The Science of Startups and the Symbiosis between Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital

It’s been a really interesting week in Sydney. On Friday afternoon the latest cohort of Startmate startups strutted their stuff in a demo day to a capacity crowd at DLA Piper’s offices in the city.

Yesterday, Eric Ries spoke to another, much larger, audience on his Lean Startup theories. The auditorium at the Australian Technology Park hasn’t buzzed like that since the heady days of 1999!

Eric’s thesis that we should be measuring and managing startups in a much more sophisticated way totally resonates with me. I have been calling for a science of startups for a while now and in fact included this as one of my main points in a submission I put forward to the Australian Federal Government earlier this week. They had put out an Issues Paper calling for submissions (I understand this was targeted at certain people and organisations) on the state of entrepreneurship and venture capital in the country.

My submission (you can read the entire thing here) spoke to the establishment of an Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship & Venture Capital (ACEVC). This Centre will include an Entrepreneurship Conservatory that is focused on developing a results-based set of training programs for upskilling entrepreneurs using a real time, interactive pedagogy that will form the basis for a ‘science of startups’.

I also call for a VC College that can provide real life experiential training on the job for successive generations of Australian venture capitalists – an initiative designed to build up a true venture capital industry.

I believe that ACEVC is transportable to many other geographies so for all metarand readers from other parts of the world than Australia: feel free to adopt these ideas for your own country.

Besides Eric’s push for lean startups another great evangelist for the science of startups is Steve Blank with his recently released book, The Startup Owner’s Manual. I highly recommend both books for entrepreneurs.

Should/when ACEVC gets up and running, it will draw heavily on the the great work Eric and Steve have done so far to codify the science of startups.




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2 thoughts on “The Science of Startups and the Symbiosis between Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital

  1. Randall,
    It resonates. First thoughts. Good coverage of issues,esp as Steve B & ors have also recorded the history of ‘adventure capital’ elsewhere. Even if one looks right back to the Royal Society backed ‘prizes’ for developing solutions to problems from circa late 1600’s onward (eg. Harrison’s H4), the driver was fear (war, competing territories) and the Government or Crown backed it. So to Valve Alley in the 20’s, Radar Valley, Microwave Valley, Germanium Valley early 50’s then Silicon Valley late 50’s now … Optical Valley? It’s a self-feeding innovation engine.

    What’s our local ‘fear’, and our local edge? And will our Fed Govt even get that engine concept and pump-prime it with significant capital? eg expand DSTO significantly? Plus we may need to replicate the Israeli education model from Grade 3 as well. Then select the best 15 ideas, initiate 7 at once, expect 4 to fail and pray 3 will work… A good start?

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