New Melbourne accelerator gives founders over 30 a shot

A pre-accelerator course and accelerator program for founders over 30 will launch next week in Melbourne to address a start-up support gap created by what the founders describe as an ecosystem-wide preference for young talent.

 

“The current start-up ecosystem of accelerators and investors absolutely favours people under 30, and particularly men,” co-founder and serial entrepreneur Daniel Mumby told StartupSmart.

 

He decided to launch the accelerator when he was working on his 14th start-up, a translation app for social media.

 

“It was a $100 million problem that we were trying to fix with complicated software. Our entire team was over 35, and we realised we weren’t going to be able to get into an accelerator, so we were less likely to get the funding we’d need to scale,” Mumby says.

 

The accelerator program will launch mid-2014. They will be seeking start-ups targeting businesses especially enterprises.

 

“The reason older people can’t get into accelerators is because they have a very different risk profile and life situation to young guys. For someone who has a spouse, kids or a mortgage or all of the above, they’ve got a lot to give but different challenges.”

 

The program will include over 20 mentors and professional consultants. It will be available as a full or part-time option, and Mumby says he’s keen to ensure they’re as flexible as possible so mums can be part of the program.

 

“Women are so underrepresented in accelerator programs. But they have wonderful ideas and we want to put these people in a collegiate community so they can feel really powerful and connected,” he says.

 

The program will also over a pre-accelerator course for entrepreneurs to manage the transition to running their own business with extra responsibilities.

 

“People over 30 can’t afford to take massive risks. When you do a start-up with a family and it fails, it creates a whole series of issues in your personal life too.”

 

While the full details haven’t been released about the program, the five coordinators will be reinvesting all profits back into the accelerator program.

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