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The History of the Australian Startup Ecosystem
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The History of the Australian Startup Ecosystem

Author: DayOne.fm

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In 'The History of the Australian Startup Ecosystem' podcast, join host Adam Spencer as they delve into the fascinating history of the Australian startup ecosystem. From the earliest tech companies to the success stories of today, this series covers it all.

Each episode will feature interviews with industry pioneers, entrepreneurs, and experts, as well as a deep dive into the events and cultural shifts that have shaped the Australian startup scene. From the dot-com boom to the rise of fintech, this podcast will provide a unique and informative look at the past, present, and future of the Australian startup ecosystem.

Whether you're a seasoned entrepreneur or just starting out in the world of startups, this podcast is sure to provide valuable insights and inspiration. Tune in to 'The History of the Australian Startup Ecosystem' to learn more about the trailblazers who have paved the way for today's innovators.

Want to go deeper? Listen to one of the 100+ interviews published in their entirety at dayone.fm/guests

Sign up for the newsletter at https://w2d1.com/newsletter and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.

This series is made possible thanks to our sponsors & partners.
Major Sponsors:
MYOB
Amazon Web Services
Investment NSW
CSIRO

Standard Sponsors:
UTS Startups
The Guild of Entrepreneurs
Western Sydney University's LaunchPad
Canberra Innovation Network
Curtin University
University of South Australia
LaunchVic
The Office of the South Australian Chief Entrepreneur
ANSTO
Newcastle University's Integrated Innovation Network
The University of Adelaide's ThincLab
Flinders University's New Venture Institute
UNSW Founders
UQ Ventures
James Cook University

Partners:
Startup Daily
Fishburners
Spark Festival
Spacecubed
Stone & Chalk
River City Labs

This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis:

Podsights - https://podsights.com/privacy
117 Episodes
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What does the future hold for the Australian startup ecosystem? After five episodes focused on the past, this episode will finally be tackling that question and look towards the future. What are our unique strengths and weaknesses as a country? What are the key challenges and opportunities we face?From investors, to academics, to government, to corporates and finally, to entrepreneurs - we highlight a variety of perspectives, looking at the individual roles each of us can play. Regardless of what seat we occupy on the bus, there is a place for people of all backgrounds in Australia’s startup community.This series was made possible by our sponsors and partners.Thanks to MYOB, AWS Startups, Investment NSW & CSIRO. We would like to acknowledge our earliest sponsors who decided to get involved with this story when it was just an idea on a piece of paper. Special thanks to UTS Startups & Murray Hurps for being our first sponsor, Western Sydney University’s LaunchPad and the Guild of Entrepreneurs.ANSTO, Canberra Innovation Network, Curtin University, University of South Australia, LaunchVic, The South Australian Government's Department of Industry, Innovation & Science, The University of Adelaide’s ThincLab, The University of Newcastle’s Integrated Innovation Network, Flinders University’s New Venture Institute, UNSW Founders, UQ Ventures & James Cook University.And to our promotional partners who have helped get this series in front of the startup community.Startup Daily, Fishburners, Spark Festival, River City Labs, Stone & Chalk and Spacecubed. This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis: Podsights - https://podsights.com/privacy
Episode 5 begins during the onset of the Coronavirus Pandemic which disrupted every facet of life as we knew it. As lockdowns and other measures were enacted throughout the country, different markets and industries were affected in different, and sometimes unexpected ways.We explore the good, the bad and the ugly, looking at the unprecedented ways in which the Australian startup ecosystem grapples with the global pandemic. From frozen immigration and talent, to remote working and digitisation, to impacts on diversity and much more, finally bringing our story to the present day. We briefly look at the identity of our startup ecosystem and current, ongoing events.This series was made possible by our sponsors and partners.Thanks to MYOB, AWS Startups, Investment NSW & CSIRO. We would like to acknowledge our earliest sponsors who decided to get involved with this story when it was just an idea on a piece of paper. Special thanks to UTS Startups & Murray Hurps for being our first sponsor, Western Sydney University’s LaunchPad and the Guild of Entrepreneurs.ANSTO, Canberra Innovation Network, Curtin University, University of South Australia, LaunchVic, The South Australian Government's Department of Industry, Innovation & Science, The University of Adelaide’s ThincLab, The University of Newcastle’s Integrated Innovation Network, Flinders University’s New Venture Institute, UNSW Founders, UQ Ventures & James Cook University.And to our promotional partners who have helped get this series in front of the startup community.Startup Daily, Fishburners, Spark Festival, River City Labs, Stone & Chalk and Spacecubed. This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis: Podsights - https://podsights.com/privacy
This episode kicks off in September 2015, when Malcolm Turnbull was elected as the 29th Prime Minister of Australia. Unveiling the National Innovation and Science Agenda as the cornerstone of his "Ideas Boom", we unpack the contents of this policy and explore the myriad of ways it impacted the startup ecosystem.The Australian startup ecosystem continued to enjoy significant growth in the second half of the 2010’s. We look at the increasing visibility of startups during this time, the establishment of prominent diversity and impact-focused organisations, startup conferences and many more.This series was made possible by our sponsors and partners.Thanks to MYOB, AWS Startups, Investment NSW & CSIRO. We would like to acknowledge our earliest sponsors who decided to get involved with this story when it was just an idea on a piece of paper. Special thanks to UTS Startups & Murray Hurps for being our first sponsor, Western Sydney University’s LaunchPad and the Guild of Entrepreneurs.ANSTO, Canberra Innovation Network, Curtin University, University of South Australia, LaunchVic, The South Australian Government's Department of Industry, Innovation & Science, The University of Adelaide’s ThincLab, The University of Newcastle’s Integrated Innovation Network, Flinders University’s New Venture Institute, UNSW Founders, UQ Ventures & James Cook University.And to our promotional partners who have helped get this series in front of the startup community.Startup Daily, Fishburners, Spark Festival, River City Labs, Stone & Chalk and Spacecubed. This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis: Podsights - https://podsights.com/privacy
In episode 3, we take a deep dive into the birth of the Australian startup ecosystem. Although everyone may have a different perspective on what caused this "cambrian explosion", we discuss 7 key catalysts in this episode.We shine a spotlight on the who, what, when, where and why of this critical event that formed much of what we see around us today. But underneath all this growth and excitement, we highlight that the ecosystem may perhaps still be far from perfect.This series was made possible by our sponsors and partners.Thanks to MYOB, AWS Startups, Investment NSW & CSIRO. We would like to acknowledge our earliest sponsors who decided to get involved with this story when it was just an idea on a piece of paper. Special thanks to UTS Startups & Murray Hurps for being our first sponsor, Western Sydney University’s LaunchPad and the Guild of Entrepreneurs.ANSTO, Canberra Innovation Network, Curtin University, University of South Australia, LaunchVic, The South Australian Government's Department of Industry, Innovation & Science, The University of Adelaide’s ThincLab, The University of Newcastle’s Integrated Innovation Network, Flinders University’s New Venture Institute, UNSW Founders, UQ Ventures & James Cook University.And to our promotional partners who have helped get this series in front of the startup community.Startup Daily, Fishburners, Spark Festival, River City Labs, Stone & Chalk and Spacecubed. This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis: Podsights - https://podsights.com/privacy
Episode 2 begins in the aftermath of the dot com bust. We explore the story of LookSmart through the lens of its co-founder, Evan Thornley and the tough choices he had to make. Up until this point, founders largely worked in isolation, however, they began to meet up more frequently after the bust, often in pubs or cafes, thanks to community groups like Innovation Bay. Conferences such as TinSHED and Web Directions would shine a spotlight on the fledgling startup ecosystem. We tell the story of some of Australia's first high growth startups in the early 2000s. The likes of Atlassian in 2003, Campaign Monitor in 2004, Red Bubble in 2006 and many more. Startup infrastructure followed shortly after and we saw the country's first incubators, accelerators and co-working spaces emerge. Just as things were finally looking up, another economic crisis had gripped the world once again. The Global Financial Crisis in 2008 undoubtedly caused a lot of grief, however, Australia was spared the worst of it. We highlight how the GFC held some unexpected benefits for Australian startups. As the end of the decade approached, new inventions like smartphones and social media and the mainstream adoption of Wi-Fi would come to touch every aspect of our lives, laying the foundation for a new wave of Australian startups - some of the most disruptive that Australia and the world would come to see.This series was made possible by our sponsors and partners.Thanks to MYOB, AWS Startups, Investment NSW & CSIRO. We would like to acknowledge our earliest sponsors who decided to get involved with this story when it was just an idea on a piece of paper. Special thanks to UTS Startups & Murray Hurps for being our first sponsor, Western Sydney University’s LaunchPad and the Guild of Entrepreneurs.ANSTO, Canberra Innovation Network, Curtin University, University of South Australia, LaunchVic, The South Australian Government's Department of Industry, Innovation & Science, The University of Adelaide’s ThincLab, The University of Newcastle’s Integrated Innovation Network, Flinders University’s New Venture Institute, UNSW Founders, UQ Ventures & James Cook University.And to our promotional partners who have helped get this series in front of the startup community.Startup Daily, Fishburners, Spark Festival, River City Labs, Stone & Chalk and Spacecubed. This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis: Podsights - https://podsights.com/privacy
In this episode, we explore the seed phase of the Australian startup ecosystem, tracing its roots to some of the earliest catalysts to what we see today. Australian pioneers started innovating well before anything resembled an ecosystem and before the term "startup" was used. We tell the story of trailblazers like the Nucleus Group in 1964, Fairlight in 1975, Computershare in 1978 and much more. We look at how the macroeconomic conditions in the late 70s and early 80s encouraged the "first great wave" of Australian startups, only for global capital markets to collapse suddenly in 1987. As the new millennium approached, we highlight how the mainstream adoption of the internet gave rise to some of our most recognisable dot com juggernauts, the likes of Seek, REA and Carsales, leading up to the dot com boom.This series was made possible by our sponsors and partners.Thanks to MYOB, AWS Startups, Investment NSW & CSIRO. We would like to acknowledge our earliest sponsors who decided to get involved with this story when it was just an idea on a piece of paper. Special thanks to UTS Startups & Murray Hurps for being our first sponsor, Western Sydney University’s LaunchPad and the Guild of Entrepreneurs.ANSTO, Canberra Innovation Network, Curtin University, University of South Australia, LaunchVic, The South Australian Government's Department of Industry, Innovation & Science, The University of Adelaide’s ThincLab, The University of Newcastle’s Integrated Innovation Network, Flinders University’s New Venture Institute, UNSW Founders, UQ Ventures & James Cook University.And to our promotional partners who have helped get this series in front of the startup community.Startup Daily, Fishburners, Spark Festival, River City Labs, Stone & Chalk and Spacecubed. This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis: Podsights - https://podsights.com/privacy
Steve Grace is CEO and founder of The Nudge Group, which works with startups and scale-ups to support them through various stages of business growth. Based in Australia, The Nudge Group has expanded globally with offices in the UK and Singapore. Steve also hosts the Give It A Nudge podcast, and is director of YBF Ventures. In his conversation with host Will Tjo, Steve discusses his belief that Australian companies put too much focus into the US and UK markets and too little in neighbouring Asian markets, as well as some of the ways covid has altered the ways companies do business in Australia and globally.See full show notes: https://w2d1.com/steve-graceThis podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis: Podsights - https://podsights.com/privacy
Peter Tippett is a serial entrepreneur with decades of experience working in startups both in Australia and around the world. He is currently working on three ventures, all of which he co-founded in the last few years: BodyMindLife, a platform for passionate community creators, educators, teachers and students, Vault3, which provides storage services on blockchain, and KULA, which utilises Web3 technologies to create online communities. In his conversation with host Will Tjo, Peter discusses his first hand experience seeing the internet evolve from Web 1.0 to today, as well as how he sees company ownership and management evolving in the future.See full show notes: https://w2d1.com/peter-tippettThis podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis: Podsights - https://podsights.com/privacy
John Allsopp is an author, web developer and conference organiser who’s been working in Australia’s startup ecosystem for nearly three decades. In 2006 he co-founded Web Directions, a conference series for people creating tools for the internet, at a time when the field was still relatively new. In his conversation with Adam, he discusses the very first Web Directions conference, which he sees as being “like the Woodstock of the Australian web industry”, as well as his perspective that over the last few decades the Australian startup ecosystem has evolved from a small “community” into a fully established “industry”.See full show notes: https://w2d1.com/john-allsoppThis podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis: Podsights - https://podsights.com/privacy
Lars Rasmussen is a Danish computer scientist and tech angel investor with a long history of working within the startup ecosystem both within Australia and internationally, including as co-founder of Google Maps, and as Director of Engineering for Facebook in London. In 2015, Rasmussen announced his departure from Facebook to co-found a music startup, Weav Musi, with his partner Elomida Visviki. In his conversation with guest host Will Tjo, Lars discusses his love of Sydney, what he sees as key ingredients for successful founders, as well as the difficult balancing act between self belief through adversity and knowing when to quit.See full show notes: https://w2d1.com/lars-rasmussenThis podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis: Podsights - https://podsights.com/privacy
Ric Richardson is an Australian inventor who first came to prominence as a result of his invention of Software Activation, a technique used in software anti-piracy. Ric founded the Uniloc Company and entered an agreement with IBM to commercialise the invention, which Ric says has now been used on two and a half billion computers globally. In 2011 a US court awarded Uniloc $388 million in damages after Microsoft was found to have infringed on Ric’s patent, and the subsequent publicity surrounding the case led to the TV program Australian Story creating an episode covering the trial. In his conversation with Adam, Ric discusses the surge of support he received after the Australian Story episode was watched by 2 million people, and what he sees as the contrasting skills and personalities needed for creating an invention, and running a company.See full show notes: https://w2d1.com/ric-richardsonThis podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis: Podsights - https://podsights.com/privacy
Brad Parsons is CEO and founder of Movus, a company that provides monitoring tools for industrial equipment with the mission of preserving the earth’s resources by improving the efficiency and life of industrial assets. At the time of recording Movius is active in 16 countries, and has ambitions for further growth. In his conversation with guest host Will Tjo, Brad discusses how he has seen an increased emphasis on funding for startups with a focus on environmental sustainability, as well as his belief that Australia’s startup ecosystem suffers from a greater degree of risk aversion than other nations.See full show notes: https://w2d1.com/brad-parsonsThis podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis: Podsights - https://podsights.com/privacy
Eloise Hall and Isobel Marshall are the founders of Taboo, a social enterprise that sell organic cotton pads and tampons, with all profits going towards eradicating period poverty. The Eloise and Isobel were first introduced to the social enterprise model of business in 2016 while students at high school, and began designing what would become Taboo during the summer holidays before commencing their final year of high school. In their conversation with guest host Will Tjo, Eloise and Isobell discuss how social enterprises fit within the broader startup community, as well as some of the considerations unique to social enterprises when considering various options for raising funds, such as crowdfunding campaigns or more traditional venture capital.See full show notes: https://w2d1.com/eloise-and-isobelThis podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis: Podsights - https://podsights.com/privacy
What will the new economy look like? As startups become the new way of life, Australia must become more open and less restrictive to encourage innovation. Hear entrepreneurs' firsthand accounts of their journey and learn what that has meant to the startup world.This podcast will give you a great insight into Australia’s innovation ecosystem by tracing its history and future. If you're curious as to how it all started, who were the innovators that helped transform it, and how this ecosystem interacts with others both domestically and around the world- this is a must-listen!This 6-part audio documentary and its accompanying 150+ interviews is a deep dive into the startup scene, both past and present and takes an exciting look at the future of Australia’s technological and economic transformation.Join us on this exciting journey, celebrating what has been accomplished and asking hard questions about where we’re heading and whether we’re on the right track.This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis: Podsights - https://podsights.com/privacy
Joshua Flannery is the Founder and CEO of Innovation Dojo, an organisation active in both Australia and Japan which was founded in 2016 to support startups and entrepreneurs. Josh (as he prefers to be called) has had a variety of roles in both Australia and Japan’s startup ecosystems. In his conversation with Adam, Josh discusses what he sees as some key differences between Australia and Japan’s startup ecosystems, as well as his time working as Director of the Sydney Startup Hub.See full show notes: https://w2d1.com/joshua-flanneryThis podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis: Podsights - https://podsights.com/privacy
Markus Kahlbetzer is CEO and founder of BridgeLane, which labels itself an “alternative investment company” and aims to bring innovation to more traditional industries including agriculture and real estate. Markus also founded Tank Stream Labs, a technology focused coworking space and community hub in Sydney. In his conversation with guest host Will Tjo, Markus discusses how he has seen Australia’s startup ecosystem evolve and grow over the last 10+ years, as well as what he sees as opportunities for government and universities to support the startup ecosystem to a greater extent than they do currently.See full show notes: https://w2d1.com/markus-kahlbetzerThis podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis: Podsights - https://podsights.com/privacy
Pauline Fetaui is General Manager at River City Labs, a startup community hub in Brisbane, as well as founder of CheeHoo, a personal assistant app designed to help busy people get things done. Originally from a corporate background, Pauline joined the startup ecosystem when she joined the River City Labs team in 2019. In her conversation with guest host Will Tjo, Pauline discusses what she sees as the difference between the corporate and startup worlds, as well as the differences between the startup communities in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.See full show notes: https://w2d1.com/pauline-fetauiThis podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis: Podsights - https://podsights.com/privacy
Kim Heras is Partner at 25Fifteen, a “startup studio” which as Kim describes in the episode is a model of startup support similar but distinct from accelerators and incubators. Kim has contributed to the growth of startup communities in Australia through many roles, including as Director of Fishburners, as Co-Founder of Pushstart, and as Chairman & co-founder of TechSydney, all of which are organisations that have aimed to support and advocate for startup founders. In his conversation with Adam, Kim discusses the genesis of Fishburners and Startmate, as well as other major milestones he’s witnessed during the growth of the Australian startup ecosystem.See full show notes: https://w2d1.com/kim-herasThis podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis: Podsights - https://podsights.com/privacy
Darryl Lyons is the Entrepreneur in Residence at both James Cook University in Cairns, Queensland, and at Farmers2Founders, a national Agri-tech organisation that helps aspiring entrepreneurs and founders from early idea validation through to business growth and international commercialisation. After running several businesses with mixed success, Darryl first encountered the startup world around 6 years ago at a startup weeking in Cairns and found the experience “life changing”. Since then, Darryl has worked in the startup world, with a particular focus on Agri-tech. In his conversation with guest host Will Tjo, Darryl discusses the unique advantages and challenges of founding a startup in regional Australia, as well as his belief that Australia has an opportunity to lead the world in Agri-tech.See full show notes: https://w2d1.com/darryl-lyonsThis podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis: Podsights - https://podsights.com/privacy
Emily Casey is the founder and director of What The Health, a health media company and community that aims to fuel the next generation of health innovation in Australia. Emily initially pursued a more traditional career in medicine before entering the startup world. In addition to What The Health, Emily has worked as a Community Coordinator for Stone & Chalk, a startup hub in Sydney. In her conversation with guest host Will Tjo, Emily discusses the reasons why she left a more traditional career path in medicine to enter the startup world, as well as the importance of the startup ecosystem having visibility within other industries such as the health industry.See full show notes: https://w2d1.com/emily-caseyThis podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis: Podsights - https://podsights.com/privacy
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