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September 22, 2012 - Comments Off on Thankful


A few days ago I arrived back in Melbourne from an amazing business trip to America (namely San Francisco). The trip was part of the AngelCube program, which I attended due to co-founding Kickfolio (more here). In the US, we met with an amazing amount of entrepreneurs, spent time with potential investors and mentors and connected with some incredible future clients.

There was one word that kept circling in my mind during and after the trip - Thankful.

I'm thankful to have inspiring people around me who pushed me to find a way to make the trip work financially (before I was even a co-founder of Kickfolio). I'm thankful for my wife, whom encouraged and worked hard to allow me to enjoy this experience to the fullest (even though it would be the longest time we've ever spent apart in nearly 10 years). I am thankful for my co-founders who challenged, inspired and kept me going during our days on the other side of the world.  I am thankful for the friends who kept up to date and enjoyed my photos/anecdotes throughout the trip. I am thankful for the great support we received from entrepreneurs we had only just met on American soil. I am thankful for the dedicated mentors and investors who asked the hard questions and pushed us to better define our startup at every turn. I am thankful for the time invested into us by everyone, especially when there was no physical/monetary benefit to be gained.

I am thankful to the many that continue to inspire me indirectly everyday.

And most of all, I am thankful for the opportunity of choice. The choice for anyone to pursue their dreams with an almost infinite amount of direction, ambition and inspiration.

View the photos from the trip.


November 13, 2011 - Comments Off on Why Startup Weekend Is Almost Essential – #swmelb

Why Startup Weekend Is Almost Essential – #swmelb

Last Friday, the 4th of November I attended Startup Weekend Melbourne (Hosted at York Butter Factory). The day before we had just pushed Barkles live to the public. Now why would any entrepreneur go to an intensive 54 hour weekend event the day after launching his own startup? Well, since you asked:

  • Passion
  • Commitment
  • Trust
  • Experience
  • Networking


I have a passion with the entrepreneurial world. Anyone who can create something from a random idea, get others involved and inspire them to build a business is nothing short of amazing. It is that passion that inspires my mind to keep creating and building everyday. If I have the chance to be around 100+ people doing the exact same thing, I'm going to jump all over it. Startup Weekend brings out the best in entrepreneurs. It forces them to look at their strengths, challenge their weaknesses and work as part of a team. When stress, anxiety, deadlines and pitching plagues the mind, it demands a certain level of focus, something that many of the entrepreneurs were facing for the first time.

To be around other experienced entrepreneurs in that time of need is essential. On the other side they need to be able to see that there is a force of people who want to change things for the better. Who want to challenge the status-quo. Who continually ask why and why not.


A month before Startup Weekend I made a commitment to Tyson Lundbech (a good friend and one of the organisers) that I would be attending. I had no idea Barkles would be launched the day before (or that it would be even be ready by then!). When the time came, we launched Barkles - then it hit me. That whole weekend I would be out of action for most of the day and night. Even so, I wanted to stick to my commitment because I truly believed in the experience that Startup Weekend would bring.


I also knew I could trust Jay Whiting (Barkles Co-Founder and Developer) to hold the fort while I was away. It was a big responsibility, and in hindsight was a brilliant decision. We had very few issues over that weekend, yet we had a lot of activity and an overall great response to the lanch.


The Melbourne Entrepreneur scene is literally growing before my eyes. There are hubs popping up all around, multiple incubators being launched and many more startups are being built every day. Startup Weekend brings all of those together - A hub of activity over the weekend, 100+ entrepreneurs working together in smaller teams, $5000 winning pitch prize and an opportunity to travel to the JFDI–Innov8 2012 Bootcamp in Singapore including $15,000 SGD in seed funding. Startup Weekend truly is an incredible experience that you should do at least once if you are passionate about entrepreneurship.


In addition, the mentors, organisers, judges and other workers in the space bring a great level of experience to the table. If I were to give one piece of advice to any entrepreneur it would be "Be seen and heard, constantly". This doesn't mean you should bug everyone you can while they are eating lunch - it's more about paying attention to the advice they choose to share. Ask all the questions you need answered and get to know them. If you meet some amazing people at these events, get their details and arrange a time (yes, on the spot) to catch up in the future for a casual chat. It's these moments when you are in the same environment that will be the easiest to connect, just by pure proximity and similar interests.

The next time Startup Weekend rolls around I strongly recommend you get on the list. It will be an experience like no other, where you will understand a lot about yourself in a quick timeframe. You will meet many other inspiring people, and the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.

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