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Best Tools & Resources for Startups & Entrepreneurs

We’ve scoured and researched the best resources and tools for startups and entrepreneurs looking to launch their own business. Whether you’re just starting out and need guidance or you’re scaling up your startup aggressively, then you’ve come to the right place.

We’ve covered a broad range of tools and resources that will be helpful at the idea stage, commitment stage, growth & scaling stage to establishment stage- we are regularly updating this page so that you have the most up to date information at your fingertips. Use our table of contents below to jump to the section most relevant to your needs.

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Startup Tools & Resources Table of Contents

  1. Startup Programs
  2. Startup Incubators
  3. Startup Accelerators
  4. Investors for Startups
  5. Government Grants for Startups
  6. Legal Support
  7. Crowdfunding
  8. Startup News
  9. Startup Podcasts
  10. Calculators
  11. CRM
  12. Marketing Tools
  13. Outsourcing Tools
  14. Project Management Tools
  15. Coworking Spaces
  16. Networking for Startups

Startup Programs

Startup programs aim to support entrepreneurs in structured programs that give not only financial backing but also much needed mentoring.

 

  • Boab AI Scaleup Program: A bespoke 6-month program for artificial intelligence startups open to candidates internationally with an emphasis on startups from Victoria, Australia. Based on an individual evaluation, a capital investment of net $300,000AUD is available in exchange for company equity.

Applications for the current cohort have already closed on 30th October 2020. 2021 submissions TBA.

  • INCUBATE Accelerator Program: A 14-week startup program open to startups with at least one founder who is currently enrolled, a staff member or ex-student of the University of Sydney. The program includes $5,000AUD equity-free seed funding and exclusive use of the INCUBATE coworking hub within the university.

Applications are currently closed but accepting expressions of interest.

  • Skalata Ventures Seed Investment Program: This program is for startups that have an innovative product that is ready to launch to market. There should be a 12+ month runway and those accepted will receive $100,000 in exchange of 10% equity.

Applications for the October Program have now closed.

  • Griffin Accelerator Program: A 3-month program with $25,000 to back your startup, weekly seminars and a chance to pitch at the conclusion of the program for further assistance.

The program has been relaunched in July 2020 and applicants must book in a 30 minute consultation.

  • Curtin Accelerate Program: A 10-week program open to Curtin University students, staff members and alumni with equity-free $5,000 grant. The program runs from February to April, 2021.

Applications for the 2021 cohort close November 2nd 2020, 2022 applications TBA.

  • CSIRO ON Program: A program open nationally to Australian startups using tech, research and science as catalysts to solve real world problems.

Expressions of interest for future programs are open.

  • Runway Incubator Program: A 6-month program with access to coworking spaces in Geelong and Ballarat, Victoria with exclusive coaching and support from entrepreneurs.

Applications will open in 2021.

Contact energise@kpmg.com.au to find out more about this program.

  • Antler Program: Open internationally with locations across North America, Asia-Pacific and Europe, Antler offers full support with a global community from finding co-founders to traction.

Applications must be lodged online with a LinkedIn profile.

  • Brinc Accelerator Program: Brinc offers 17 accelerator programs across 12 sectors including AI, Clean Tech, Food Waste, New Materials, Drones and more. The 3-month program aims to empower startups that are solving the world’s problems with technology based solutions.
  • Melbourne Accelerator Program: The Melbourne Accelerator Program runs in association with the University of Melbourne investing in 10 startups annually with $20,000 equity-free funding and the opportunity to work with Australia’s most innovative founders.

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Startup Incubators

Startup Incubators are programs that assist and launch entrepreneurs at the early stage of germinating new business ideas. Incubator programs whilst highly competitive are an opportunity for startups to break into the ecosystem through a pitch.

  • Mktplace Ventures: This incubator has a focus in technology and software entrepreneurs at the early stage of idea prototyping or pre-seed stage, offering a host of advisory support from commercialising IP to capitalisation.
  • Impact Co.: Impact Co offers two Incubator programs: one focused around disability, health and social inclusion and the other supports indigenous Australian entrepreneurs.
  • Cicada Innovations Incubation Program: Based out of facilities in Eveleigh, Sydney this incubator provides mentoring and support to startups that are addressing pressing planetary issues with particular focus on deep tech.
  • AI Ventures Incubator: A 12-week incubator program and intensive course to support startups looking to build up AI-based technologies and tools.
  • Poplabs Incubator: An incubator for early stage startups that want to drive social impact and change through storytelling and creative means.

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Startup Accelerators

Startup accelerators are programs that assist in ‘accelerating’ the growth and scalability of startups usually carried out in cohorts with fixed periods, so full-time dedication is required by founders and team members.

 

  • Future Minds Accelerator: An accelerator for tech startups looking to scale and access new markets and customers. The program boasts a $50,000 grant from partners Rio Tinto, up to $100,000 USD in Amazon Web Services credits and membership to BlueChilli.

Applications are closed but accepting expressions of interest.

  • Startmate Accelerator: This 12-week program runs in both Australia and New Zealand with a specialised additional climate cohort for startups that are addressing climate change.

Expressions of Interest are now open for 2021.

  • Rocket Seeder Accelerator Program: A 3 - 6 month accelerator program specifically for startups in the food and agriculture sector. Based in Melbourne, Rocket Seeder is now expanding their program to South Australia, New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria.

Expressions of Interest are now open for 2021.

  • Barayamal Accelerator Program: A 3-month intensive program for Indigenous Australian entrepreneurs run by Indigenous mentors and leaders. A $50,000 grant, access to a coworking space and support will be given to support startups.

Applications have closed already (August 9, 2020).

  • SPARKDeakin Accelerator: A 3-month program based out of the coworking space at Deakin Downtown, Melbourne with at least one founder who is a student, staff member or alumni of Deakin University. The program has support valued at $150,000 which includes $10,000 of equity-free funding and free legal advice from the Deakin Venture Law Clinic.

Expressions of Interests are now open for 2021.

  • SproutX Accelerator: An accelerator program for early stage startups and early revenue startups in the food and agriculture industry. A $40,000 grant is available for 8% equity, mentoring and tour visits to regional areas of Australia.

Expressions of interest are now open for 2021.

  • The Impact Accelerator: Accelerator focused on circular economies in the property and development sector and building sustainable urban futures. The program is jointly supported by Mirvac and non-profit INCO Australia.

Applications for the September cohort have closed.

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Investors for Startups

We’ve listed below investors and venture capitalists for startups that are ready to launch to market and have a strong potential to commercialise their product or service.

 

  • Blackbird Ventures: Based in Australia and New Zealand, Blackbird have funded companies like Canva, Atlassian and provide funding to pre-IPO and pre-seed startups.
  • Arowana: A BCorporation that operates across a number of sectors including renewables, education but also venture capital. They have several locations in London, Sydney, Singapore, Manila and Tel Aviv.
  • Brandon Capital: Brandon Capital invests in startups within the biotechnology space with real world applications for medical treatment, research and prevention.
  • Tidal: Funding startups with game changing products that address pressing real-world problems. Some startups that Tidal have seeded include Yello and Shippit.
  • OneVentures: One of the largest venture capital firms in Australia, OneVentures has a $170 million Healthcare Fund II investing in scalable medical and therapeutics startups at a near clinical stage.
  • Federation Asset Management: A private equity fund that invests across a range of verticals. Invests in businesses and assets that meet a social and economic need, in sectors like renewable energy, social real estate, healthcare and other ESG-friendly sectors
  • AirTree: AirTree's mission is to help game-changing Australian and Kiwi technology entrepreneurs achieve their ambitions vision. They back startups from the very early pre-revenue stage to later growth stage, with investment sizes ranging from $100,000 to $20 million. Companies they have funded include Canva, A Cloud Guru, Linktree, Go1, Secure Code Warrior, Pet Circle and Joyous. 
  • Rampersand: An early stage and series A fund which invests in startups from $200,000 to 1 million. Whilst not industry specific Rampersand looks for diversity in their founders by representing underrepresented entrepreneurs.
  • Black Sheep Capital: Funding has been across pre-seed, seed and even to Series B with a focus on scalable tech startups.
  • Carbon Group: Carbon Capital helps to invest in startups that are valued at less than $2 million with support in accounting, advisory, insurance and more, in exchange for 5% equity.
  • Square Peg: Focus on series A and series B funding for tech startups internationally in Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Boston and South East Asia.

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Government Grants for Startups

Government grants are the bastion of startups everywhere, if you want to test an idea and execute it, a grant might be for you. Be aware that the stakes are high and grants can be highly competitive so pay attention to all the eligibility criteria when applying. 

 

  • Minimum Viable Product Grants: Open to NSW based businesses only, these grants are for pre-revenue tech startups with the potential to receive funding up to $25,000 or to match 50% of project costs. Startups must prove that 80% of development will take place in NSW and have scalable solutions with B2B and B2C applications.

  • Accelerating Commercialisation Grant: A grant for a novel product or service that has reached the stage of commercialisation. To be eligible you must already be incorporated within Australia or you are a research commercialisation entity or partner entity.

  • Export Market Development Grant: A scheme to support small and medium sized businesses that are looking to expand into export markets outside Australia. The grant is valued at up to $150,000 with a maximum of 8 annual grants, runs July to June and can be claimed on promotional expenses.

  • Research and Development Tax Incentive: This incentive acts as a tax offset for your income tax return within Australia, if your research and development expenditure and activities are less than $20,000.

  • Biomedical Translation Fund: This fund helps to assist startups that have a biomedical discovery with the goal of commercialising the discovery which can be a medical, therapeutic or pharmaceutical services, technology, product or process.

  • Environmental Performance Innovation Grant: This grant is eligible to applicants within the City of Sydney locality and whose project aims to lower greenhouse gas emissions, reduce resources or is an example of a circular economy that can benefit the community more widely.

  • Incubator Support - Expert in Residence: This grant supports Australian startups at the incubator stage who are attempting to commercialise internationally. The grant provides funding from $5,000 to $100,000 for up to a 12 month period.

  • Research, Commercialisation & Startup Fund: Funding for startups in South Australia with three streams available with separate eligibility criteria: ‘Strategic Research Initiatives’, ‘Startup, Early stage company initiatives’ and ‘Entrepreneurship and Innovation Ecosystem Initiatives’.

  • Startup Onramp: A 12-week accelerator program to support startups based in regional areas of Queensland including hubs in Toowoomba, Bundaberg, Townsville, Cairns and more.

  • Business Development Fund: A fund to support Queensland businesses and startups that have research or innovative products or services. Available funding is from $125,000 to $2.5 million.

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Finding the right legal advice for startups might be a daunting task, especially when you’re at the stage of incorporation, looking into equity for your startup or have questions about intellectual property. You’ll be in capable hands with the below law firms that specialise in startups.

 

  • Allens Accelerate: Law firm Allens provides services to help startups at the vital stages like a fixed fee of $1,150 for incorporation and consultation for Intellectual property rights, trademark search and filing in one class.
  • Gilbert + Tobin: This law firm provides expertise to startups in areas of intellectual property, venture capital and funding, advice for partnerships and incentivising employees.
  • Lawpath: A virtual legal service and software platform, Lawpath helps startups find a lawyer and access common legal documents when starting a new business.
  • Sprintlaw: Sprintlaw specialises in legal services for businesses and startups with a team of lawyers who have expertise in intellectual property, technology and corporate and commercial law. Their services can all be done online with fixed fees and legal packages so you know the cost upfront.
  • LegalVision: LegalVision is a specialist law firm that supports startups, small businesses and the like with commercial law advice in contracts, intellectual property, trademarks and employment legal issues.

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Crowdfunding for Startups

Crowdfunding is just one of the creative ways that entrepreneurs and startups raise capital for their ideas. Not without some risk, below are the best crowdfunding platforms for your next venture.

 

  • Pozible: An Australian crowdfunding platform that allows for all kinds of projects including the arts, research, tech and is not specific to the startup ecosystem. Platform fees only apply if your target is met.
  • SeedInvest: An American equity crowdfunding platform that allows anyone to invest in early stage startups.
  • Indiegogo: A crowdfunding platform focused on funding cutting edge and innovative products that solve everyday problems.
  • Patreon: A crowdfunding platform that works on a monthly subscription basis so that fans can support creators. The platform is not specific to startups with a wide range of projects.
  • StartSomeGood: A crowdfunding platform that supports cause-driven, social change projects with the highest project success rate in cause crowdfunding at 53%.

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Calculators for Startups

It’s time to crunch some numbers and get all your ducks in a row. These calculators for startups can help you determine if your startup is as financially healthy as you think it is, whether you’re pre-revenue or are scaling rapidly. 

  • Lease vs. Buy Calculator: A handy calculator to figure out whether it’s more cost effective for your startup to lease or buy equipment and resources.
  • Breakeven Calculator: A calculator that shows at what point your business will breakeven and how many units must be sold to cover costs.
  • ROI Calculator: A calculator to make projections on your digital advertising spend and to calculate your return on investment based on estimated cost per clicks.
  • Product Adoption Calculator: This calculator will let you simulate how financially viable your startup is based on how many early adopters there are and how much it costs to acquire new customers.

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Startup News

The more you know, the more you know. Bookmark the below startup news sites and digital publications to grow your knowledge and to get in on new insights. See how other entrepreneurs have navigated the startup ecosystem successfully.

 

  • Startup Digest: A great email subscription for budding entrepreneurs with curated reading lists and upcoming events.
  • Anthill: An Australian online magazine with articles on business, startups, tech and much more.
  • SmartCompany: An Australian online publication with a strong focus on small business growth and providing practical advice for startups and entrepreneurs.
  • Startup Daily: Another Australian publication with a strong focus on updates, news and stories from the Australian startup ecosystem.
  • Entrepreneur: Entrepreneur magazine is a great resource for all things business and startups- expand your reading with something with more of a global flavour.

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Startup Podcasts

Podcasts can be a wealth of information through conversations and stories with entrepreneurs. Below are some of our favourite startup podcasts, give them a listen even if you’re just starting to dip your toe into the world of startups.

 

  • The Pitch: Produced by Gimlet media, The Pitch is arguably one of the most popular podcasts for startups started in 2017. Episodes range from ‘how not to pitch’ to in-depth conversations with real founders and entrepreneurs.
  • Dorm Room Tycoon: Another popular one, this podcast gets into the nitty gritty of what’s involved in building a startup with practical insights from the guest interviewee.
  • Product Hunt Radio: A weekly podcast that delves into the world of product design through interviews with entrepreneurs who are focused on technological change for the future.
  • Few Who Do: Produced by SBS, Few Who Do explores the entrepreneurial journey of founders and business owners within the Australian startup ecosystem with a focus on solving big social issues.
  • Future Squared: Hosted by Steve Glaveski, this podcast is a series of interviews with thought leaders that spans a variety of sectors and disciplines, so the content here is quite broad but always centred around bettering yourself in a fast changing world.

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CRM

CRM short for customer relationship management can be invaluable for startups nurturing early adopters and acquiring new leads / customers. It’s also advantageous in examining your sales funnel and where there is customer attrition or opportunities to be found. Here are some of our recommended CRMs for startups:

 

  • Hubspot: A free CRM designed for small to medium sized businesses, features a live chat function, email tracking, a reporting dashboard and up to 1 million contacts can be stored.
  • Insightly: Whilst this is a CRM, Insightly is also inbuilt with project management plus marketing & sales tools, so you get three functionalities rolled into one platform.
  • Streak: An easy to use CRM which integrates directly with g suite products (gmail, chrome and google docs). It’s unique selling point is being able to work and manage processes right out of your inbox, so that’s less time switching between platforms.
  • Nimble: Integrates with both g suite and Microsoft Outlook, Nimble gives you a free 14 day trial to test drive their product. It’s best feature is its ability to pull in contact information from multiple sources and build a comprehensive dossier on your next lead.

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Marketing Tools for Startups

So you’ve secured funding for your startup but the next big step is scaling up from a few early adopters to the next thousand customers and beyond. We have gathered the best marketing tools for startups to promote and drive brand awareness with social media, marketing automation, content creation and SEO in mind.

 

  • MailChimp: Probably one of the most popular and user friendly email marketing automation tools available, Mail Chimp allows you to build campaigns through segmentation and an easy to use drag and drop template builder.
  • Sender: A great email automation tool that allows you to send the important and crucial customer retention emails: confirmation emails, abandoned cart reminder emails, welcome emails.
  • AWeber: Designed specifically for small businesses, this email marketing tool will let you create custom landing pages and email templates with ease.
  • Canva: Canva has made graphic design virtually a cinch with its drag and drop platform with thousands of pre-made designs, templates and images to play with. You can build and publish for social media posts, presentations and even flyers.
  • Google Suite: Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics are both essential digital marketing tools that allow you to deep dive into the traffic that is coming to your website, actions taken and are vital to building your digital marketing strategy.
  • Hootsuite: Hootsuite makes social media posting and management a breeze with an easy to use dashboard to schedule your posts across all your social media channels.
  • Buffer: Buffer is another great tool to schedule your social media posts easily from one place and track analytics.
  • Hotjar: A free version is available which allows you to see how users interact with your website with handy visualizations like heatmaps and scrollmaps.
  • Unsplash: A great resource for your startup to find free, high quality stock images to use for your marketing, creative projects or website.
  • Pexels: Again, another place to find editorial quality stock photos for free to use in marketing, social media etc.
  • Hemingway: This nifty little tool helps you craft readable content and highlights where you can improve the grammar, sentence structure and expression of your writing.
  • WeVideo: Create, edit, and publish high quality videos easily, whether you want to make video testimonials, demo videos or even quick video content as part of you digital marketing strategy.
  • Yoast SEO: Yoast is a WordPress plugin but does have other integrations available. It’s an industry standard technical SEO tool which allows you to easily roll out sitemaps, robots.txt files with an inbuilt page readability feature.
  • Ubersuggest: A free SEO keyword research tool which allows you to look at your competitor’s SEO data from rankings to backlinks.
  • Optimizeley: A great tool to start on optimising key pages on your website by building experiments, A/B split testing and iterating to see what drives conversions.

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Outsourcing Tools

Along the entrepreneurial journey you might need some external expertise to get the right professional touches for your startup. Common tasks that startups outsource include graphic design, content writing and web development; here are our picks to find the right freelancer:

 

  • Upwork: Upwork is essentially an online platform for freelancers. You hire freelancers based on an hourly rate from copywriters and editors, marketing specialists to developers and UX specialists.
  • Servcorp: Servcorp offers virtual assistant services with a team of professional personal assistants who can take care administration, copywriting, marketing tasks and more. From 10-minute increments, on an hourly basis or even for short and long-term projects- no task is too big or small for the Servcorp team!
  • 99Designs: Whilst you might not be a pro in graphic design, you’ll definitely find someone who is at 99Designs, which helps businesses match with a designer. Maybe you need help with package design, web design or most importantly logo and brand identity.
  • Fiverr: Another platform that connects you with digital freelancers Fiverr can help you find a professional who’s highly skilled in data analytics, user testing, web design, game development and so much more.

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Project Management Tools

There are many project management tools on the market but not all are made equal. We’ve selected the best project management tools for startups that will help you keep on track with your sprints and hit your milestones.

 

  • Trello: An easy to use board which lets you see at a glance what needs to be done with lists and cards which allow you to flexibly organize your tasks.
  • Asana: Asana is another software that uses the ‘big picture’ board to see what each team member is working on. You can build custom workflows and see timelines so that you can manage important projects that require many moving parts.
  • Slack: Slack is more or less a messenger app but it's designed to run in an agile fashion. You can set up channels which allow communication between team members on specific areas of your business. For example, you could have channels dedicated to marketing, sales and web development.
  • Jira: Jira by Atlassian has been a highly popular project management tool within tech companies and developers. You can customise workflows to your team’s projects and the software’s built in ‘epics’, ‘stories’, ‘themes’ and ‘initiatives’ break down large scale projects into more digestible, achievable chunks.
  • BaseCamp: BaseCamp prides itself on a solution for remote teams. It’s project management software uses a board to organise tasks but also has the features of a chat messenger, file sharing and a message board to alert your team on pressing updates.
  • Monday: Monday like the other project management tools listed above, shares the ‘big picture’ board but also has customisable work flows and an easy to use drag and drop builder. It also touts integrations with a myriad of other softwares, allowing you to organise your work in one central hub.

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Coworking Spaces

Coworking spaces are a cost-effective solution for startups by sharing a common space with other businesses, rather than long term leases associated with traditional offices. Other perks include the opportunity to collaborate and work with other startups and to gain support. Here are our top picks for startup coworking spaces:

  • Servcorp Coworking: Servcorp offers coworking spaces in more than 150 global locations worldwide with both hotdesking from $299 AUD per month and dedicated desks from $450AUD per month. In addition to a coworking space, you will join a global online community of businesses to connect with, promote to and to even source potential investors. Optional extras like using Servcorp’s corporate address as your own business address is a definite advantage for an up and coming startup.
  • Fishburners: Based in Sydney, Fishburners is a startup coworking space with an additional Founders Hub that allows startups to not only pitch and collaborate with other founders but also 1:1 mentoring. A Community desk is $480 per month whilst a dedicated desk is $595 per month.
  • Tank Stream Labs: With coworking spaces in Sydney and Perth, Tank Stream Labs offers membership for full time startups from $550 - $900 per month and part time startups from $350 - $360 per month with the added bonus of their corporate partnerships.
  • Stone and Chalk: Stone and Chalk are a startup innovation community with physical coworking spaces at each of their locations in Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne. A hot desk starts at $580 per month, a dedicated desk at $685 per month and private offices at $820 per month.

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Networking for Startups

In the startup ecosystem, networking is a truly untapped resource for entrepreneurs to build valuable contacts and relationships with potential investors, partnerships and to strengthen your exposure to new conversations and ideas from your peers. To approach business networking the right way, below are some of our picks for staying abreast of networking opportunities near you:

  • Servcorp: Servcorp offers serviced offices, virtual offices, coworking and meeting rooms in over 150 locations globally with the added benefit of an online global community of over 60,000 businesses. Buy, sell, and even collaborate with startups and businesses!
  • Meetup: Meetup is a platform and app to source events and groups local to you. Search for ‘startup’ and you will find many upcoming events and meet ups in your city. You can attend monthly get togethers, pitch nights and learn form thought leaders and entrepreneurs.
  • Startup Grind: Startup Grind is the largest global community for startups, founders and entrepreneurs. You can apply for the Startup Membership program and join your nearest chapter which offers workshops, introduction to partners and investors and even free access to Startup Grind’s annual summit.
  • Entrepreneur’s Organization: Another global startup community with 198 chapters across the globe. Connect with founders in your local chapter and learn from others with the members only forum, events and more.
  • Eventbrite: Eventbrite is another great site to find startup networking events near you. You can filter by location and even search for events that are online only so you can really expand on your learning and personal development.

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