The co-founder of AngelCube, Adrian Stone, is challenging 10 startups to relocate to Melbourne, and he’ll give them $10,000 for 2% equity to do it.
It might have begun as a tongue-in-cheek conversation with venture capitalist Mark Carnegie on Twitter regarding the Sydney or Melbourne startup capital debate, but angel investor Stone says the offer is on the table for any startup that’s interested.
“As soon as I put an offer on paper (or in this case on Twitter), I’m serious. I don’t muck around,” he says with a laugh.
“And look, it’s a great deal for me too because I get to pick and choose from the best startups in Australia. They get to have me on board as an advisor and they get $10k to help with relocation costs, and maybe explore some ideas before they go further.”
The offer isn’t about Melbourne being better than Sydney. Stone says it’s just his way of supporting the Melbourne startup ecosystem and more broadly Australia’s. Interested startups should Tweet Stone (@smalltimevc) with a link to their AngelList profile.
Carnegie was of the opinion that Australia doesn’t need a ‘startup capital’ but will end up with one. But Stone disagrees, pointing to Israel’s reputation as a startup nation, as opposed to the reputations of individual Israeli cities.
“Startups will gravitate to wherever it’s best to do as a startup. I don’t think there will ever be one place,” he says.
“Look at Israel, we don’t talk about Haifa, or Jerusalem, or Tel-Aviv, which are in their own rights are all amazing startup hubs. In the United States, of course the focus is on Silicon Valley, but we don’t talk about New York as an amazing startup hub. And we don’t talk about Boulder, Colorado, an amazing startup hub.
“So there might be one we talk about more but who cares. In the long term it’s about Australia competing, moving from the resource-based economy to a smart economy.
“We should be taking our lead from places like Israel and Singapore, other small countries that punch well above their weight and produce jobs, and revenue and GDP in their startup space.”