New project to map the “DNA” of Aussie start-ups

Australian start-up founders are being asked to participate in a project that aims to determine the “DNA” of Australia’s start-up ecosystem, with local industry experts offering their own insights.


It’s been revealed Bjoern Lasse-Herrmann – one of the founders of Startup Genome – will visit Australia this week for an event in Sydney called The DNA of Startups.


Startup Genome, founded by Lasse-Herrmann as well as Max Marmer and Ertan Dogrultan, is a US-based research project that aims to discover how start-ups operate and succeed.


According to Pollenizer, which is organising the event through its event company From Little Things, the event “will bring together people that live the start-up way”.


As part of his visit, Lasse-Herrmann and Pollenizer will also be collaborating on a report that aims to “reveal” the DNA of the Australian start-up ecosystem.


Founders of Australian start-ups are being encouraged to complete a Startup Compass survey, which will be used as part of the report.


Ahead of the results, several industry experts have offered their own ideas on the DNA of Australian start-ups.


Here’s what they had to say:


1. Personality


According to Pollenizer co-founder Mick Liubinskas, Australian start-ups are particularly good at injecting personality into their businesses.


“One thing Australian companies do very well is we put personality into our companies,” he says.


“We’re very happy having companies with personalities and being friendly. People like working with us.”


Similarly, Andrew Fiori, chief executive of Future Capital Development Fund, says the number one trait that makes an Australian start-up successful is the mindset of the founder or founders.


“In the end, the success of any start-up business is the founder’s skills; but, more importantly, their ability to adapt the business to a particular opportunity, and have the personal drive to make it work in the face of what will always be challenges,” Fiori says.


2. Fairness and honesty


Having recently returned to Australia after spending time in San Francisco, Liubinskas says one thing he hears a lot about is Australian start-ups’ fairness and honesty.


“A lot of investors say we’re straightforward to deal with, which is huge,” he says.


3. Preparedness


Fiori believes the success of Australian start-ups is “not really about the technology as much as it’s going to be about the commercial aspect that goes into designing the business model”.


“The best technology doesn’t necessarily win. It’s going to be the commercial aspects, around how that business model is defined, that will make it a success,” he says.


According to Liubinskas, Australian start-ups are also prepared to think global – mainly because they have to – which works to their advantage.


“Because Australia is a small market, start-ups tend to think globally whereas American companies tend to think America is big enough,” he says.


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