Recap: Looking backwards and forwards at Startup Victoria’s AGM.

Hi everyone, Startup Vic here!

On November 26th, we held our Annual General Meeting for 2019’s financial year. Our AGM is a time when members of our community can gather together, reflect on the challenges in the Victorian startup ecosystem (and the great progress being made), and look forward to how we can work together in 2020 to further our mission: supporting founder success.

At this event, we held elections for positions on Startup Victoria’s Board of Directors and heard from Startup Vic Chairperson, Peter Cameron. Below are some excerpts from Pete’s speech:

A round of applause for Scott Handsaker!

“We’re a people-focused organisation and I’d like to start by acknowledging the huge contribution of the co-founder of Startup Victoria, Scott Handsaker. After six years in the position, Scott is stepping down from the Startup Vic Board but will still be a close ally and supporter. We acknowledge Scott’s vision, hard work, and process-driven nature—he’s the wise man we go to with the hard problems. We thank him for all his work and wish him great success in the future (and hope he won’t be going far).”

– Peter Cameron, Chairman

Cheers to the team!

“I’d like to also acknowledge the work of our team.  This was the first full year for our CEO, Judy Anderson, and having someone that we can be totally confident in, makes our job as a board so much easier. 

“She is smart, driven and organised and has brought a new level of professionalism to the organisation.  She’s been very ably supported by Sid, Alex, and Mei—although Sid and Mei were lured away during the year.  Olivia and Jared have been fantastic in taking their places and going above and beyond.  Thank you, team!”

Thanks to the board!

“I’d like to acknowledge and thank the board for the work undertaken over the last year. Scott Handsaker; Morgan Ranieri; Alan Dee, for part of the year; Nic Hodges; Gus Balbontin, larger than life; and the great work of Daniel Ross who has come on-board and significantly enhanced our financial management and reporting. 

“We’re also delighted to see the opportunity for greater diversity going forward. The board has worked well together and always had founder growth and success as our key focus.”

– Peter Cameron, Chairman

Welcome new Startup Victoria Directors: Rachel Yang and Kirstin McIntosh!

We welcomed two new members to the Startup Victoria board during the AGM. Below, you can read both Rachel Yang and Kirstin McIntosh’s candidate statements – we look forward to welcoming and working with you over the next year!

Rachel Yang

“Startup Vic is an integral part of the startup ecosystem but I believe it has further potential to increase its support for aspiring, new and experienced founders.”

Rachel Yang is currently Investment Manager at The Giant Leap Fund, and will now bring her expertise and experience to the Startup Victoria board. With her, she promises to bring investor and founder insights, as well as a wealth of experience in strategy and governance.

Kirstin McIntosh

“Startup Victoria is perfectly placed to connect our founders to corporates and help homegrown teams succeed. That’s what I want to make happen.”

Kirstin McIntosh is Head of Partnerships at Cyrise, Australia’s cybersecurity venture accelerator. She loves connecting people and making things happen, and will bring her broad experience mentoring and working with startups.

Acknowledgements to our partners!

In order to survive, Startup Vic has had some great support from some key partners, and we thank these organisations profusely. Hopefully, the partnerships have been able to provide some real value to your organisations. 

We’d like to specifically call out a few of these partners, Peter Dawkins and the team at Victoria University;  Kate Cornick and LaunchVic; Campbell King, Caitlin Barker and all at mi-fi accountants and advisors for their generous pro-bono support for all our accounting and financial services. We’d also like to thank DLA Piper for the continued pro-bono legal advice in this and previous years, and the team at Coghlan Duffy + Co lawyers for the generous support in preparation for this AGM.

We recommend that any startup who needs accounting services or financial advice could do no better than reach out to the team at mi-fi and, whilst we’re talking of this, Coghlan Duffy + Co are great suppliers for all your legal needs.

We also want to acknowledge CreativeCubes.Co co-working spaces in Richmond and Hawthorn; The Commons in QV and Collingwood and Stone & Chalk for their ongoing support … and there are many other partners and supporters, too many to mention and we sincerely thank them all.

And we couldn’t survive without our community!

Our final ‘thank you’ is, of course, to all of you: the Startup Vic community! We are here to support you and have had an amazing time doing so over the last year. We understand how hard the hustle is when chasing your dreams, so we want to acknowledge and thank you for your dedication, hustle and courage.

What we’ve achieved.

During the year, Startup Vic has delivered many programs and activities. When you read through the list of activities for the year it’s impressive. Here’s just a few of them…

  • Above All Human – an international standard 25 speaker event
  • A strategic partnership with Victoria University involving many in-depth founder interviews, culminating in the soon-to-be-released magazine which is highlighting some of Victoria’s amazing founders.
  • A research project into the needs of growth-stage founders
  • A research project into founder mental health
  • The many monthly pitch nights, and similar events
  • The many fireside chats and education workshops
  • The establishment of Growth Club, our peer support program for growth-stage businesses—with monthly dinners and regular education events
  • Founder Connect—our fortnightly structured networking breakfasts
  • R&D Tax Summits
  • Pitch coaching (special thanks to Phil Ore of Marketing Entourage)
  • Support of many accelerators and 3rd party programs
  • Facilitation and support for many women-focused business initiatives

…to name just a few highlights (and I’ve left many out)

What we’re planning.

Looking to the future, we’ve got some ambitious plans to support the founders here in Victoria more and more. Here are just a few teasers…

  • Deliver even more regular, inclusive events for the startup community. We know how important networking and professional/personal development is to the founder, and we want to provide more opportunities in that area for our whole community.
  • Continue sharing content from the community, for the community. We love sharing news, event, and job submissions in our newsletter and on our website, and we ask all of you to continue submitting great content to keep the ball rolling!
  • Launch our Office Hours program. We’ve had this in the pipeline for quite a while, and we’re working hard in the background to get it ready to share. If you’re interested in becoming a mentor available through our program, keep an eye out on our newsletter for more information coming in the next couple of months.
  • Expand our network of Industry Partners so that we can provide more benefits to our members and maintain financial independence so that we can focus on who matters: our community.

This past year has been packed with some incredible events and work from the community, and we aim to keep improving in the future. We can’t wait to see what happens in 2020, and we hope you’ll join us for this journey!

Startup Victoria

If you are a premium member and would like access to the audited financial report for this year or the formal minutes for this AGM, please get in touch with us.

Image: The crowd at Impact Pitch Night 2019, one of our favourite events from this year. Credit to Seam Media.