What is the 30under30?
30under30 is an Anthill initiative launched in early 2008 to encourage and promote entrepreneurship among young Australians.
Each year, we invite our readers to nominate young Australian entrepreneurs deserving of recognition for their outstanding entrepreneurial endeavours. More.
Monica Wulff, NSW (b. 1988)
Name: Monica Wulff
Known for: Startup Muser
Monica founded Startup Muster, the largest survey of the Australian startup ecosystem, upon the realisation that there were no reliable or accurate statistics about or within this field.
“The aim of Startup Muster is to showcase the progress, challenges, and opportunities of the ecosystem, to demonstrate and accelerate impact. With my background in statistics and coming from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, I knew no one else was going to be able to capture the impact or demonstrate the impact of this community. Once founded, we received a grant from the Commonwealth Department of Industry Innovation and Science,” she revealed.
“While I’m naturally introverted, I’ve done my best to ensure Startup Muster is validated and known throughout the startup and broader business community. Each year I tour the country visiting local startup communities.
“This year I visited 13 locations, traveled 19,000 kilometers, and met over 500 people – all in the name of community betterment and raising our profile. I’ve written articles for Startup Smart, Women’s Agenda and The Australian about the ways data is regularly used by media when writing about startups. I’ve presented locally and internationally, including being a delegate at the G20 Young Entrepreneurs Alliance Summit.”
The Startup Muster survey is comprehensive. In four years – getting 300,000 questions answered by over 5000 respondents from across Australia is quite a feat. These respondents are not incentivised – there is no prize money, yet they do it because they understand the value that Startup Muster statistics provide to the community.
“They understand that policy makers, corporates, government and foreign interest look to our data to make decisions as to how they’re going to engage with the community. People don’t like taking surveys, but we’ve managed to build an amazing following and traction,” Monica remarked.
Startup Muster was founded in 2013, but it was in late 2015 that she took on the role of CEO full time. In 2015 they had a total of 44,182 questions answered, in 2016 it was 109,129 and in 2017 it surpassed the 120,000 mark. The total number of questions answered in 2016 grew by 147% from 2015.
As far as entrepreneurial cred goes, Monica says she’s best known for going head to head with Steve Baxter from Shark Tank – she challenged his perceptions of the value of high‑quality statistics while on a panel at Myriad Festival.
“Yes, I love a good debate, but my goal was to shine light on the importance of reliable data – especially with Steve, as he’s viewed as quite intimidating by the startup community,” she remarked.
Anthill asks: What motivates you as an entrepreneur?
Having a lasting impact. I want to be known for helping Australia become a technological powerhouse filled with confident, selfaware entrepreneurs wanting to solve real problems. The positive impact on society through skills development and jobs growth, and on the economy, is what drives me. My desire is to ensure that this country and the people in it don’t fall behind, and to raise awareness of the valuable contribution the startup community provides to the nation.
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