Online panel: how should Australian startups respond to COVID-19? {VIDEO}


// UPDATED with VIDEO: Australia’s most experienced VCs try make sense of the ongoing crisis for startups…

In a time of extreme economic volatility, startups are understandably nervous about their future prospects.

Many startups have been forced to modify the way in which they work and operate. For example, many meetings and conferences have had to be cancelled recently, causing startups to organise online means of communication.

Unfortunately, a lot of startups have had to shift their mindset from growth to survival in these challenging times.

You can watch a recording of the panel discussion below..

Innovation Bay’s virtual VC panel recording

As startup teams attempt to make sense of the current crisis and how it will affect their progress, four of Australia’s most experienced venture capitalists (VCs) attempted to elucidate the following questions:

  • What should we do?
  • What can we do?
  • What opportunities will emerge from this crisis?
  • How should we make sense of this and make decisions that maximise our chance of success?

This panel of VCs all survived the 2001 and 2008 economic recessions. They shared their experiences on helping companies through a crisis, as well as discussing the long term economic impacts.

This livestream took place on Wednesday 25 March, 5am AWST.


Dr Michelle Deaker, OneVentures

Michelle Deaker is the managing partner of OneVentures, established in 2010. With $400M in funds under management, they invest in companies with truly innovative products tackling multi-billion-dollar world problems, needle-free vaccinations, next-generation learning technologies or virtual communications.

Craig Blair, AirTree

Craig Blair is the co-founder and managing partner of AirTree Ventures, established in 2013 with Daniel Petre. With over $500M in three funds under management, they invest in ambitious founders who are looking to transform industries with software.

Paul Bassat, SquarePeg

Paul Bassat – co-founder of Seek – is also the co-founder of SquarePeg, a VC fund on a mission to enable extraordinary founders. They invest in startups in Australia, Israel and Southeast Asia. Square Peg is investing out of their $340M 2018 fund, and manage over AU$0.8B.

Rick Baker, Blackbird

Rick Baker is the co-founder of Blackbird Ventures. They invest in a wide range of technology from software to space, and has three funds with over $500M under management.


EDITED since first published, to include the recording of the session.

MAIN IMAGE: Virtual VC Panel, Source Supplied