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Why We have Postponed Venture Invest 2018 until next year

A message from Startup Foundation founder Daniel Mumby

Building any venture is challenging. Like new ventures, a conference can only proceed if there is market acceptance and a compelling need from the audience.

In our pursuit of helping founders and investors discover how to to get better, faster, and more returns, we failed to uncover that compelling need – YET!

Many speakers, supporters, and investors we have a relationship with were willing to work with us to find the audience. We are grateful for their continued support.

But, so far, we failed to engage the wider investor ecosystem beyond our first level of influence.

A couple of potential guests mentioned they didn’t know any of the speakers, or that they failed to grasp the reason why we must find better ways to get returns, faster.

What we’ve found interesting, however, about the startup investor ecosystem is the lack of ‘domain knowledge’ around how to create great ventures, replicate that and generate great returns back to investors.

The difficulty in Australia is that there are few Venture Investing groups that have been around longer than two cycles or 10 years.

We recently published an article about this very challenge, in which we said:

“We have been here before. In the boom following the post Dotcom crash, there was a similar fortune of money injected into early-stage ventures between 2004-09. Unfortunately, that dried up to a trickle, when the capital was not only not multiplied, but often barely returned at all.

“Now, the Australian investment pool has grown to more than $2.5 billion – five times more than two years ago – and Melbourne is poised to be the epicenter of Australia’s next Startup boom.

“So, the question is: What will we, as investors, do this time around that is different to the last time?”

For those investing groups which have already charted their course for their next investments, we found it difficult to get cut-through about why we, as an ecosystem, need to improve what we do, and how we do it.

We still believe there is an opportunity to work directly with organisations and individuals who remain convinced we are on the right track to do that.

Again, many thanks to all our grand supporters. We’re looking to meeting each of you in the coming months.

In the meantime, please register with us at the bottom of this page to let us know if you would like to attend this conference, which will now be held in the first quarter of 2019.

Daniel Mumby signature.


The smartest event for startup investors.

Venture Invest is your chance to learn from some of the most successful investors in the Australian early-stage venture investment community. You’ll see how they take ventures from one stage of the venture value chain to the next, and how, together, you can accelerate venture growth through ongoing due diligence, and matching the outputs from the previous stage to the inputs of the next stage.

They’ll give you the facts about their methods, insights on their investment criteria, and how they’ve overcome their challenges. You’ll learn from the investors, both before and after you in the journey, and how you can each collaborate to help maximise your returns. During the interactive sessions, you’ll be able to ask questions from the floor, as well as build your own network through networking events at the end of each day.

Join The Links On The Venture Value Chain


Would you describe yourself as one of the following?

Existing investors current to the startup ecosystem, such as Limited Partners or Angel Investors etc.

Industry participants and operators, including VC funds, accelerators, crowd funding platforms, government agencies etc.

Current investors, not yet in the ecosystem, but interested in Startups as an alternative asset class. Family Offices, private equity, Mutual funds, private investors are all welcome.


Melbourne is poised to be Australia's leading early-stage investment hub. Australia's second largest city, and ranked as the worlds most liveable city in 2017 for the 7th consecutive year by The Economist. With government support at both national and local levels and historically low unemployment Melbourne is leading Australia in it economic future.


Venture Invest will give you valuable insights from experts. You'll learn:
  • The opportunities for startups as a significant asset class
  • Validating the founder/founding team (Mentors and Advisors)
  • Accelerating an idea (Are accelerators the answer?)
  • Do advisory boards work, and how could they? (Seed)
  • Successfully launching a venture (Seed)
  • Is there a role of corporations in early-stage ventures? (Corporate)
  • Funding for success, VC’s investment criteria and how they choose their investments (Venture Capital)
  • Funding to exit (Including equity crowdfunding)
  • Winning and losing – the implications (exit and failure)

So it’s in your best interest to discover better paths to success, which generate returns faster and increase value for everyone. As a seasoned investor, you know your space well. You can look along the value chain, seeing where opportunities come from and where they are going. But you might not see the full picture of the value chain. And, while it’s natural to fight for your ‘patch’, you might be competing with your biggest allies. Trying to squeeze every last dollar out of every deal can cost you time and money.


How many enquiries did you have to respond to in order to find your last 5 investments? How much time & effort did it actually take to bring each deal to the table? How many good opportunities did you pass over, because they weren’t ready? How many didn’t meet your criteria, or failed your due diligence? Have good opportunities you’ve looked at, run out of money (& failed before getting to you) because they couldn’t find the right earlier investors? What ratio of time do you spend in sourcing versus working with ventures? Did you get the returns you were expecting, in the time you wanted?


People once thought the world was flat. They had no perspective. Progress is inevitable.

If you have more perspective, you can choose how you are affected by that change.

If you think the way you do things now is the only way that works, you’ll get left behind by others seeking new and better ways to collaborate.

Instead of putting most of your time and effort into finding and closing deals, focus on adding value to your stage of the chain.


Give the opportunity to someone who can take your portfolio opportunities to the next stage of the journey. To consider that course requires you to take a wider view. And it also requires you to collaborate, rather than compete with others. Focusing on creating more value will increase the speed and size of your returns. Rather than looking at 100 (or more) opportunities to find the five that interested you, you could be introduced to 20 - possibly 10 of which are a good fit for you.


Suddenly, all that time spent sourcing opportunities, and filtering deals could be put into accelerating them along the path quicker, with better metrics and scale. Instead of wasting time stressing over how to extract the maximum value, can you then pass them on to the next stage of the value chain, which can increase the value for everyone? But how dos this approach work? Who do you trust to show you the big picture?