Posted: April 1st, 2013 | Author: Jacky Yap | Filed under: asia, australia, australia co-working space, Co-working, Phil Morle, pollenizer, Resources, Startups, the hive, The hub, WeCo | Comments Off
Following the launch of The Hub and WeCo in Australia, accelerator Pollenizer is opening a co-working space called The Hive.
Based in Surry Hills Sydney, The Hive is spread across three floors and 700 square metres. In addition to four meeting rooms with televisions and whiteboards, perks include WiFi, office equipment, iOS testing devices, a kitchen, a rooftop deck and even a library. Other than its physical space, The Hive also features regular training sessions, practitioner camps and Friday “X-Pollenizations.” Members also benefit from Pollenizer’s partnerships with Rackspace, New Relic, Optus Innov8, Saasu, Azure Group, Norton Rose and oDesk.
Read also: Australia co-working scene heats up: WeCo launches in Sydney; The Hub to launch in Adelaide
While Pollenizer’s portfolio companies are welcome to use the space, Phil Morle, cofounder of Pollenizer told Startupsmart that its portfolio companies will not be given priority. “If someone came and got permanent desks, [the perks are] exactly the same for one of our portfolio companies,” he says.
“Over the last few years we’ve noticed an existing community here at our premises in Surry Hills … We get entrepreneurs and investors from all over the world, partly through events we run. We decided to open that up to the broader community now – to come in and share that space with us. I think we want entrepreneurs who are trying to build new internet businesses – really the kind of people we’re looking for anyway. People who want the benefit of explicitly sharing a learning experience with other entrepreneurs [are the ideal candidates]. They will be part of a community of other people doing similar things, so they will learn from that.” – Phil Morle, Pollenizer
Other than launching its co-working space, Pollenizer is also currently raising a US$5.13 million round of funding to invest in more Australia and Southeast Asia startups. In February too, Pollenizer raised US$1.15 million from investors in Australia, the United States and Singapore, including the founder of Pandora.
Read also: Australia’s Pollenizer is raising US$5.19M to invest in more Australia and Southeast Asia startups
The post Australia’s Pollenizer launches new co-working space The Hive appeared first on e27.
Posted: September 4th, 2012 | Author: Jacky Yap | Filed under: customer development, Events, fergie miller, Gowherenext, Ian Tay, Indonesia, lean startup, Lean Startup Machine, Lean Startup Machine Singapore, LSM, News, Phil Morle, philippines, Ray Wu, Singapore, southeast asia, Spa Adventure, success, team, Vietnam | Comments Off
While most people are enjoying a laid back weekends, more than 80 strangers gathered together at Singapore’s first Lean Startup Machine.
The event which is co-organized by e27 and Lean Startup Machine, took place at the Hub Singapore. SingTel Innov8 came onboard as the premier sponsor for the event. Lean Startup Machine(LSM) is focused on helping startup founders learn the process and tactics to identify which ideas are worth pursuing.
The Winners of Lean Startup Machine
The winner for Lean Startup Machine Singapore was team GoWhereNext. The app gives you recommendations based on your location and time duration according to your interests. During the workshop which focused on lean startup and customer development, the team went through 5 experiments and pivots. The team started off by targeting business travellers with the assumption that they want to maximize their time of stay in Singapore. That did not turn out well as only one out of the ten people that were interviewed wanted that. The team then pivoted and finally arrived at their final iteration.
The runner up for Lean Startup Machine was team Spa Adventure. The idea falls under the premise that regular spa goers are looking for more variety and want to know where the great spa treatments are. The team started by targeting spa managers, and pivoted to targeting spa goers. Their idea was validated by all 38 respondents they spoke to, where all of them said they would love to be the beta tester of Spa Adventure.
What happened during the weekend
During the weekend, the 17 LSM teams formed identified the riskiest assumptions for their startup ideas. After that, they went out of the building to the busy street of Orchard road to speak and validate their ideas with them. Most teams came back to pivot their ideas according to what their customer feedback was. After several rounds of pivot and iterations, teams then arrived with the final validated idea which the market wants. Teams then pitched their ideas to a panel of judges followed by a quick Q&A.
Teams discussing away at Lean Startup Machine Singapore
What the organizer, judge and participant said
Ian Tay, one of the participants of LSM enjoyed and learnt a lot from the workshop. “LSM weekend enables us to validate our assumptions and business idea over three days and create something that is truly what the market need and want. At the same time you get to know and work with friends from overseas whom were totally dynamic, passionate and focused on learning and making a product.”
Fergie, another participant shared similar sentiments. ’Ray and the LSM team put on a superb show. The mentors provided great advise and the spirit in the room was a privilege to be a part of. I’d recommend it to anyone in interested in startups and entrepreneurship. I never thought a weekend working could be so much fun. Learning the real meaning of ‘Lean’, exchanging ideas and seeing them grow was a fantastic experience. The LSM team and mentors truly helped us become better enteprneurs – and weren’t short of a laugh or two along the way.’
Phil Morle, the mentor and judge for LSM told us that he had an inspiring weekend at Lean Startup Machine Singapore. “We met a brand new community of entrepreneurs with a fire in their belly and an instinct that startups need to learn in order to succeed. I also learned a lot personally, both new tools from Ray and Nathan as well as new understanding around where people get stuck with this scary but powerful startup science.”
Ray Wu, the coordinator from Lean Startup Machine, was also satisfied with the workshop. “The teams and mentors were extremely focused on the process of Lean Startup. It’s unbelievable how much they got out of the building and how many times they pivoted. I still recall most of the participants had never spoken to customers before this weekend!”
Overall, it was a fun weekend filled with lots of learning and making new friends. It was also about understanding the lean methodology and real customer development. LSM also saw participants flying from Manila, Cebu, Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, as well as Tokyo just to participate in the workshop. There were a lot of interest from the participants to have similar workshops in their countries, so definitely stay tuned for that!
The post Lean Startup Machine Singapore a huge success appeared first on e27.
Posted: September 3rd, 2012 | Author: Jacky Yap | Filed under: australia, Events, focus or fail, Kazaa, Mick Liubinskas, PEOPLE, Phil Morle, pollenizer, Pollenizer Singapore, SgEntrepreneurs, Singapore, southeast asia, startup failure, Startups, Wooboard | Comments Off
Hear from Mick Liubinskas of Pollenizer on why startups fail and how to stay focused.
This Tuesday evening, SGEntrepreneurs along with Pollenizer will be co-hosting Mick Liubinskas, one of Australia’s leading web strategists. Mick will be speaking on: Focus or Fail – Why startups fail, why you should be focused, some tips and tools on how to get focused and stay that way. The event will take place at the Hub Singapore.
Mick has an extensive experience in starting up ventures. He is the cofounder and director of Wooboard, an online application that lets teams boost moral through tracking recognition. Mick has also held head marketing roles at Kazaa, Zapr and Tangler. He now runs Pollenizer, the business incubator he co-founded with former-Kazaa colleague Phil Morle, which recently expanded to Singapore. Some of Pollenizer’s portfolio company includes Dealised.com, Spreets.com, as well as Posse.com. Pollenizer is planning to do the same in Singapore, investing and help build up startups.
Mick is in Singapore and will be speaking on staying focused.
Date: 4th September, 2012 (Tuesday)
Venue: The Hub Singapore
Address: 113 Somerset Road, Singapore 238165
Registration fee: S$10
Registration and mingling – 6:30pm
Talk and interactive Q&A – 7:00pm-8:30pm
Note from the organizers: There will be drinks on offer.
You can register for the event at the Focus or Fail EventBrite page.
The post Focus or Fail. An evening with Mick Liubinskas of Pollenizer appeared first on e27.
Posted: July 25th, 2012 | Author: Jacky Yap | Filed under: Dave McClure, Golden Gate Ventures, how to pitch to venture capitalist, Leslie loh, Mark Hsu, News, Phil Morle, pollenizer, Red Dot Ventures, Resources, TMI Ventures, venture capitalist, vincent lauria | Comments Off
Five venture capitalists: Dave McClure, Mark Hsu, Phil Morle, Vincent Lauria and Leslie Loh share what they look for in startup pitches.
A successful business usually requires a good marketer. A good marketer can sell the vision of the company to new partners, to potential customers, as well as to potential investors. However, there might be times when being a good marketer is not enough, especially when you are pitching to raise fundings from venture capitalists. People often talk about venture capitalist as sharks and will capitalize any sign of weaknesses. Luckily, there are certain Do’s and Don’ts when pitching to VCs, and we managed to speak to five reputable venture capitalist who has been at the other side of the table on their thoughts:
Dave McClure, 500 Startups - Avoid the future tense.
Dave McClure is known for running 500 Startups, an accelerator program which spawned quite a large amount of successful companies such as TaskRabbit, Twilio, SendGrid and Udemy. On pitching to VCs, Dave says, “The more you use the future tense, the less interested I am in your startup. In other words, talk about past accomplishments and progress, current customers as well as metrics, less about “what we’re going to do in future”.
Mark Hsu, TMI Ventures - Avoid overusing buzz words.
Mark is the cofounder of Sinanet, the predecessor company to Sina.com, and currently runs a fund/accelerator program based in Taiwan, TMI Ventures. TMI Ventures invests in startups focusing in the education, services and new media or the internet industry. According to Mark, some of the few things that startup founders should avoid is overusing buzz words. “A few years ago I had a person tell me he was “eBay + Amazon + Google”. I still, for the life of me, cannot figure what that is and needless to say, the company went nowhere. I guess I am buzz word out.” Mark also advises founders to use figures and valuations appropriately. When addressing potential market, be more specific rather than throwing random big numbers like this is a X trillion market globally. ”In terms of valuation, I absolutely hate it when a team says, we are worth this valuation (some crazy amount) because a similar company in the Valley was funded at some amount. The fact of the matter is that we are in Asia and Asia is just a different market in terms of size, revenue potential & most important, exits.”
Phil Morle, Pollenizer - Understand the mechanics of your business
Phil runs Pollenizer, a cofounder of startup web businesses in Australia. They partner with strong founders and take equity stakes at a concept stage on consumer and SaaS businesses. To Phil, the most important thing for a startup founder is to understand the business inside out. “I invest in a founder primarily because ideas are in constant flux. I look for signs in a pitch that they understand the mechanics of the business. Founders that understand their business really well can articulate it simply and quickly. I like to see a big vision up front followed by what has been learned so far then what will be achieved with this round of investment. Great founders pitch a business from the first moment of an idea because it helps them to understand what the business needs to be as they observe how people react.”
Vincent Lauria, Golden Gate Ventures - Pitch me on your team
Vinnie is the founding partner of Golden Gate Ventures. He moved to Singapore after the successful exit of his company Lefora. Golden Gate Ventures invests in people. According to Vinnie, he says: “We’re interested in helping to build great teams, and ultimately, great products. We love teams that are technical, and have a working history together. We look for people that are open to new directions and want to iterate in the market quickly. For companies outside the valley, please do your homework first: know who your competitors are, know similar services in the valley, and know who you’re pitching to. Keep your pitch short and to the point. If you can’t pitch your service in less than a minute, you lost me. Don’t blindly compare your valuations to a company in the valley that has been started by serial entrepreneurs with multiple successes behind them.”
Vinnie adds on with some Dos and Donts: “A few other items: Don’t ask me to sign an NDA, I’m not going to go steal your idea, and most likely, I’ve heard it pitched many times before. Don’t pitch me as a one man team. If you can’t convince somebody else on your crazy idea (or personality), you’re not going to convince me. And don’t pitch me the next group buying or discounts service, that’s a very very saturated market. Do pitch me on unique Southeast Asian plays, your team’s unique advantage. Do pitch me on mobile payments. Do pitch me on disruption! Do pitch me big ideas.”
Leslie Loh, Red Dot Ventures: Target the right business industry.
Leslie Loh runs Red Dot Ventures, and has three successful exits under his belt. To Leslie, “Unless your idea or product deliver significantly BETTER value propositions than the leading competitor in your space, you will NOT win. Even if you have a great product, you will not get your investment “Exit” if your niche market is not sufficiently profitable and large enough to deliver a scalable business.”
Bottom line, understand your business thoroughly and be honest with the VCs when you pitch to them, because they will become your business partner. Do not overpromise and be undeniably good. As Anthony Volodkin, founder of The Hype Machine puts it: Be undeniably good. No marketing effort or social media buzzword can be a substitute for that.
Posted: June 14th, 2012 | Author: Joash Wee | Filed under: australia, Blog, dealised, ewd29, Funding, Incubators, Phil Morle, Pygg, Singapore, Spreets, Sydney | Comments Off
Pollenizer, the Australian-based accelerator, is looking to set up a new Hive in Singapore with the aim of bridging Sydney and Singapore early stage technology ecosystems.
Pollenizer is exploring ways to connect the tech ecosystem down under with Singapore via technology events, investor exchanges and pitching platforms. Currently, the Australian accelerator has a team of 25 digital evangelists based in Sydney and have created 35 companies over the past four years which has seen double digit million dollar returns. The Pollenizer team was in Singapore for Echelon 2012 and also interviewing possible candidates for their new operations in Singapore that they are in the midst of setting up.
Some of Pollenizer’s current portfolio companies includes Dealised, which is now based in Singapore, Pygg, and Spreets.
From the Pollenizer blog, founder Phil Morle mentioned that the team is actively seeking meetings with Singapore-based entrepreneurs, investors and web business builders. For those that are interested to get in touch with the team regarding their Singapore Hive, drop them a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.