Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Gustowski is a Human passionate about innovation

Inspired by article in SMH

There are a number of accelerators and spaces for innovators and startups popping up across Australia.

Muru-D, the Telstra accelerator ,York Butter Factory, Fishburners, Sydney Start-up Hub, for which the NSW state government has recently provided $35 million in funding,  River City Labs, which focuses on tech and telcos and Stone and Chalk focussing on Fintech.  

When it comes to creative tech,  Creative Enterprise Australia (CEA ) -  QUT's hub for creative start-ups, is  at the forefront of supporting businesses in this sector.

 CEO Mark Gustowski of CEA says that it is a hybrid facility in that it is an incubator, an accelerator, a co-working space and a venture capital fund.

Tech companies are in our facility for between one and five years. They get access to mentoring programs, workshops and, potentially, funding, says  Gustowski 

An associated company , Collider, invests up to $20,000 each in some of the startups in exchange for equity, and then run through a 12-week program with the entrepreneur-in-residence with each start-up. 

There are around 100 start-up founders on-site here across our co-working space, which is called the Coterie.

The venture capital fund can invest up to $150,000 in individual start-ups that sit within the creative technical industries.

"We act as a champion of creative tech across Australia," Gustowski says

An example of a startup within CEA is Trademark Vision, an image recognition and machine learning business working in the legal space. 

We get to work with amazing founders and help them grow their business, which is really exciting.

Mark Gustowski 

Startups include businesses focussed on  virtual reality, augmented reality, digital content creation, design, industrial design, a little bit of robotics, fashion tech, wearables and music tech, enthuses Gustowski 

Here are Gustowski's top-five tips for emerging creative enterprises:

1. Build for user experience, not the technology. Think about how your start-up can change the user's life as opposed to technology and build something from there. Identify the problem before you build a solution.

2. Ensure you have a minimal viable product before raising capital. At the same time, raise capital when you don't need it. This will reduce pressure on the business. Don't run the business down to its last cent and then raise capital.

3. Understand that raising capital, whether through an angel investor or venture capital is a 4-6 month prospect – at least.

4. Immediately look for export channels. Australia is a very small market and most start-ups should look for international markets straight away. Australia's a good testing market, but it's not really big enough for most start-ups.

5. Immerse yourself in a start-up community, whether it's a co-working space, incubator or accelerator. Co-working spaces tend to cater to different people; some are creative, some are for software programmers, some are for tech and some are for mining. Find a tribe and become part of it because it can be a lonely journey being a founder.

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