and cities around the world. Everyone is welcome.”
“TEDxMelbourne is an independent organisation created in the spirit of TED’s mission, “ideas worth spreading.”
Our mission is to bring people who care about humanity and the world together. We envision a community of insightful, wise and intelligent people with the goal to shape our world as a community for the better. Because, we are not just about the ideas worth spreading. We are compassion, joy, equality, humanity and change worth spreading.”
“The spirit of coworking allows you to find coworkers who are worth working with.” — Cynthia Chiam
While 69 percent of entrepreneurs start their businesses at home, 91% have better interactions with others after coworking, 50% report higher income, 68% focus better, and 70% feel healthier! Coworking can boost your startup in more ways than one, and facilitate those important connections you need to move forward.
“Inspire9 is the original community-led coworking space for Melbourne’s startups, freelancers, and creative entrepreneurs. Inspire9 is a community in the truest sense. We share ideas, responsibilities and opportunities. We collaborate on projects, help our neighbours with a tricky technical problem and broker business deals over a game of pool or ping-pong.”
York Butter Factory
“The York Butter Factory is the coworking space and community for Melbourne’s early-stage technology entrepreneurs. We believe in a culture of collaboration, resource sharing and tough love to achieve mutual wins and to promote the cross-pollination of experience and ideas.”
“At Hub, we provide the resources and learning opportunities to scale your business for long term success. As an Australian startup, we understand the unique needs of our members. We’re still growing. We want to help you do the same.”
“The Commons is an ecosystem of businesses and individuals looking to connect, focus and grow. Whether you need high speed internet, fully-equipped studios, big boardrooms, or beer on tap, we provide the environment, the tools the connections and the space your business needs to work.”
Startup Accelerators & Incubators
“We invest in startups with big ideas, exceptional teams, and loads of passion. Over an intensive 3 month program, we help our companies build better products, accelerate their growth and build successful — and globally scalable — businesses.”
“MAP’s vision is to enhance the culture of entrepreneurship. We host Public Forums, Master Classes and the MAP Velocity Series to up-skill and connect budding entrepreneurs. Top startups are awarded access into the MAP Startup Accelerator. From those who have a business idea, to those who are working on a startup, MAP provides the networks and expertise to accelerate your success.”
“Startmate helps Australian founders succeed through a mentor network of successful founders. Mentors invest their own money and time. Startmate is powered by its mentors — successful startup founders who invest their own time and money in each batch.”
Melbourne Innovation Centre
“As a business incubator, Melbourne Innovation Centre provides space and services to accelerate small business growth. We strive to support the growth and success of entrepreneurs and startups through the delivery of world-class incubation and acceleration programs.”
“We are an inclusive group of Angel investors investing in high growth, entrepreneurial Australian businesses to realise high returns for the founders and ourselves. We are based in Melbourne with members from metropolitan and rural Victoria, and links to Angel groups across Australia, USA, Europe and Asia. Our investments are actively syndicated in Australia and internationally.”
“Jolimont Capital is a leading private equity fund manager in Australia and New Zealand specialising in fast-growth technology companies. With our active investment management style Jolimont Capital works with exceptional entrepreneurs and executives to transform growth companies into strong, sustainable business enterprises and industry leaders.”
“Conferences provide a unique convergence of networking, learning, and fun into a single package. A good conference forces you to grow and challenge yourself.” —Rich Brooks
Conferences are not just an excuse to take a break from work, but an opportunity to learn, upskill, connect and network. Invest the time and money into conferences to kickstart your startup journey on the right foot.
“Pause is Australia’s premier creative, tech and business event. A catalyst for innovation, a uniter of all industries, and a platform for the future, Pause brings the world’s foremost thought leaders from companies like Hyperloop, Girls in Tech, This American Life, Pixar, Lucasfilm, The Mill, Frog, HAX Accelerator and NASA together with local heroes, for one unforgettably action-packed event.”
“For high-growth startups and marketing teams looking to grow bigger, faster and stronger than ever before. Move past the ‘start-up’ mentality and develop your empire through growth and marketing.”
“A celebration of Australian Startups. Spark Festival is a ten day program of events and activities which showcases, supports and strengthens the vibrant startup and innovation ecosystem of Sydney, and all of NSW.”
“The place to learn from world-changing innovators, futurists, inspired thinkers and curious souls gathered together in an interactive community. A place to imagine the future. Discover strategies and techniques for creative leadership and innovation.”
There are plenty more resources out there, but we hope that these few choices give you a good place to start and a launchpad to skyrocket your startup venture! If you know any other must-know people, places, spaces or events for other entrepreneurs and innovators, let us know!