Having access to a wealth of startup knowledge and experience was incredible.

Startmate helps new founders become great CEOs through a mentor network of successful founders. Mentors invest their own money and time.


Startmate is a network of founders offering mentorship and seed financing to technical teams creating global Internet startups from Australia.

The mentors have extensive experience growing successful tech businesses such as Atlassian co-founders, Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar.

Over 200 startups from across the country apply each year and 25 of these are shortlisted for interviews. Of these, we select the best eight.

Unlike other accelerators, Startmate’s 30 mentors invest their own money into the startups: $50,000 initially in each of the eight companies for 7.5% and then a further $100,000 after working with the teams. The cash injection is a mechanism to value their time which they volunteer to the startups through the program.

The teams then work for free out of the same office, ATP Innovations in Sydney, for three months during January, February and March. The months of April and May are then spent in Silicon Valley raising seed capital.

Naval Ravikant, co-founder of AngelList, last year ranked Startmate alongside ycombinator and Techstars as one of the top five accelerators in the world. This was followed by the Economist again listing Startmate as one of the top accelerators in the world based on follow-on funding for alumni.

Of the 37 companies who have been a part of the program up until the 2015 intake, half have raised an average of US$1m in seed capital at an average valuation of US$4m. Three of these companies have gone on to raise Series A finance at many multiples of that including:

  • BugCrowd who raised US$15m in April 2016
  • Happy Inspector who raised US$2.8m in February 2015
  • Upguard (formerly ScriptRock) now who raised US$8.7m in August 2014
  • Grabble, from the first intake, was our first exit being acquired by Walmart in 2011 
  • Lucy, from the 2013 intake, has raised $2.5 million in Seed funding

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