This article on The University of Sydney website covers a number of activities I am involved in including Incubate and the Commonwealth Bank’s Unleashing Innovation Program.
My favorite quote:
We want to make sure aspiring entrepreneurs at the University have every possible advantage moving forward into their future careers.
As Mark Hawthorne points out in the Sydney Morning Herald today, entrepreneur used to be a bad word in Australia.
Much has changed and as I wrote in my last post, entrepreneurial fervour is at its zenith in Australia. But not just in that country. We are seeing massive increases in activity in many parts of the world – Africa is on fire, China is booming, Malaysia is massively supportive of the entrepreneurial culture and even countries like Singapore are raising the entrepreneurial bar.
I’ve been in business for 30 years, the first 15 saw me get to the point of being a corporate lawyer in a multinational, the second 15 have been a living, breathing, hell of an entrepreneurial ride and I’m very grateful to all those I’ve interacted with along the way for making it such a blast!
I don’t want to dampen anyone’s entrepreneurial spirit, but choosing this path is not always roses. You will have massive moments of doubt, you will open an empty wallet, you will face naysayers along the way, you get the picture. I’ve not only seen all these aspects personally , but also in my work as an executive coach and entrepreneurial mentor.
However if you achieve the entrepreneurial triple helix of Focus, Accountability and Balance (FAB) then your journey will be a far more enjoyable one, be more likely to see you achieve your goals and arrive at your destination in one piece. I’ll be writing more about the FAB triple helix in a future post, so stay tuned.
I’ve had a number of people approach me in frustration at the recent article on the front page of the Sydney Morning Herald highlighting how entrepreneurs are moving over to Silicon Valley in droves due to the lack of support they are getting in Australia.
It’s a serious situation and one I highlighted in my recent submission to the Federal Government. But I also want to paint a positive picture around the article in the SMH.
Here’s my take:
UPDATE: Nick Leeder, Google’s ANZ MD, echoes my sentiments in an article in the SMH, “Aussies are always going to travel, and that’s what makes this such a vibrant country. The trick is to get them back faster, and with their talented international mates in tow.”
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.