What does community mean to you?

With Ben Williamson, Founder of DealPad

Transactional relationships have just never made too much sense to me. I always thought I would be bad at sales because I didn’t like the “if you give me X, I will give you Y” pitch. Cutting my teeth in consulting & large corporates I thought this was the norm & I was an odd one out.


Then my friend, and now co-founder Rhys Davis, introduced me to the Melbourne Start-up scene and I found a group of people who were happy to give time, advice, input & introductions with zero expectations in return. It was a community I didn’t know existed, operating at an end of the market I had barely experienced.


This was years ago but I have been part of this community ever since – initially as a mentor at Melbourne Uni’s Accelerator (MAP), and over time as a (small time) investor, Advisory Board member & a year ago co-founded dealPad – a free capital raising tool.


Everyone has their place in a community and I was constantly giving advice on capital raising and deal terms. Having worked on a dozen events – capital raises and sales – over the last six years I was able to help out. Now with dealPad I have been able to hit a business model that allows us to offer this service for free to the start-ups and growth SME’s I know well.


It is definitely very rewarding being part of a community like this – and you get tremendous joy seeing friend’s companies expand, raise and sell. It doesn’t feel competitive, perhaps because we are all still growing from a small base, but there is a definite sense that a rising tide lifts all boats.
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