Home Startup & Entrepreneurship Aussie startup community inspires new Upstart program from oDesk. They built it...

Aussie startup community inspires new Upstart program from oDesk. They built it because you’re awesome, baby!


Starting up requires lots of resources. High on the list of those resources is top-shelf human resources, of course.

And that’s sometimes a pretty big challenge when you’re starting up, since new businesses are often too cash-poor to hire full-time staffers.

But oDesk has the answer for you. oDesk has partnered with AngelCube, Pollinizer, and Startmate to bring new solutions to the startup hiring conundrum. It’s called Upstarts and it is enabling Aussie startups to fill needed roles with a flexible workforce.

So you’re wondering how that’s different from the oDesk we all know and love? Good question. Anthill contributor-at-large Mick Saddler recently had a chat with oDesk Vice President Matt Cooper who clarified some of the things that make Upstarts a new and notable offering in the Australian market.

oDesk’s Matt Cooper chin-wags with Mick Saddler

Here are three main takeaways from the video.

One: It’s all about company culture

Hiring through Upstarts works a lot like it does through oDesk, but with a few key caveats.

“oDesk provides a platform where businesses can hire and manage a distributed online workforce,” explains Cooper.

oDesk has a wealth of talent in its own right, with freelancers available to handle various tasks on –the-fly. But startups often need talented people to become integral parts of the business. That’s where Upstarts steps in.

“Hiring a distributed team is a relatively new skill,” continues Cooper.

“There are a lot of best practices for hiring in person that apply when you hire online, but there’s definitely some nuances. So the idea with this program is to give startups some support, mentorship, and training to know how they can build a team and be successful.”

oDesk’s new program offers mentorship to help you cultivate a company culture with workers in disparate areas, going beyond the parameters of traditional freelancing in the process.

Two: It’s all about the Australian startup awesome sauce

Upstarts is launching in Australia before it hits the world’s stage. Right now, it’s open to companies working with AngleCube, Pollenizer, and Startmate.

Qualifying companies will get startup credit toward hiring on oDesk, as well as personalised attention and mentoring from oDesk management.

And that’s the biggie here. For the average startup, one of the biggest learning challenges is all that wonderfully fun (not) hiring stuff. oDesk is poised to give the companies involved an inside track to recruiting well-qualified talent in an innovative way.

Three: It’s a talent pool. Dive in!

There’s no reason to even think the talent you need to hire has to be in your geographic location. You can operate your business from Melbourne and hire a highly-talented candidate from Perth, through oDesk.

You are probably already familiar with hiring international freelancers, but oDesk’s Upstarts program helps you tap into ultra-qualified talent from other areas of Australia. This adds up to an exchange of talent throughout the country’s startup pool, even in the rural areas.

In fact, it’s because Australia is home to such as lively and active startup community that oDesk has debuted Upstarts in the country.

When asked by Mick why Upstarts exists, Cooper offers up a surprising answer.

“The Australian market is really very important market for oDesk,” continues Cooper.

“It’s actually our number one market, per capita. Despite the fact that we’re based in the US and that’s our home, our penetration rate is about twice what we have in the US.”

“We wanted to launch in this market as a response to how important Australia is to us.”

They built it… for you.

Check out the full video, because oDesk’s Upstarts is a truly unique option for startup recruiting across the country. The program’s very existence confirms everything that we Anthillians already know: Oz really is the best place on Earth for startups.

Check out the video and read the official blip, right here.