Start-up incubator PushStart is to ramp up its presence in the Melbourne market by holding its first event in the Victorian capital next week.
PushStart will hold its “mentor speed dating” event Mentor Live on Wednesday, October 5 with the event aimed at web and mobile-based start-ups that have ideas beyond the concept stage.
Much like previous events in Sydney the Melbourne Mentor Live will allow start-ups to have 15-minute sessions with up to three mentors, with about 20 sessions still available to be booked.
Tom Howard, co-founder of Adioso, Zac Jacobs; general manager of TigerSpike Melbourne and Tim Bull, founder of Trunk.ly are among the nine mentors who will provide advice.
PushStart was launched earlier this year with the aim of linking start-ups with industry experts via its Mentor Connect program and a seed fund accelerator is set to roll out early next year.
Kim Heras, co-founder of PushStart, tells StartupSmart the scheme was branching out to Melbourne due to the “critical mass” of interested start-ups in the city.
“I’d say around 20% of our mentors and start-ups are from Melbourne, with 70% from Sydney,” he says. “But Melbourne is getting bigger all the time – there’s much faster growth in Melbourne in terms of start-ups joining up.
“Previously start-ups in Melbourne haven’t been as keen to organise themselves as in Sydney but that’s starting to change, we’re seeing good ideas and good teams down here.”
Heras, who says he’d like to hold Melbourne events every few months, says the Mentor Live program offers several benefits to start-ups.
“It gets you in front of a mentor that it can take hours to track down for a coffee,” he says.
“Also, you see lots of different people. You can get three different opinions on the one evening. Finally it’s good pitch practice. We time each session on a stopwatch and we notice that the pitches get better as the night goes on.
“The sessions teach start-ups how to pitch properly and get to the crux of the matter. By the end, they are spending one minute pitching and 14 minutes answering questions.”
Heras says that he is keen to expand Mentor Live to Brisbane when there is sufficient interest.
For more information on the event click here.