A startup vocabulary can be confusing, with so many acronyms and buzzwords. But there is one word that everyone should know: unicorns.
It is the crowning title for magical companies valued at over a billion dollars.
While hardly a unicorn, Victoria has 20 that have created more than $100 billion in value between them.
You may be familiar with some of Victoria’s own, including SEEK, CarSales and realestate.com.au. And you’re probably hearing more about our latest unicorns, including Zeller, Linktree and A Cloud Guru.
What is so magical about unicorns?
What excites us at LaunchVic isn’t just their incredible growth from a small startup to a large company in less than 10 years. It’s also a catalyst for growing the startup ecosystem and the wider economy.
When startups scale successfully, they are amazing entrepreneurs who can help people with talent run high-growth businesses.
The magic actually happens when exits like IPOs happen, accelerating the local ecosystem to the next level. This is because many start-up operators find new start-ups or help other budding start-ups, encouraging the growth of the start-up ecosystem.
The founders and leaders of employee share plans realize wealth, which they typically reinvest in the ecosystem by becoming angel investors or forming their own venture capital funds.
But we know that reaching unicorn status isn’t easy, as the margin between success and failure can be narrow for beginners and rank-and-file.
Sometimes it’s about getting the right help from the right people, to steer the business in the right direction at the right time.
Contamination day by day
The impact of unicorns on our ecosystem is the main reason why LaunchVic developed the 30X30 program. The program aims to actively support 30 Victorian startups to become Unicorns by 2030, specifically by getting their back office in order.
Very few startup executives in Australia have the experience of growing a company from startup to scale to unicorn.
First-hand accounts from existing unicorn leaders – including our very own LaunchVic Chair Leigh Jasper, who founded Aconex – show that supporting HR, operations and finance executives on the ascent journey will ultimately support the company’s growth.
It exposes leaders to common balance challenges and obstacles beyond developing their practice. Most importantly, it frees up founders to focus on continuous growth.
There is very limited formal support for standards, so LaunchVic implemented the program with the best current and former Unicorn executives from Australia and overseas.
The program includes an executive training and mentoring program, sponsored education and access to LaunchVic’s extensive local and international networks at no cost.
We currently have some of Australia’s best startups going through the program, including Carbar, July and Bare, and we have two more programs to launch in 2024.
Adopt the unicorn mentality
UK Tech Nation can vouch for the success of these types of programs. Their Future Fifty Program Since its launch in 2013, it has served 30% of the UK’s 105 unicorns, which have raised over $36 billion in venture capital investment.
Great Australian standards are growing rapidly and shaping our economy. They have created thousands of jobs and we know there is more economic growth from their success.
We’re learning from the best and adopting a unicorn mindset, to provide promising benchmarks for all growth opportunities.
- Dr. Kate Cornick is the CEO of LaunchVic.
Leave a Reply