Co working space
Laneway Labs was Australia’s first dedicated digital health co-working space. It is located in Agnes Street, East Melbourne.
Agnes Street East Melbourne
Agnes Health was named after the feisty daughter of Melbourne’s first Governor, Charles La Trobe. Agnes La Trobe was born in 1837 and grew up on 12 acres in the family estate ‘Jolimont’. The family cottage has been relocated and now sites near the Royal Botanic Gardens and the Shrine in East Melbourne.
Another feisty woman, Kate Cornick, gave the main talk on last Wednesday’s event, the first meetup of 2017. Kate was previously MD of Rision and is now CEO of LaunchVic. She talked about being a startup founder, the ‘bloody hard work’ it entails and how to set up a good team and a solid legal structure.
“I passionately believe that startups are a really important part of our economy…”
Kate raised a number of key points and linked them together with her personal experience.
- Startup founders needs to understand their own personal strengths and weakness. That will help them realise what skills they lack and therefor, who they need to hire. Don’t just hire your family and friends.
- Building the right team is not just about getting people with the right skills. It’s also about creating the right company culture, so your team stays balanced and working well together. This requires learning about employment contracts, learning how to managing conflict, ensuring that pay structure is fair and that people feel appreciated.
- Startups also requires a company structure. Corporate governance, investment charters and business plans all give focus and structure. Startups need to get their policies correct in the beginning. Kay suggested startups look at similar companies legal documents and use them as a basis for your own startup. Getting legal advise from a startup orientated legal firm is also essential.
- Having a great team and good structure is no good if you don’t actually make any money. Running a startup is about the basics of running a business. Where do you get your materials, where to you find your customers, how does your payment system work, what is your profit margin?
- And if you are successful, founders need to watching out for being over taken by another startups. Being able to scale up at the right time in order to grow is essential.
- Scaling up means raising capital to grow the business. This can be a problem for Australians. Investors here do not have a well developed business culture. It’s important for startups to find investors who understanding the every day basics of running a small business.
Agnes La Trobe
Photograph from Wikipedia
Kay says there is plenty of capital in Victoria at the moment, so make sure to take advantage of the opportunity.
She pointed out that the Australian government is interested in supporting the startup echo system. They have invested $60 million over the next four years. Launch Vic is a private company set up by the Victorian Treasury to drive economic reform in Victoria.
LaunchVic plans to create prosperity for the future by bringing people and ideas together, melding creativity and business and grow jobs of tomorrow.
Their long term goal is for Victoria to be the number one destination for startups and entrepreneurs in Australia.
So check out their website and consider applying for funding.
There are plenty more events to be held at Agnes Health over the next few months. This coming Wednesday there will be an information session about the Melbourne Health Accelerator. It will be held in the Charles La Trobe Theatre at the Royal Melbourne Hospital. Details are here.