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Campaign Monitor Raise $250m

Big news; Australian Tech Company Campaign Monitor raise $250m from Insight Ventures That’s a huge effort for the guys and a well deserved milestone. It’s a great result for them and also a wonderful recognition of what is possible in Australia. Not just the size of the success, but the way they were albe to do it it while maintaining a balanced life.I’ve known the guys for years, though they typically keep their heads down working and are wonderfully humble about their results. A few things I take from this: Big success is absolutely possible from Australia. It takes time. Ten years for these guys. You can do it anywhere. They’ve done in 99% in Sutherland about 45 mins from the centre of Sydney. You can do it without raising capital along the way. Yes, you need tech co-founders, but it’s possible. You can do it with balance. They still surf regularly, are raising families and are (very good) table tennis players. You don’t need a crazy vision, but you do need to play in a big market. Deliver one product well and keep making that product great. They have barely stretched outside of email marketing but do it insanely well. Hats off to you guys! http://www.campaignmonitor.com/ Image from Shoestring – http://www.shoestring.com.au/2014/03/email-wars-chimp-chasing-cronulla-style/  

Sydstart 2014

Buy Your Ticket To Sydstart Now 2014. That is the year, and that is my goal for Sydstart. 2014 attendees. Wow. Huge. I gave one of the first talks at the first Sydstart way back in 2008 when there was 50 people in a free room at the Australian Technology Park. I’ll always remember the words on the website. “It’s time we put a rocket under the startup industry here.” This year is at the Sydney Entertainment Centre and we want it filled with energy and entrepreurs and geeks and hackers and hustlers and robots and ninjas and pirates. What you’ll get out of going: A day immersed in tech startups. You will see more than 50 new tech companies you never knew existed. You will meet more than 50 people who have energy, ambition and are kindred spirits. You will learn at least 10 new things. You will get introduced to at least 5 new products that you will try and love. You will be amazed at how big and exciting the Australian technology industry actually is. You will hear at least 5 things which will make you laugh. You will see at least 10 tee-shirts with cryptic messages that initially you don’t understand but then laugh at a […]

No Exit Strategy

There was a dinner last night of a bunch of great tech entrepreneurs last night and as hoped the conversations got quite fiery with a big topic being how do Australians approach exit strategy. I’ll get to that in a second, but I wanted to first share an amazing moment that happened at 11.30pm. There was only six of us left at that point – Matt Dickinson, David Kowalski, Oliver Palmer, Mike Cannon-Brookes, Dean McEvoy and me. Oliver said, as a closer to the event “Well, let me know if I can help you guys with anything in Singapore. Immediately Matt, Dean and Mike said “What about Tutor On Demand?” which is a company that went through Startmate which a few of us indirectly have tiny fractions of equity. Their first thought was how they could help someone else. That really typified the attitude that makes this industry great to be a part of. So, back to exit strategies. We were all throwing our 2 cents in about how we can help grow the ecosystem and the conversation went a bit like this. A: “ESOP and lack of Series A is really hurting us.” B: “Yeah, I don’t like that excuse. We’d have more capital if we had more founders […]