Startup incubator Pollenizer to close down after 10 years in business

One of Australia’s pioneering startup incubators is closing down after a decade in business.

Pollenizer, which was established in 2007, told staff and investors on Tuesday that it plans to shut down operations at the end of this financial year, reports Fairfax.

Pollenizer was founded by Phil Morle and Mick Liubinskas and has prided itself on bringing startup science to new ventures and corporate projects.

However, the incubator’s recent efforts to develop a sustainable business model through partnerships with big companies has failed to keep the company’s head above water, according to reports.

“We are entrepreneurs and we get out of the bed in the morning to do something massive, and while it is certainly possible that Pollenizer could have continued indefinitely as a boutique consulting business, everyone on the team is motivated to do something huge and change the world somehow,” Morle told Fairfax.

“In the end we just couldn’t see the path to that, and now the important thing for me is that the amazing team around me get to move on and do amazing things.

If you measure Pollenizer by impact then I am enormously proud, and it is an unequivocal success … but in terms of finding a sustainable business model then we failed.” 

Pollenizer had employed up to 22 staff before recently scaling this back, and by June there will be no staff employed at Pollenizer, according to reports.

Morle tells StartupSmart his biggest focus now is to ensure the remaining members of the team transition into bigger and better opportunities.

“It’s all about people for me,” he says.

The business is also still assisting a number of startups, including Lawpath, HiveXchange, Mezo, CohortIQ and Spot, but will wind down completely by the end of financial year.

In addition to working with tech giants like Google and Telstra, Pollenizer has worked to introduce a range of innovative startup programs, including a recent partnership with lending platform Pepper Money that offered founders $6000 to participate.

Read: This program will pay you $6000 a month to build a startup: What’s the catch?

Pollenizer’s leaders have also played an active part in Australia’s startup sector.

Last year, Pollenizer partner Tristonne Forbes spoke about the experience of dealing with challenging times, learning and starting up again at StartupSmart’s launch of The Audacity to Fail.

This article was first published by StartupSmart.

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