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What is StartSoc?

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Enabling entrepreneur ecosystem excellence

Welcome to The Start Society, we help entrepreneurs help themselves to create and scale global technology enabled businesses and an enduring enabling ecosystem for wealth creation and social impact.

The Start Society (also known as StartSoc) is an independent grassroots national body helping professional technology startup entrepreneurs and their ecosystem enablers.

iCentral Coworking community for tech startups is the first product set of The Start Society, there are lots more.

Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.
– Steve Jobs (Apple)

StartSoc started in Sydney Australia but aims to help throughout the wider Australasian region and maybe even further over time.

StartSoc is a volunteer run social enterprise and most of our members are commercial enterprises. We are not a charity and neither are our members. Read about our team.

Focus

Our focus is on tech startups because they have a more leveraged effect on wealth creation and social impact compared to traditional startups  (SMEs/SMBs/eSMEs).

I am just as proud of many of the things we have not done as the things we have done.  Innovation is saying no to a thousand things. – Steve Jobs

We particularly favour disruptive innovation startups based on internet and mobile technologies because they scale and have greater growth prospects and the potential to become centurions and unicorns.

Focus is also a major attribute of successful entrepreneurs, they are able to choose a market, team and product to execute in, with and on to achieve product-market fit. Great entrepreneurs ‘stay wide’ or ‘diffused’ early in their journey and listen to wider customer problems before then changing stance to a more laser-like focus on the product once it starts to get adoption by the market. i.e focus deeper only once people start buying it.

The Start Society supports zones, these are activity based spaces for different community tasks so entrepreneurs can focus, connect and create more effectively.

Persistence

Founders who are driven, or are a  ‘force of nature’ and persist often create their own luck. Our role is to help them help each other in a balanced way. Sometimes an understanding ear or a shared insight is enough to make the difference to get up and do it again. Blind stubbornness is not the answer.

I’m convinced that about half of what separates successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance. – Steve Jobs

The Start Society provides unique services of exceptional value to the community  so entrepreneurs can have a longer runway with more effective work.

Doing the right thing globally

Doing what is right and doing it the right way globally is hard. Really hard. Having others around that have been there recently and succeeded or are working it out right now too really helps on the journey. It doesn’t matter if your focus is wealth, social impact or more.

Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me … Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful … that’s what matters to me. – Steve Jobs

The Start Society aims to provide enduring global channels to help the community connect leverage itself, from the simple #startsoc hashtag to more sophisticated tools.

Vision

The Start Society is more than just the name of our organisation, it also encapsulates our vision, we hope to foster a movement as a social enterprise encouraging everyone to start a business and create wealth, social impact and sustainable, differentiated innovation. This is a future that is in stark contrast to the most likely scenario future where we focus on low value exports and services which have limited ability to scale.

I want to put a ding in the universe. – Steve Jobs

Imagine thousands or tens of thousands of tech startups of various sizes, levels of maturity and industry/function focus around each of our top population centres and also around each of our top universities. It would transform our country and our region.

The Start Society is working on tools and partners to discover, connect and enable the tech startup entrepreneur ecosystem. We call it putting a rocket under the startup ecosystem!

A For-Purpose Organisation

We are organised as a curated group of entrepreneurs providing peer learning, support and connections to fellow entrepreneurs. Most if not all of StartSoc’s work is done by volunteers or a small core secretariat of paid specialists. We are a for-purpose organisation and as such we are not currently a not-for-profit nor are we motivated by profit. We strongly identify with the principles of being a social enterprise.

Goals/Mission

Our goals include –

  • Connect: Hyper-connecting the ecosystem as this is proven to increase value, impact, resilience, timeliness/speed, support, peer learning and reduce negative aspects like illness, uncertainty and stress.

    Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. – Steve Jobs

  • Learn: Informal and formal education including peer learning and mentoring. Combined with a hyper connected environment, the goal here is not just to get ahead but to stay ahead in a sustainable manner.

    I think if you do something and it turns out pretty good, then you should go do something else wonderful, not dwell on it for too long. Just figure out what’s next. – Steve Jobs

  • Inspire: Sharing success stories and meeting globally successful founders first hand creates hope, dreams and fires up passion a key element of sustained success, entrepreneurship is not easy.

    Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart. – Steve Jobs

Community Curation

We curate (select for membership) our tech startup entrepreneur community based on these main application criteria –

  • Market – Large, growing, global and addressable market. We will help mentor and review target markets for suitability and provide access to relevant volunteer mentoring on request.

    There is only one boss. The customer. – Sam Walton (Walmart).

  • Team – passionate (loves your market), educated (sufficiently to compete), self-aware, balanced, learning (including peer learning) and of course sharing with the team and the community to complete the peer learning loop.

    Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle. – Steve Jobs

  • Product – iterating (based on data), innovating (ideally disruptively according to Prof. Clayton Christensen’s work) and differentiating (based on design and market research).

    It’s really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them. – Steve Jobs

Our community spaces like iCentral.Co are only one product but we aim to help in this last section on Product more than most with support and aggressively priced products. Reducing early stage startup businesses burn rate enables more iterations. So entrepreneurs have a better chance of finding product market fit before they run out of resources.

Early stage curation during community formation is recognised by researchers as a powerful method for achieving cohesive and high performing cultures.

Important Note: It is not a requirement for startups to hold patents, to know their exact market or team or product yet. Nor is it a requirement to have an extremely high level of education or funding, these just need to be sufficient for the target product/market.

The Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

Entrepreneurs are at the centre of the entrepreneurial ecosystem but there are many other elements that contribute to their success at different stages from mentors, investors, educators, coaches, peers, hackers (developers, dev-ops, quality/testing, architecture), hipsters (designers, UI, UX, graphic), hustlers (sales, marketing, operations, high growth business experts, growth hackers), coworking spaces, incubators, accelerators, government, agencies, advisors (legal, funding, accounting) and more.

The Start Society provides a free ecosystem map or directory in the form of a tech startup ecosystem master list of lists to facilitate hyper connectivity, transparency and awareness of commercial bias.

Joining The Start Society

Want to become a StartSoc member? Apply Now

The best way to join is to get directly involved at iCentralCo or indirectly via your local tech startup coworking space and if they are not already an affiliate member then get them to become an affiliate so you and your local startups can all benefit. Other membership types are also being developed.

Come and help make a difference.

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like:

‘If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.’

It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself:

‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’

And whenever the answer has been ‘no’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something. – Steve Jobs

The Start Society provides a variety of physical spaces and virtual membership plans to help entrepreneurs.

Products

Our products include –

  • Space
    • curated for-purpose coworking communities like iCentralCo and
    • affiliate access to our hubs for regional coworking communities that are ‘out of town’
    • partner access to our hubs for major ecosystem participants like investors, accelerators, educators, events, incubators and peer co-working spaces
  • Insight/Education
    • regular speakers,
    • mentoring
    • meet-ups in business/entrepreneurship, technology, design and thinking
    • organised events
    • meet-ups
    • peer learning
  • Resources/Directories
    • deals/discounts (via online forums)
    • mentors list,
    • investors list,
    • affiliated spaces list,
    • online and offline collaboration tools (national online group chat, national online discussion forums/boards),
    • national distributed library (devices for testing, books),
    • coordination tools (industry calendars, etc).
  • Support  – general connections, introductions, FAQ and more.

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