AirTree Ventures

The VC-Founder Cycle

by Craig Blair

We are sad that Paul will be leaving the full time embrace of AirTree but happy that he will remain part of the broader AirTree family as a Venture Partner.  Paul has made an enormous contribution to AirTree and has become a well known feature of the tech landscape in Australia. Paul’s contributions range from leading the open source funding docs that have become standard for tech investments in Aus, building relationships with a plethora of incredible entrepreneurs and working tirelessly for the founders we have backed.  Quite an achievement in a little over 2 years which augurs well for his new chapter as a founder of an exciting start-up.

Working with outstanding founders with huge ambition and a crazy obsession to solve a particular problem is one of the great privileges of being a VC.  We live this privilege daily with our 16 (and growing) founding teams and many entrepreneurs we are close to in the broader AirTree Network.

A core tenant of AirTree’s partnership approach is to bring deep operational support to the table as well as capital. Our raison d’etre is to provide founders with a platform that gives them an unfair advantage.  This ranges from practical help in building teams and product, personal support, strategic guidance, data and finance, as well as access to a broad network of other founders past and present.

But how can we truly be a partner to our founders if we have not been in the founder’s shoes a number of times?  All of our team have had deep operational experience across huge platform businesses such as Microsoft, Facebook and Expedia, several successful start-ups including Summly and Travelselect and, perhaps equally importantly, several unsuccessful ones as well.

It is a natural cycle in VC in general andAirTree in particular to move from being a VC to a founder and vice versa.   We will be sad to see Paul move from being a fulltime member of the team but the great thing for us and our founders is that Paul will remain part ofAirTree family as a Venture Partner.   

So what does being a Venture Partner mean?

  • Founders will continue to see Paul in market as part of our quest to find and back outstanding founders of the future
  • AirTree Founders will continue to benefit from Paul’s counsel and support
  • We won’t see his face every day but we be in constant contact 
  • And of course, we will continue to consume his blog and bot which are invaluable resources for anyone interested in the Aussie startup ecosystem, so sign up today!

We are super excited for Paul to live out his founder’s dream with his soon to be announced startup. We will be cheering from the sidelines and offering all the support we can to Paul and his colleagues.

And we all look forward to keep working with Paul to continue building an enduring venture capital platform. One that works overtime for our founders and one that feels a deep reasonability to the Australian tech ecosystem to  deliver a sustainable, high quality source of capital and support for the Australian founders of the future.

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