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Perthcolator – How To Make A Unicorn

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Marcus Holmes

Perthcolator is a new workshop series designed to teach new entrepreneurs how to start their business. Replicating the educational content of Startup Weekend in a workshop format designed to fit around a day job.

Massive Disclaimer: I run this. It’s my thing. I’m writing about it now. I might be biased. You should probably be sceptical.

Massive Irony Disclaimer: “We Manufacture Unicorns”. We know. We have a sense of humour.logo

Startup Weekend is a great education for new entrepreneurs. It teaches people how to go from an idea to a business. But Startup Weekends only happen twice a year, and for some people taking a whole weekend out is impossible.

There are other reasons why Startup Weekend isn’t a great start for an actual business: the team is formed of randoms wedged together in an hour on Friday evening. The tech is usually slapped together hackathon style from anything that looks like it would do the job. The goal of the whole event is the pitch, not the business. It’s a great education, and nothing in this criticism should be taken as meaning that it’s not utterly fantastic. But there’s room for more.

We sat down with a few startups and did some extensive interviews about what the experience of starting a business in Perth is actually like. We found that there’s a big disconnect between the people who have done it once (and usually failed) and the newbies. People who have never actually started a business here have no idea how it works.

There’s a common meme or understanding of what starting a new business looks like. It involves business plans, patents, accountants, incorporation, investment. All of that, and none of the Lean Startup. At Startup Weekend we get the attendees to understand that this is mostly bullshit and what they really need is a customer. This needs to be done more.event

So we’ve started the Perthcolator workshops. They’re designed to teach the same things that Startup Weekend does, but in a different format and less explosively. No need to recruit some randoms into your business, no need to focus purely on a 5-minute pitch, no need to sacrifice a weekend. Instead move through the learnings one week at a time.

The team behind Perthcolator is myself, Robbie Nolan (Morning Startup), Rafael Kimberley-Bowen (Techboard), Sam Mead (Fusion Founders), and Andy Lamb (Atomic Sky). I don’t want to brag, but that’s a lot of experience in one team. We know what we’re talking about.

The workshops are starting in August, priced depending on which session you want (we’re experimenting with pricing and format). You can find out more at

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Picture of Marcus Holmes

Marcus Holmes

Gentleman Technologist and co-founder of Startup News. His vision has made //SN a sustainable media cheerleader for the startup community. Former CEO of Phnom Penh Post, he can be found somewhere in S.E. Asia coding away...
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