Bootstrap, Accelerator, Venture Capital: Financing Options for Early Stage Companies

Neighbourhood ( and LaunchVic present Bootstrap, Accelerator, Venture Capital: Financing Options for Early Stage Companies.

We’re in a golden age of financing options for early stage companies. There are billions of dollars of venture capital available and hundreds of accelerator programs – and that’s just in Australia.

It’s also never been easier to bootstrap an early stage business, with the tools to build physical, virtual or service-based companies being highly prevalent and cheap.

As an entrepreneur your challenge is to find the right option for you, your business and ultimately your customers.

In this curated panel discussion we’ve brought together people with a range of experience across the spectrum: from bootstrapping, to accelerator, to venture capital. Our aim is to give a balanced perspective to help entrepreneurs make the right decisions.

This will be a panel discussion lead by Ned Dwyer, Expert-in-Residence at Neighbourhood, with a question and answer session for audience participation at the conclusion of the evening.


Nick Crocker is a Partner at Blackbird Ventures where he invests in Australian founders with global ambition. Previously, he has worked on Product Strategy & Operations at Under Armour and Product Manager at MyFitnessPal. In 2012, he co-founded Sessions, a health coaching company, which MyFitnessPal acquired in 2013. Sessions was backed by Collaborative Fund, Blackbird Ventures, SV Angel and Joshua Kushner. Sessions is a Rock Health company.

He also co-founded We Are Hunted, which was acquired by Twitter in 2012. In 2010, he was a Product Manager at Boxee, helping to launch the Boxee Box.

He holds a Political Science and Law degrees from the University of Queensland. While studying, he worked as a journalist with News Ltd. His work has been published in Wired, Fast Company and Harvard Business Review.

Holly Cardew is the Founder & CEO of She started the company while building ecommerce stores for retailers in regional New South Wales. Being in a regional town, she decided to hire remote talent from around the world to help her scale the company. Holly has hired hundreds of remote team members and is passionate about the future of work.

Holly has spent time in the startup ecosystems in San Francisco, Sydney, Brisbane and now Melbourne. And has been part of muru-D and 500 Startups.

Ned Dwyer is a Melbourne-born, San Francisco-based entrepreneur building the future of corporate spending with Spritz (

From agency owner to second time startup founder he has a range of experience in going from zero to one both in Australia and the US. For his previous company, Elto, he raised capital from Blackbird Ventures before taking the business global and ultimately an exit to Nasdaq-listed GoDaddy in 2015.

Ned has been a part of the Australian startup ecosystem for 10+ years as not only a founder but a community builder (The Hive), investor (Startmate/Sapling), consultant and mentor. In a market filled with 9-figure funding rounds Ned is proud to have bootstrapped his current business to their first customers.


Neighbourhood is two creative coworks in Fitzroy, making it feel a bit nice to come to work every day. Neighbourhood was created specifically with creative professionals in mind. There’s no ‘hustle’ neons, no shrine to Silicon Valley, and no tech bros. Just beautiful, quiet, creative spaces to think and make amazing work.

LaunchVic is leading the development of a globally-connected startup ecosystem.

With the help of startup founders, entrepreneurs and investors, corporates and universities, they aim to build a startup ecosystem that can strengthen the economy, encourage more people to work with and for startups, and represent all Victorians.

Their focus lies in the areas of funding, community building and global recognition for the Victorian startup ecosystem.