I am
My Own
Work
In
Progress

Increase the speed,
scale and sustainability
of your startup success.

UPSIDE
FOUNDER
PROGRAM
2023

WHY?
WHAT GOT
YOU HERE
WON’T GET
YOU
THERE!

Learn from people who know
the founder journey in a cohort
of your peers at the same Series
A-B growth stage as you

FOUNDER
FIRST

Putting yourself first is a smart
strategy. We help optimise the
founder first, then the team
and the business, building a
flywheel for founder learning
and growth.

FOUNDER FIRST

HOW WE
DO IT

Q1 – Optimising the Founder

Build emotional intelligence, improve your focus, enhance physical health, boost energy and resilience, increase motivation, develop personal and professional relationships.

Q2 – Optimising the Team

What are high performing
teams made of? How do you
design, build and lead a
sustainable culture that scales?
Learn how to help people
deliver the best work of
their careers.

Q3 – Optimising the Business

Scaling your business
requires customers and
capital. But where will they
come from? What is the role
of product, marketing, sales
and business model design?

WHAT
WE
BELIEVE

Stay Curious

Stay Curious

Curiosity is the root cause of insight, creativity, learning and development. 

Get Connected

Get Connected

Meet and learn from other founders at the same growth stage as you.

Be A WIP

Be A WIP

Upgrade your operating-system with new capabilities you can apply immediately.

Have A Laugh

Have A Laugh

“Laughter is the shortest distance between two people,”
Victor Borge.
Learning should be enjoyable.

UPSIDE
ALUMNI
SOME
AMAZING
FOUNDERS

UPSIDE ALUMNI

UPSIDE
FACULTY

The program is delivered by some of the world’s best practitioners excited to share actionable models, insights and practices that you can use straight away.

Chief Evangelist at Upside. Co-founder, Sendle. Mentor, Startmate. Investor x 30. Teacher, Search Inside Yourself. Adjunct Prof, UTS Business School.

Craig
Davis

Startup super fan. Early stage investor. Big picture thinker. Customer + product junkie. Voracious reader. Extreme walker. Wanna be farmer. Art Wank. Wife keeper. Kid wrangler. Dog lover. No shoes.

Rachael
Neumann

Principal, Square Peg. Previously, CEO, Startmate. Prior to that, Us-based and helping to scale Khan Academy from YouTube success to the largest ed-tech organisation in the world.

James
Tynan

Professional coach to high growth founders and their teams, researcher on founder and co-founder mindset, founder of Fingerprint for Success

Michelle
Duval

Principal, Startmate. On the lookout for Australia and New Zealand’s best founders before they even know it!

Lauren
Capelin

Cofounded GO1.com with my best mates from high school where my main focus was heading up growth of b2b sales. Also a doctor (GP) and still practice a day a week in my own time.

Vu
Tran

Chief People Officer. Startup advisor. Passionate explorer. Fuelled by adventure and discovering the unknown. Life learner. Happiness sherpa.

Justin
Angsuwat

CEO, Startmate. Michael started in finance and consulting before working at two of Australia’s largest marketplaces MadPaws and Expert360. After taking Expert360 through a $14m Series B he joined Startmate.

Michael
Batko

After leadership roles in the US at Dropbox and Twitter, SMK manages recruiting efforts for US and Australian Startups. Specialising in helping pre-IPO companies set up recruiting processes and scale rapidly.

Sarah
Mills-Krutilek

Founded Rampersand, an early stage Australian tech VC, after a career working with tech startups in commercial marketing roles in Aus, Europe and Silicon Valley.

Paul
Naphtali

Passionate about building high-performance teams, Rod leads Culture Amp’s Product org of over 150 Product Managers, Designers and Engineers involved in building the world’s most impactful People & Culture Platform.

Rod
Hamilton

Married with 3 kids, I’ve achieved and struggled. Former pro athlete, high performance coach, now leadership consultant, coach and facilitator. Known for my authenticity, humility and ability to help leaders and teams perform.

Scott
Draper

Co-founder, Blackbird. Investing in Australia’s best tech startups. Previously, Rick ran MLC’s venture capital portfolio with investments >$500m and co-founded two successful software companies: IDC Global and Right Party Connect.

Rick
Baker

Airbnb’s first employee in Australia, expanding her remit across Asia Pacific. Joined Sendle as Chief Marketing and Customer Officer. The company is based in Sydney, and operates in Australia and the US.

Eva
Ross

General Partner at Blackbird VC, based in Melbourne. Nick has invested in companies like Culture Amp, nura, Dovetail, Eucalyptus, Morse Micro, XY Sense and Applied.

Nick
Crocker

Expert in behavioural economics in business, and life. Makes and saves clients money, changes behaviour, and proves outcomes. Loves wildlife photography.

Sonia
Friedrich

Serial entrepreneur. Tech investor. Built and exited a number of technology companies. Lived in Silicon Valley for several years. Exercise nut.

James
Cattermole

Product & product ops person. Previously a founder (have gone through 2 acquisitions), a developer, and a program manager. Currently building Austrade’s services to help startups go global.

Ben
Hartney

Partner, Right Click Capital. Benjamin has a track record of investing in and building successful technology businesses for over twenty years.

Benjamin
Chong

Researcher studying the impact of diet on brain and behaviour.

Mike
Kendig

Francis co-founded Propeller Aero in 2014, a SaaS platform for construction teams that’s grown into one of Australia’s top startups, and worked with hundreds of founders as part of the AWS Startups team.

Francis
Vierboom

Matt is the CEO of Tractor Ventures, has 40 or so early tech investments and an ex-technical founder x3. He likes electric things like cars & bikes.

Matt
Allen

Paula is a leading expert in sleep health and fatigue risk management, with a passion for sharing the importance of prioritising good sleep and practical evidence-based tips for how to get it.

Paula
Mitchell

James is the Co-Founder and CEO of Sendle, Australia and America’s first 100% Carbon Neutral parcel delivery service.

James
Chin Moody

Partner, KPMG High Growth Ventures. Has worked in and with startups for over 20 years here and the US. Believes in the correlation between the founder’s mental and physical health and the performance of the startup.

Amanda
Price

CEO, Technology Council of Australia, the peak body for Australia’s tech sector. Contributing $167bn to GDP annually, and employing 861,000 people, the tech sector is a key pillar of the Australian economy.

Kate
Pounder

Australian born, David is one of the most celebrated and awarded advertising people of all time. In 2006, dissatisfied with helping other companies flourish, he launched Droga5 in the US.In 2021, Droga5 was named Agency of the Decade and was acquired by Accenture.

David
Droga

Dancer and choreographer. Royal Ballet School, Royal Ballet Company, Sydney Dance Company, Bangarra, Chunky Move, Australian Dance Theatre. Lived Sydney, London, New York, LA. Toured everywhere.

Kate
Dunn

Co-founder, Lexer. Combines creativity and technology with entrepreneurial spirit to drive transformative growth. Previously, Founder/CEO/Board in Advertising, Retail, Software, Hospitality and Arts.

Dave
Whittle

Nutritionist, Registered Nurse and Clinical Specialist at Microba. Passionate about obesity-related chronic disease prevention and furthering our understanding of the microbiome and metabolic disease.

Christine
Stewart

VP of People and Culture at Baraja, a start-up with a unique approach to LiDAR for self-driving vehicles. She has been in the People and Technology space for 20 years working around the world.

Reshmi
Buthello

Casey is an Investor at Square Peg, an international VC invested in companies like Fiverr, Stripe and Canva. Before joining Square Peg she was at Uber for almost 6 years in Operations & Strategy.

Casey
Flint

Managing Partner of Giant Leap, Australia’s first 100% impact venture capital fund dedicated to rapidly scalable, early stage businesses that fuse profit and purpose. Over 15 years experience in VC and PE.

Will
Richardson

Layla is a product expert with experience in everything from adtech to edtech, traffic routing to local search. Layla helps fast growth startup founders to scale by unlocking the power of people, products and technology.

Layla
Foord

Kate is a communications and public relations strategist who helps interesting people execute ambitious ideas. She is a trusted advisor to founders and business leaders across Australia.

Kate
Dinon

Simon is the co-founder and CEO of Who Gives A Crap, the DTC home products company that donates 50% of its profits to help build toilets. Since launching in 2012 they’ve donated more than $10m.

Simon
Griffiths

Professional athlete for 13+ years playing over 200 AFL games. Founder of Athletic Ventures – a syndicate of past and present elite athletes investing in champion founders

Matt
de Boer

Experience across large and small business, ASX-listed, family-owned and start-up models. Passionate about the role of business in improving the world, contributing positively to change, and enriching lives.

Andrew
Davies

Professional actor. Graduate of WAAPA and studied in NYC at the Neighbourhood Playhouse. Working across Film, TV and Theatre. AFI Nominated for Best Lead Actress in a television series, Underbelly.

Cheree
Cassidy

James is the founding partner of New Zealand innovation studio Previously Unavailable, a co-founder of several start-up companies, and a global advisor, author and teacher of brand building and marketing effectiveness.

James
Hurman

Clinical Psychologist obsessed with teaching founders how to regulate their nervous systems, so they can get into their highest brains and do their best work, more enjoyably, in less time.

Talya
Rabinovitz

Author of Cult Status and Killer Thinking. Co-Founder of Junkee Media. Eternally fascinated by how to use the power of business for good.

Tim
Duggan

A Scottish actor, linguist, and sometime management consultant, Simon offers deep business and performance expertise. A graduate of Cambridge and NIDA, he helps actors and businesspeople make their voices – and their messages – heard.

Simon
Masterton

Since 2007, Anthony has been lucky enough to assist some of Australia’s most exciting fast growth tech companies by helping them develop and execute their talent strategy.

Anthony
Sochan

Reformed TV Journo. Jargon buster. Pippa helps businesses cut through the noise, connect with their audience and be heard. Some say it’s a communication superpower, but it’s a skill she honed over a 15-year international media career.

Pippa
Gardner

Jane is a novelist, writer, documentary maker, social commentator, professional speaker, feminist, mother, grandmother, beef producer, carbon sequesterer, Walkley award winner, Member of Order of Australia, activist and social media influencer.

Jane
Caro

Medical Doctor, Healthcare entrepreneur, co-founder of Prospection, investor, kiwi, steely blue eyes + dad jokes.

Peter
Cronin

#1 in Australia and top ten in the world in 3 different sports – Trampolining, CrossFit and Beach Volleyball. Investor at Blackbird and Athletic Ventures.

Christie
Jenkins

“Startups are business machines engineered to grow quickly. The forces of hyper-growth exert enormous strain on every aspect of the company. Your startup is going to grow and change in so many different ways that it requires leaders who can learn and grow faster than the business needs them to.” – Tomasz Tunguz