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How do we address the seed funding gap?

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Event description

With so many startup success stories in recent years, it’s easy to forget that we are still in the early days of venture capital in Australia. In contrast to more mature startup ecosystems like the US, Australia’s VC industry is practically still in its infancy. Even though the ecosystem is still young, in recent years, angel and seed investment in Australia has fallen, both in terms of the number of deals and the aggregate value of early-stage investments, compared to later-stage venture capital. This is broadly consistent with global trends toward fewer higher-value deals, but the steep decline in Australian deal numbers is notable and worrying.

While the industry shift towards investing in later stage companies with “safer” returns certainly makes sense, in the long-run, this trend has the potential to be harmful. The long term success of the startup ecosystem relies on a healthy, robust pipeline of early-stage startups. Without critical capital and support early on, future unicorns may wither away before they get the chance to thrive.

We have invited three exceptional personalities to discuss how this gap in seed funding has developed and what steps need to be taken to jump start a fresh wave of funding for early-stage startups in Australia.

Meet the panel:

Jackie Vullinghs (Airtree Ventures) Jackie is a principal at AirTree Ventures, with a established background in finance and investment for seed stage companies. 

Alex McCauly (StartupAUS) Alex is the CEO of Australia's national tech startup advocacy organisation, StartupAus. With over a decade of experience working in public policy and government advocacy around the world.

Grant McCarthy (Tidal Ventures) Grant is the Founder & Managing Partner at Tidal Ventures, a Seed venture capital fund with a focus on product-led founders going global.


7:30 am - Doors open

8:00 am - Introduction and panel discussion

8:45 am - Q&A with the audience

9:00 am - Event concludes

This event will be in-person for the 30 guests who secure a physical ticket. For everyone else across Australia and those that can't make it in-person get your free virtual ticket and join the event!

Be Covid Safe. We take our responsibility as an event organiser seriously so in response to Covid-19, we have procedures we want to make you aware of:

  • We adhere to the 4 sqm rule at all venues
  • We'll provide hand sanitiser should anyone want some
  • We'll temperature check all attendees
  • We encourage attendees to wear a face mask
  • We encourage attendees if they have been to a Covid hotspot 48hrs before the event not to attend
  • We'll have a staff member who will be visible and noted as the safety officer who will ensure social distancing and safety

What we ask of you:

  • If you feel unwell within 48 hours of the event, or have been in a Covid hotspot, please let us know and take a raincheck for next time.
  • We encourage attendees to wear a mask to attend and will have hand sanitiser and tissues available.
  • On attendance, we'll tempreture check all attendees as we hand out name badges

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