Mastering the art of pivot

Back to basics

Before the pandemic, Startup&Angles used to be an after-work event series with startups pitching in front of investors & business angels.

Our value proposition didn’t change, we still want to help our community learn from successful entrepreneurs and investors, connect, exchange and meet the right person for their business. For this reason, we decided to organise a pitching session gathering 2 startups who are mastering the art of pivoting and 2 investors to share some tips and advice on how to adapt during a crisis.

For this edition, we focused on the art of pivot.

❊ How to recognize the opportunities for my business?

❊ How to adapt quickly and efficiently during the crisis?

❊ Getting ready for the new world after-covid.


______/// Speakers \\\______

Michelle Deaker, Managing partner @One Ventures

Robert Nicholls, Early stage VC Angel @Cradle Ventures

Angela Bee Chan, Founder and CEO @Hackathons Australia

Nathan Carroll, Co-Founder & CEO @Quickapay


______///Angela, spreading the Hackathons trend \\\______

❊ After noticing a massive need for charities to fundraise money, Angela started to go to hackathons where she discovered the global startup ecosystem, met with great bsuiness founders and discovered a new interest for innovation. 

❊  6 years ago, she finally decided to create and develop a Hackathons community to spread the hackathons trend and bring that culture to everyone in Australia.

❊ What’s a hackathons exactly? A creative, intensive process where a diverse group of people come together to solve meaningful problems by creating a minimum awesome product, often using technology.


❊ The mission: empower everyone to be changemakers through hackathons and build confidence for beginners.

❊ When Covid-19 happened, organising physical events was obviously no longer an option to and Angela had to pivot her business and find new opportunities. That’s when she introduced Hackathons International which was the change to:

  • Go global and support locals. 
  • Use creative time in a multi purpose environment. With people working from home, we have more time in our weekly agenda and that’s the perfect occasion to grow our muscle brain and learn with fun thanks to hackathons.
  • Redefinition of need vs want when solving for critical infrastructure

❊ The secret recipe of an online hackathon/event… PISS!

  • What is your Purpose?
  • What is the Intent?
  • Understanding the Sponsors
  • The Skill side: what people can learn.


______///Nathan, helping small businesses pay faster and improve customer experience\\\______

❊ The concept of Quickapay is to help these businesses pay faster by making invoices and payments easier through intelligent emails and sms tracking. The point is to ultimate the whole payment process and manage all your paying customers in one place.

❊ What’s the customer’s problem?

  • No one reply to his mailbox but everyone responds to text messages
  • Sometimes people don’t have time to pay
  • Sometimes they don’t have the money now

… That’s where quickapay is here to help!

❊ During covid, small businesses are one of the most impacted and most of them ceased to exist. Quickapay’s team has to take a step back and listen to their customer wants and needs to redefine the business model.

❊ Businesses’ main goal is to help customers but ultimately your customers will come to you and tell you what the problem is, you just have to listen and solve it. Small businesses are facing a lot of problems that can create a lot of opportunities for companies. The essence for every businesses should be to really look for what people needs!

❊ For Quickapay the solution was then to focus on invoicing: credit and debit cards payments, 10 weeks interest free installment plans B2B & C, Rest API, invoices, e-commerce, POS. It allowed them to acquire users at scale – which was a bit intimidated at first because they had to fight against the big boys (Paypal, Stripe) but in a few months, the company doubled up its revenue.


______/// Michelle, VC master of pivot \\\______

❊ Michelle is an Australian VC backing tech and health care looking for transformative business, founders that have big ideas and want to change the world.

❊ She shared with us her first pivot experience in a tech startup selling online vouchers. At the time, they invest all efforts and money in Marketing (bus sides) only to realize at Christmas that they didn’t drive as much revenue as expected. They started to listen to customers and found a massive pain point: people can loose their vouchers and loose their money.  The solution? in store electronic tracking solution for vouchers. In a few months, they become leader in electronic vouchers. For Michelle, that is the best pivot in her career and it really accelerated the business.

❊  She shared some tips on how to manage crisis:

  • Strict cash flow management
  • Focus to core business
  • Customers can pay upfront
  • Offer customer exclusivity
  • Invoice discounting and r&d loans
  • Retain talent with equity
  • Get rid of under performers
  • Capital raising plan A, B, C provide proof
  • Key suppliers = potentiel investors
  • Consulting to pay the bills
  • Grants and incentives

______///Robert, support businesses in their acceleration into greatness \\\______

❊  Robert want to be the enabler so startups can validate product market fit, commence their growth trajectory so they can be handed off to highly resourced VC Firms who can help them to accelerate into greatness. His investment objective: Back high conviction ventures through ‘seed’ rounds of MVP/POC funding to enable them to position for those cheques that give them ‘wings’

❊  The value of Cradle Ventures? Resource Enabler & Risk Mitigator – capital, expertise, structure, governance, risk management: provide those ‘blended resources to enable founders to successfully trek (or traverse) the valley of death.

❊  Traction Proof Points of businesses:

  • Ventures revenues are ideal but this is not a lead indicator of the potential for out-performing success (show me more than the money!)
  • Are the revenues sustainable, viable and ‘sticky’? How will sales be scaled? Forecast ARR?
  • Customer metrics: CAC, LTV, Churn, NPS
  • Efficiency and Effectiveness of capital deployment (optimised burn-rate with measurable impact)
  • What is the ventures SMART and credible roadmap to success?
  • Founders resilience and adaptability: demonstrated evidence of successfully managing an unexpected event and position the business for continued success e.g. a pivot


We will post the replay on our new platform very soon! 
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