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Cofounder Speed Date comes to Melbourne

Tuesday, 28 February 2012 | By Michelle Hammond

Cofounder Speed Date has teamed up with AngelCube to bring the co-founder matchmaking event to Melbourne, but insists participants don’t need to have a start-up idea to attend.


Founded by Ryan Wardell and Navdeep Siani, Cofounder Speed Date held its first event in Sydney earlier this month. The idea is to connect business founders with tech founders.


Wardell says while it’s too early to tell whether the event sparked any enduring partnerships, one participant thought it was better than similar events he had attended in Silicon Valley.


“The real strength with this is that some people can have a really slick pitch and that’s it. If you get to sit down with them one-on-one, you get to find out who they really are,” Wardell says.


“Someone might not have a great pitch but they might be a fantastic co-founder, but you don’t get to see it. It’s the two-way communication thing that I think is the point of difference.”


Now Cofounder Speed Date is coming to Melbourne, joining forces with start-up incubator AngelCube, which will host the event at its Richmond offices on Sunday, March 18.


“The event includes beer and pizza, and a guest speaker from the Melbourne tech start-up community,” Wardell says.


“Niki Scevak of Startmate and [US-based real estate site] Homethinking was the guest speaker at the last event, and we’d like to get someone along of the same high calibre.”


Wardell says the guest speaker will focus less on their own start-up story and more on a specific topic that’s relevant to start-ups. He’s currently speaking to three or four potential speakers.


“Niki spoke about investing and the legal structure behind co-founder relationships,” he says.


“[Other speakers will discuss] how to drive media attention for your start-up, how to raise funds from angel investors, and how to gain traction and build a community.”


According to Wardell, participants don’t need to have a start-up idea in order to attend because an idea “doesn’t really matter at the end of the day”.


“We want to see people in the corporate world, who hate it, to come along to one of these events and talk to people – that’s the way we want to see it evolve,” he says.


“As long as you’ve got the willingness to work in a start-up, and have some skills to transfer across, come along and meet people.”


“Don’t talk about your idea. It’s more about getting some conversations going; seeing if you click with that other person… Put your idea aside and talk about your skill set.”