By Min Kumar

Top 5 Online Communities for Start-Ups

Businesses

Communities abound online, for every interest or niche there are multiple communities of people providing avenues for discussion and resources. For entrepreneurs in Australia the possibilities are seemingly endless. There are networks for education, training, funding, marketing and a plethora of others. Today we look at five communities that offer start-ups the resources they need to succeed.

BlueChilli

If you’re a start-up in need of web applications or in search of an investor for your software program, BlueChilli may be the incubator for you. Developed by Sebastien Eckersley-Maslin, BlueChilli has invested in 19 start-up businesses to date with a view to expand to 100 by 2016. The venture capital firm boasts a comprehensive team of software engineers, web developers, graphic designers and an experienced marketing team focused on assisting start-ups achieve faster growth. They also host a range of events for the start-up community featuring industry influencers and technology leaders.

StartSoc

Are you a tech entrepreneur or enabler looking to join an ecosystem of likeminded professionals? Start Society (AKA StartSoc) make their bones focusing on disruptive innovation. If their name doesn’t ring a bell then maybe you’ll have heard of SydStart, touted as the largest professional startup conference, expo and community in Australasia. The group hosts an array of events over the year to connect tech start up entrepreneurs with local, national and global resources. StartSoc aims to be financially and operationally independent and therefore relies on staff volunteering their time, member crowd-funding and tech enabler sponsorship. Founding member positions are currently open so if you’re interested in helping others (and yourself) consider throwing your hat into the ring.

Innovation Bay

With over $10 million in seed investments to their name Innovation Bay are a not-for-profit networking group start-ups should look out for. Innovation Bay provides a networking platform for innovators to meet with investors within the tech industry. By hosting regular networking events such as Angel Dinners where start-ups submit 90-second video pitches to investors (Angels) who later vote for the best 4 ideas to be expanded upon at the next dinner, the network has succeeded in uniting entrepreurs with forward-thinking investors.

Pollenizer

Australia’s oldest start up incubator, Pollenizer is testimony to the benefits of an evolving business model. Responding and adapting to the market over the years has kept Pollenizer at the forefront of the start-up industry. Entering the market in 2007 as a venture technology company (similar to start up bestie, BlueChilli) that took on four to six start-ups annually, Pollenizer has evolved to become a business development and coordinating resource, taking on only one or two projects per year. The juggernaut then invests a total of $200,000 into their chosen ideas, with $100,000 coming directly from them and the remainder from an external investor. But don’t be mistaken, Pollenizer is not an accelerator or investor, rather a start-up consulting service looking to create strong relationships and long-lasting businesses.

Pushstart

Tech start-ups in need of advice, seed funding and mentoring from national and international entrepreneurs may find the resources they’re after at a PushStart event. PushStart operates on the ethos of providing relevant, contextual advice and guidance to an early stage start up. Integral to the program are its diverse range of mentors, adept at advising at all stages of the start-up process; In October last year PushStart joined forces with Innovation Bay, to introduce the benefits of angel investment to the high-tech market. This partnership coupled with a comprehensive development program has seen a number of successes in the past 2 years.

Variety is awesome but are you unsure which community is right for you? Take our online start-up community quiz to find the right fit for you.

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