The StartRail maps are a popular visualisation of the Australian tech startup community that started out as a short project for an intern designer and grew much larger, very quickly, as the Australian startup ecosystem grew. As we said last week, producing the first new set of StartRail maps since 2013 has been a bigger project than we imagined. We’re sorry it’s taken so long, but they are at last ready.
…though not without some caveats, apologies, gotchas and FAQs. Here they are…
Only Melbourne and Sydney so far
We said we’d produce StartRail maps for every startup community to submit the valid details for at least 50 startups. So far, only the startup communities in Sydney and Melbourne have achieved that goal. Some of the other capital cities and some of the regional communities have as many as valid 15 startups. We know you can do better than that.
I submitted my startup’s details, why am I not on the StartRail map?
You’ve got to be a tech startup. If you’re selling retail electronics online, or hair products, or accounting services, you might be a startup, but you’re not a tech startup. There’s no universally-accepted definition of what is (and isn’t) a tech startup but here’s a great Techcrunch article that informed our decisions. We don’t expect all of you to agree with us (when does that ever happen?) but we make the maps, so we reserve the right to make the call. We will entertain your appeal if you think we were wrong.
You’ve got to ship a product. Some submissions were for startups with just a landing page accepting email addresses. A lot of tech startup ideas fail between launching a landing page and shipping a product; we’re not helping the community learn about itself by mapping a Sargasso sea of landing pages. If you have a product in development but it isn’t ready to ship, that’s OK — hang in there and submit your startup to the next update.
You’ve got to be in the community. Even if you still call ‘Straya home, if your business is overseas now, you’re part of the diaspora, you’re not part of the local community. Maybe one day we’ll map the Aussie tech startup diaspora. If you’re in Australia but not based in Sydney or Melbourne, you won’t find yourself on the Sydney or Melbourne map, even if the venture fund or accelerator you’re associated with is. You’ve got to be in the community. Again, if we’ve mistakenly left you out, you’ll be able to submit your details to the next update starting in the next few weeks.
You must still be a startup. Maybe you were a startup once, but once you’re approaching $US10-20M ARR, or 150 f/t employees, or you’re a subsidiary of Salesforce or IBM, or everybody’s wearing suits and slinging pie charts, you’re not really a startup.
You’ve got to submit your startup’s details. We can’t spend all our time researching StartRail maps — we have a bunch of new startups to build, and research doesn’t scale like crowdsourcing does. So if you’re too busy or too forgetful to submit all your startup’s details, we’re too busy and too forgetful to do it for you. If your investor said they’d do it for you but didn’t, don’t delegate that task next time.
We may have made mistakes, but don’t game the system. We’re fallible, we’ve probably made mistakes, and we appreciate you helping us correct them for the next update of the maps. But we have zero tolerance for fibs and truth-stretching and we’ll ban your startup if we think you’re trying to pull the wool over our eyes about your startup or anybody else’s.
I missed out — how do I get in?
Scroll down the page you’re reading now and you’ll see a pop-up that will invite you to subscribe to the BlueChilli email newsletter. We’ll let everybody subscribing to that email newsletter (plus everybody who’s submitted information to past StartRail surveys) know when we’re ready to start collecting data for the next update of the StartRail maps via our online form. We plan on doing an update in the next few weeks.