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Pollenizer hunts co-founder for Skype creator’s new venture

Thursday, 23 May 2013 | By Michelle Hammond

Pollenizer is looking for co-founders for four of its start-ups, one of which would involve a partnership with a Skype co-founder while another would involve working with the former chief executive of CareerOne.


According to Pollenizer co-founder Phil Morle, all four businesses need “gutsy entrepreneurs with the audacity to believe that they can pull off a global business with limited resources”.


The businesses are as follows:


Fitbit for your house – collaborating with your social network to use energy more effectively. This is a partnership with one of the Skype co-founders.


“This is a brand new idea so they’re looking for co-founders from scratch,” Pollenizer co-founder Mick Liubinskas told StartupSmart.


Social Powered Retail – using social networks to increase sales. This would involve working across south-east Asia as well as Australia.


“Social Powered Retail is Gyft… The co-founders took it as far as they could and we’re now looking for a new set of co-founders to go where the business needs to go,” Liubinskas says.


99designs for recruitment – crowdsourcing new hires. This would involve working with the former chief executive of CareerOne.


“The recruitment business is looking for more co-founders; more engineering talent,” Liubinskas says.


SasS for coaches – customer relationship management, session management and other tools for business coaches, consultants and mentors.


“SaaS for coaches is Coachy, which has a lot of great potential customers… We need an entrepreneurial engineer who is longing for some B2B experience,” Liubinskas says.


At this stage, Pollenizer has declined to reveal the names of the Skype co-founder and former CareerOne chief executive.


But according to Morle, co-founders are paid a “modest salary with great equity”.


“We will train you in lean start-up skills – if you don’t already have them – and mainline you into an amazing network of entrepreneurs and investors,” he says.


Liubinskas, however, is quick to point out the Pollenizer environment is not for everyone.


“A lot of people who come from the corporate world, where they ran a really large company, will say that it’s the same as running a small company, which it definitely isn’t,” he says.


“Some people can make that transition but a lot of people can’t. The other thing is completely green people.


“[You must also have] a willingness to share… Really the key to that for me is people in the same location.


“I vowed I would never, ever do another start-up where the whole team is not in the same room. Some people can do it but it makes life harder.”


Liubinskas says anyone who joins the Pollenizer family must be open to change.


“Start-ups change every day. Even the businesses we’ve learned a lot about, they’ll continue to change. Not a single successful Pollenizer start-up is the same idea it started with,” he says.


“You also need to not be precious. You need to be thick-skinned to deal with a whole bunch of failure along the way.”