Startmate has announced the Founders Fellowship program to seek out and support the founders of the future to enter Australia and New Zealand start-up ecosystem.
The 10-week-long program commencing this month is aimed at increasing the number of passionate founders starting companies within the ANZ region.
Budding founders are provided with a clear path to launching a company with the knowledge, guidance and networks they need to succeed.
“The Founders Fellowship is targeting those who want to found a company, rather than work for one, but aren’t sure what happens next. We’re really looking for those ambitious people who have an idea that keeps them awake at night but needs someone to share the ride with, guide them through and expose them to the ingredients needed to turn the idea into reality,” said head of Startmate’s Accelerator program Sascha Kerbert.
“Regardless of whether you’ve dabbled with entrepreneurship, worked at a big corporate, worked at a startup or have a technical background, if you have a deep-burning desire to build a business, we want to help you unleash your potential.”
The Founders Fellowship will be focused on maximising the number of opportunities participants have to identify problems to solve, test ideas and relationships, and accelerate early progress on traction, hires and funding.
The program will aim to dismantle barriers to starting a company, such as finding a compatible co-founder, identifying the right ‘big problem’ to work on, access to mentoring and a talent pool for hiring, funding or investment, resources and community.
The launch of the Founders Fellowship marks a continued expansion of Startmate’s Fellowship programming, which aims to help talented, ambitious people from a multitude of backgrounds gain the network and skills needed to thrive in the startup world.
Kerbert said the launch of the Founders program will explore an untapped layer of the start-up ecosystem by cultivating founders to take their very first steps towards building a company.
“The Founders Fellowship program serves a uniquely hard-to-reach identity of talent. Scouting the founders of tomorrow, surrounding them with a group of equally talented and ambitious peers, and giving them the network and tools they need to succeed lays down the groundwork for the future success of our start-up ecosystem. Ultimately, we want Startmate to become the best place across ANZ to build a company, whether you’re at the idea stage or scaling to tens of millions in revenue.”
The first Founders Fellowship cohort will commence alongside Startmate’s first formal Student Fellowship. The free two-week virtual bootcamp for university students, which ran in beta last year, is designed to give them a taste of start-up life and access to Startmate’s global community plus access to paid internships with one of Australia or New Zealand’s top start-ups.
The Founders and Student Fellowships sit alongside Startmate’s Women Fellowship, which has seen 136 women complete the program to date—73 per cent of whom are now working in the start-up ecosystem (65 per cent as operators, 8 per cent as founders).
Startmate’s principal Lauren Capelin says the role of the Fellowship is part of the organisation’s ambitions to foster success within Australia and New Zealand’s start-up landscape.
“Our Fellowships attract talented individuals, who are either looking to break into the startup ecosystem but don’t know where to begin and guide them on their journey to success. This is crucial to the health of our start-up ecosystem because it not only acts as a talent pipeline, but also nurtures a new generation of innovation and potential success stories for the region,” said Capelin.
“Ultimately, we want to spearhead a tenfold increase in the number of founders, operators and investors building world-changing companies,” she continues.
Startmate’s network includes notable Australian and New Zealand startups such as Heaps Normal, Amber Electric, Swoop Aero, UpGuard, Josef and Verve Super, and mentors include Founder of Adore Beauty Kate Morris, VP/Head of Engineering at Atlassian Zak Islam, Chief Product Office at Vend Rhiannon White, and Co-Founder of Culture Amp Doug English.
Applications for the Founders Fellowship close on July 19th.
Featured Image: Blackbird staff by Anna Kucera