Cover art for podcast The History of the Australian Startup Ecosystem: Interview Series

The History of the Australian Startup Ecosystem: Interview Series

121 EpisodesProduced by DayOne.fmWebsite

In 'The History of the Australian Startup Ecosystem' podcast, join host Adam Spencer as they delve into the fascinating history of the Australian startup ecosystem. From the earliest tech companies to the success stories of today, this series covers it all. Each episode will feature interviews with … read more


Tis the season to be reflective - 2023 in review on First Cheque - First Cheque


Cheryl Mack and Maxine Minter reflect on the year 2023 and discuss the challenges and trends in the startup ecosystem. They talk about the tough environment for founders and investors, with many companies struggling to raise funds and facing down rounds. However, they also highlight the resilience and determination of founders who were able to survive and even thrive in the face of adversity.

The hosts discuss the increase in funding for female founders, although there is still a long way to go in achieving gender parity in the industry. They also touch on the growth of climate tech and AI as key areas of investment, with these sectors propping up the funding ecosystem.

Cheryl and Maxine express cautious optimism for the year 2024, noting the need for continued creativity and resilience in the face of challenges. They also highlight the importance of addressing issues of behaviour and inclusivity in the startup ecosystem.

Key Takeaways
  • Challenges in the Startup Ecosystem (2023): The year was marked by difficulties for many companies in raising funds, with instances of down rounds reflecting a challenging environment for the startup ecosystem.
  • Resilience of Founders: Success in these tough times was often attributed to the resilience and determination of founders, who demonstrated the ability to navigate through the demanding market conditions effectively.
  • Funding for Female Founders: While there was a notable increase in funding for female founders, reaching a historical high, the conversation acknowledges that more efforts are necessary to achieve gender parity in funding.
  • Growth of Climate Tech and AI: Both climate tech and AI emerged as standout sectors, drawing significant investments and spearheading innovation despite the broader economic challenges.
  • Outlook for 2024: The year ahead is approached with cautious optimism. The emphasis is on the necessity for ongoing creativity and resilience to address and overcome upcoming challenges.


- "I think ingenuity was a real theme. I'm excited to dive in today, obviously. Tis the season to be reflecting." - Cheryl Mack

- "The founders that survive this are the ones that we are so excited to back as investors." - Maxine Minter

- "I think optimism and holding on to a sense of optimism won this year. Pairing it with creativity, also really effective." - Maxine Minter

- "I think 2024 is looking cautiously optimistic. Cautiously optimistic." - Maxine Minter


00:05 - Introduction to the podcast

00:25 - Reflecting on the year and the challenges faced

02:02 - Difficulty of raising funds and the resilience of founders

04:32 - Founders' determination to survive and adapt

05:08 - Employment Hero becoming a unicorn

06:31 - Tentative re-entry of international investors into the Australian ecosystem

07:38 - Gap between top founders and average deals narrowing

08:49 - Overpaying in the early stages of funding

09:05 - Australian tech facing criticism from the media

10:46 - Turning point in sentiment with SVB collapse and Milk Run

11:18 - Discussion about the impact of FTX and Sam Bankman-Fried's sentencing

12:13 - AI and climate tech propping up the funding industry in 2023

13:56 - AI adoption curve and its impact on the legal tech industry

15:01 - Tight capital environment in Q1 and Q2 of 2023

15:32 - Increase in interest and funding for climate tech

17:10 - Rise of climate tech-focused funds in Australia

18:19 - Lack of AI-focused funds in Australia

20:06 - Creativity in funding and rise of professionalized fund management

21:30 - Optimism about more fund raising in 2024

21:52 - Increase in funding for female founders, but still low overall

22:33 - Matching population demographics

22:48 - Lack of data on women-led...

Educational emoji reaction


Interesting emoji reaction


Funny emoji reaction


Agree emoji reaction


Love emoji reaction


Wow emoji reaction


Listen to The History of the Australian Startup Ecosystem: Interview Series


A free podcast app for iPhone and Android

  • User-created playlists and collections
  • Download episodes while on WiFi to listen without using mobile data
  • Stream podcast episodes without waiting for a download
  • Queue episodes to create a personal continuous playlist
RadioPublic on iOS and Android
Or by RSS
RSS feed

Connect with listeners

Podcasters use the RadioPublic listener relationship platform to build lasting connections with fans

Yes, let's begin connecting
Browser window

Find new listeners

  • A dedicated website for your podcast
  • Web embed players designed to convert visitors to listeners in the RadioPublic apps for iPhone and Android
Clicking mouse cursor

Understand your audience

  • Capture listener activity with affinity scores
  • Measure your promotional campaigns and integrate with Google and Facebook analytics
Graph of increasing value

Engage your fanbase

  • Deliver timely Calls To Action, including email acquistion for your mailing list
  • Share exactly the right moment in an episode via text, email, and social media
Icon of cellphone with money

Make money

  • Tip and transfer funds directly to podcastsers
  • Earn money for qualified plays in the RadioPublic apps with Paid Listens