Michelle HammondFollow on twitter www.startupsmart.com.au
Fishburners launches Fast-Track Program – but don’t expect any cash
Sydney-based co-working space Fishburners is launching a fast-track program for members looking to accelerate their growth, but won’t be offering any cash as part of the program.
Fishburners, sponsored by the likes of Optus and PricewaterhouseCoopers, has made a name for itself as a powerhouse in the start-up scene, with co-working spaces in Ultimo and Darlinghurst.
In addition to housing more than 100 businesses, Fishburners is home to accelerator PushStart and education provider General Assembly.
Now Fishburners has launched a Fast-Track Program, aimed at members looking to accelerate growth. The program, which is free, is expected to run for approximately three months.
While the program will be structured in a similar way to a traditional accelerator, no cash will be invested in any of the participants’ businesses, which means they won’t have to give up equity.
Instead, participants will engage with mentors, attend peer accountability sessions and gain exposure at a demo day.
“We recently did a survey of all our members – we’ve got about 180 members here – and one of the things they want us to help with is sales and marketing,” Fishburners chief executive Peter Bradd told StartupSmart.
“We’ve got so many members now it’s difficult to talk to the entire community. Not everyone wants help – there are people who are running very successful businesses.
“But a number of our members – 40 or 50 – do want our help.”
Bradd says Fishburners also has “some really amazing mentors”, including former PayPal advisor Peter Davidson, so mentorship will be a key part of the Fast-Track Program.
“We keep raising the bar for ourselves,” Bradd says.
“We provide this amazing platform for people to run their businesses. We’ve now got an opportunity around education and all the mentors. We wanted to introduce a program to leverage off that opportunity.
“There will be no equity and no cash provided, which is line Fishburners’ [position] as a charity and our goal here.”
However, Bradd has a clear idea of what start-ups should gain from the program.
“I would like to see the start-ups achieve product market fit – for the ones that haven’t achieved product market fit,” he says.
“There will be some specific goals around how to attract talent and grow their team.
“But it’s different from a normal accelerator where people who invest in the start-ups have specific investment criteria.
“We’re not making investments. The opportunity is helping businesses with their goals.”