The Adelaide Tech Startup Roadmap

The Adelaide Tech Startup Roadmap

The Adelaide Tech Startup Roadmap

This resource is for a few types of people:

  • Adelaide startup community leaders;
  • Adelaide startup founders; and
  • Local and state politicians interested in;
    • Startups
    • Innovation
    • Job creation
    • Manufacturing
    • Science
    • Information Technology
    • Employment
    • Economic Development
    • State Development
    • And so on…

Many Adelaide based startup founders are stuck.

They are stuck somewhere in the process of starting and growing their company.

There is so much to learn and so much to do, it can feel overwhelming.

And who can blame them… there are many steps needed.

It’s a situation seen over-and-over…

…I’ve directly helped 400+ startups (of those which have raised capital, their current combined company valuations are AUD $5,500,000) get their companies started market through various award winning training programs.

I am, arguably one of the most experienced people in Adelaide (and possibly Australia) in building entrepreneurial ecosystems.

My related credentials are:

  1. I brought Startup Weekend to Adelaide in 2012 (which now has completed 6 sold out events with 600+ local alumni);
  2. I am a Startup Weekend global facilitator (I’ve been involved in 10+ hackathons events globally);
  3. I am a co-founder and current director of not-for-profit Startup Adelaide Inc – a not-for-profit organisation that exists to foster and support the Adelaide tech startup sector;
  4. I am a co-founder and administration of the Startup Adelaide forum which has 700 members;
  5. I am the co-founder of Business Higher Education Round Table award winning program Venture Dorm (100+ alumni with total company valuations of $5.5M) which merged with Mobile Enterprise Growth Alliance to be Australia’s largest community pre-accelerator program;
  6. I am the former Director of Marketing for Mobile Enterprise Growth Alliance;
  7. I am the former Marketing Manager of New Venture Institute at Finders University;
  8. I am the Australia Day Citizen of the Year for Unley (2015)for my contribution to building the Adelaide startup ecosystem;
  9. I was recognised in Startup Daily’s “Top 50 Australian Startup Influencers” in Australia and “Mentors you should know in the startup space, Adelaide Edition”;
  10. I won an honorable mention in Australian Anthills 30 under 30 award  for my contribution to building the Adelaide startup ecosystem;
  11. I am and independent member of the Business and Economic Development Committee for Unley Council.

This article is here to help you understand the Adelaide tech startup ecosystem.

And by ecosystem I really mean…

A road map.

It’s a road map that reflects how founders go from realising that they would like to start a company to selling it and being a leader and mentor who gives back and pays their experience forward.

The Adelaide Tech Startup Roadmap

This roadmap outlines The Seven Stages Of Startups.

It is a visual map of the Adelaide tech startup ecosystem particuarly the current Adelaide support initiatives for each seven stages of starting at tech startup

The map shows what exists, but more importantly what is missing and thus highlights potential opportunities for the Adelaide tech startup ecosystem.

It is based on stage of development, rather than initiative type.

Before we go on it is important to define the word “startup.”

A startup company (note, no hyphen, as in start-up), according to Steve Blank, a Silicon Valley serial-entrepreneur and academic who is recognized for developing the Customer Development methodology, which launched the Lean Startup movement, is a temporary organization designed to find a new, repeatable and scalable business model for a product or company.

It’s not a small business, upstart or start-up.

It’s an important distinction.

If you plan on growing the Adelaide tech startup ecosystem, you’ll need to reference this roadmap and article often.

When starting or supporting a new ecosystem initiative, you’ll need to constantly remind yourself of the The Adelaide Tech Startup Roadmap.

Otherwise, you’re wasting time.

There is little value in focusing on an initiative in-and-of itself.

There is enormous value in understanding how each initiative fits into the whole Adelaide Tech Startup Roadmap.

Here are the seven stages:

  • PHASE 1: Stimulate;
  • PHASE 2: Study;
  • PHASE 3: Start;
  • PHASE 4: Search;
  • PHASE 5: Scale;
  • PHASE 6: Sell; and
  • PHASE 7: Support.

Let’s begin with…

1) Stimulate

The stimulate stage is characterised by a realisation or awakening that someone would like to start a tech startup.

The current ecosystem is comprised of the following initiatives:

  • Mobile Monday;
  • South Start;
  • Startup Adelaide; and
  • Startup Grind.

2) Study

The study stage is characterised by someone searching for knowledge and networks that are relevant to starting a tech startup.

The current ecosystem is comprised of the following initiatives:

  • Adelaide Lean Startup Group; and
  • Startup Adelaide Forum.

3) Start

The start stage is characterised by taking action on a tech startup idea

The current ecosystem is comprised of the following initiatives:

  • GovHack;
  • Startup Weekend;
  • Tech Jam; and
  • Unearthed.

4) Search

The search stage is characterised by finding a new, repeatable and scalable business model for a tech startup idea.

The current ecosystem is comprised of the following initiatives:

  • eChallenge; and
  • Venture Dorm powered by MEGA.

5) Scale

The scale stage is characterised by maximum the success of a tech startup.

The current ecosystem is comprised of the following initiatives:

  • Majoran;
  • Acumen Ventures;
  • Innovation Bay;
  • Innovyz;
  • Ventue Catalyst.

6) Sell

The sell stage is characterised by selling the company and providing a return for the founders and shareholders.

The current ecosystem is comprised of the following initiatives:

  • None.

7) Support

The support state is characterised by being a leader, a mentor and giving back and paying experience forward to other tech startups on lower stages of the roadmap.

The current ecosystem is comprised of the following initiatives:

  • eChallenge;
  • Startup Weekend; ndd
  • Venture Dorm Powered by MEGA.

NOTE: Data current as of February 2016.

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Commentary

Filling the front of the Adelaide Tech Startup Roadmap, that is the Stimulate, Study, Start and Search phases (through hackathons, networking, events, meetups and similar), have proved to be the most effective mechanism to date to create a gravity of initiatives, where those initiatives feed off themselves.

For example, Startup Weekend Adelaide was instrumental in pumping 600+ people into the Adelaide tech startup ecosystemm Startup Adelaide was crucial to keeping the conversation and networks going in between events and both were contributory to showing the way and empowering alumni to go out and be community leaders and start startup ecosystem initiatives.

We know there is a large attrition rate as founders move through the Seven Stages Of Startups.

And in my view, Adelaide have hit a ground swell (but not a saturation) on the front end (the Stimulate, Study, Start and Search phases).

The more we can fill this front end of the Roadmap,  the more will come out at the Scale, Sale and Support end.

Yes, more initiatives may create “competition” among initiatives.

But no, it doesn’t matter.

We have already seen that new  initiatives brings new networks into play and the more people who take on initiatives means Adelaide will have a “flywheel” of activity that self generates and perpetuates.

In summary:

  • There needs to be more initiatives in the Stimulate, Study, Start and Search phases.
  • There needs to be initiatives in the Sell pahse; and
  • There is a saturation of initiatives in the Scale phase and no more are needed untill the other phases are addressed.

Next Actions

  • Add any missing tech startup initiates, here.
  • Get notified about the next version update, here.
  • I’d love to hear your thoughts on this as an, Adelaide startup community leader, local and state politician, or Adelaide startup founder.

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