Event report: YEF Professional Speakers Series: Successful Start-Ups and Entrepreneurs

08.06.17 Homepage

On Wednesday 7 June, The German-Australian Chamber was delighted to welcome its members and friends for a panel discussion on the topic of start-ups and entrepreneurs at the University of Sydney Business School in Sydney. The venue was outstanding, modern and provided a good atmosphere for the discussion.

After some drinks and canapés, the nearly 70 attendees were welcomed by Kristian Wolf, Executive Director at the German- Australian Chamber. He pointed out the relevance of the topic to the Chamber and its members.

Mr James Meade, Manager of the Innovation Hub at The University of Sydney Business School, moderated the evening and introduced the four expert panellists to the guests. The Chamber was thrilled to have a panel with Mr Mike Rich (Co-Founder Attaché Software and Co-Founder of the NFP M-Institute (ANZ)), Mr Jonathan Lay (Venture Capital Associate at Macquarie Group), Mr Jens Pistorius, (Principle Innovation Consultant and Founder of Incepto) and Mr Greg Symons (Co-Founder of SocietyOne, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Clearmatch TM).

The panel gave many different points of view on the topic. The panellists discussed how important a well-defined, innovative idea is for founding a start-up and which role a mentor can play in this process. It is crucial to not only have an idea from the beginning, but also to be able to communicate it internally and externally to establish clear brand identity and purpose in the given market. Start-ups can be founded without an idea, per se, but this requires a stellar team for support and to bounce around ideas.

It was also discussed how and where founders can find investors to support their project and what important aspects are to be considered here. Another important part of the discussion was the risks and pitfalls that are assuredly awaiting young business founders. Whilst much of the discussion was optimistic, there were important reminders that failure is a reality. Many business ideas fail or must be adapted in order to achieve success. Hurdles must be overcome.


Interestingly, although much of the focus these days is on start-ups in the very literal sense (that is, new companies), panellists also argued that it is important for well-established companies and industries to start over. By overhauling themselves, they can reinvent processes, products and services to adapt better to shifting markets in an increasingly digital world.

A Q&A round invited the attendees to ask further questions, which they did with high interest. James did a fantastic job of moderating the evening and the panellists shared valuable insights into their entrepreneurial experience.

After an engaging discussion, guests networked until late while enjoying some more delicious snacks and beverages. We would like to thank our panellists for their time and for sharing their knowledge with our audience, as well as The University of Sydney for hosting this enlightening and very successful event.

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