Startup Business

Our Startup Pathway consists of a free 12 week course that assists veterans with a business idea to; upskill in digital marketing, conduct market resarch, conceptualise their product, create a cashflow model and sales funnel, build a team and professional network, apply for funding, and build a brand profile.

The course culminates in a pitch night co-hosted by Fishburners, where participants have the chance to secure funding and make their business dreams a reality.


Time 12 weeks (part time)

Date Next intake early 2018

Cost Free for veterans


A startup company (startup or start-up) is an entrepreneurial venture, which is typically a newly emerged, fast-growing business that aims to meet a marketplace need by developing or offering an innovative product, process or service. A startup is usually a company such as a small business, a partnership or an organisation designed to rapidly develop a scalable business model. Startup companies often deploy technologies, such as Internet, e-commerce, computers, telecommunications, or robotics. These companies are generally involved in the design and implementation of the innovative processes of the development, validation and research for target markets.

When ADF members leave the military, they have a lot of the necessary skills to operate their own business. However, most will not understand how to effectively market an idea, or have an understanding of cashflow and valuation. This can sometimes lead the businesses to be dead in the water. In your first year of operation, you need to understand that you will make money, but probably not profit. Ensuring you have a stable financial position is paramount. Completing a Bachelor of Business Administration or Commerce, or an MBA will assist in your understanding, but this is not necessary. The best place to start is in a sales role or a technical trade in the selected market you would like to bring your product to. This will provide you with the missing skills, market understanding, network and a pipeline of prospects as you launch your venture.

The incubators in Australia are good for an initial introduction and networking for the scene.


Key skills for success:

1. Resilience 
The ability to weather the ups and downs of any business, since it never goes exactly the way the business plan described it. This skill enables the entrepreneur to keep going when the outlook is bleak.

2. Focus
After setting a long-term vision, knowing how to “laser focus” on the very next step to get closer to the ultimate goal. There are so many distracting forces when trying to build a business that this skill is not easy to master.

3. Invest for the long-term

Most entrepreneurs are not patient and focus only on what’s coming next, rather than where the company needs to go. Overnight success may take 7 to 10 years. Entrepreneurs need to stop, pause and plan on a quarterly basis.

4. Learn
Successful entrepreneurs realise they don’t know everything and the market is constantly changing. They stay up to date on new systems, technology, and industry trends.

5. Self-reflection
Allow downtime to reflect on the past and plan for the future. Always working only leads to burnout physically and emotionally.

6. Self-reliance
While there is a lot of help for the entrepreneur, in the end they need to be resourceful enough to depend on themselves.

7. Find and manage people
Only by learning to leverage employees, vendors and other resources will an entrepreneur build a scalable company. They need to learn to network and meet the right people. Entrepreneurs strive to guarantee that they will get honest and timely feedback from all these sources.

8. Sell
Every entrepreneur is a sales person whether they want to be or not. They are either selling their ideas, products or services to customers, investors or employees. They work to be there when customers are ready to buy. Alternatively, they know how to let go and move on when customers are not ready.

Other key skills include:
– A technological mindset
– An understanding of how to raise capital and develop a valuation.
– An astute problem solver and storyteller.

Education Preferred:
Bachelor in Business or MBA if you have no prior exposure to business (this is not required).