Weekly digest: All the week’s stories in one place

It’s been another eventful week for Australia’s start-up sector with a number of acquisitions revealed, events and programs taking off, and plenty of useful advice on offer.


This week saw news that Australian entrepreneur Joshua Reich’s US-based online bank Simple sold to a Spanish banking giant for $US117 million, coffee pre-ordering app Beat the Q bought mobile loyalty app eCoffeeCard, and Australian fitness tracking app Sessions was taken over by US firm MyFitnessPal.


In news of start-ups on the move, Australian app developer Appster revealed its founders are moving to New York to open an office there as part of their plans to grow globally, while Gold Coast incubator Silicon Lakes is taking a group of start-ups to connect with networks in Silicon Valley.


Australian start-ups and tech companies are continuing to grow, with freelancer marketplace Freelancer.com reporting its first annual results as a public company and seeing 77% revenue growth for the 12 months to December 31 compared to the previous year, while Bigcommerce launched a range of new features. The founder of an Australian SEO firm explained how he grew his company from his bedroom to having offices around the world, the founder of a physiotherapy franchise chain revealed why he chose franchising as a business model, and a developer revealed how he created a beta tester management tool.


In other start-up news, Australian bitcoin experts explained the fallout of the recent collapse of bitcoin exchange Mt Gox, Australia was ranked third in the world for tech investment and acquisitions last year, small businesses are feeling positive about their futures according to a new survey index, and start-ups are eagerly awaiting the results of the federal government’s equity crowdfunding review.


Inspirational stories this week included the mum who quit her job and re-mortgaged the house with two kids under three to pursue her start-up and entrepreneurs are quitting the Fear Of Missing Out for the Joy Of Missing Out. We also heard how machines may be smarter than humans by 2029, why it’s important to have a coach in business and life, and posed the question – are you an elaborator?


There was also plenty of advice from people who’ve been there and done that, with Silicon Valley veteran Susan Wu explained what matters most for start-ups, an OzApp pitching finalist revealed the lessons he learnt from the event, we discovered the top two tax mistakes start-ups make and how to avoid them, mentor Amanda Jesnoewski offered the seven key words to use to get the most out of your marketing, and Robert Krigsman gave us three things to remember when choosing a business advisor.


There are lots of events and programs out there for start-ups to get involved with, and this week was no exception. Ernst & Young announced that nominations are open for its annual Entrepreneur of the Year awards, Brisbane City Council has renewed its grant program for young entrepreneurs, the University of NSW’s Startup Games are open for applications, start-ups are being sought to pitch at the upcoming Agile Australia conference, an app that manages crowdfunding supporters won the recent Startup Weekend Perth hackathon, and a thermal imaging sensor development company was hailed as the most promising start-up at an angel investors’ dinner.


And in tech news, Samsung unveiled its Galaxy S5 and a granny flat finder has been launched amidst record demand for bedsits.


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