#StartupAus “Breaking News”: An accelerator and an Announcement

Announcement Sam Pavin and ilab at UQ

Another announcement in the Australian startup world, another accelerator thrown into the spotlight and the name-dropping creating a buzz!


Actions are meant to be louder than words. At least this is what I believe. As such, this announcement will not be about covering another Techstars, another 500Startups or any other golden brand name.

Startups are built in the trenches or real life where the best, no-nonsense, people and programs operate. The trends in the ecosystem do follow that pattern; after a gold rush, chasing the next shiny thing on the shores of the Pacific, in the promised land of Silicon Valley, entrepreneurs are backtracking nowadays. New successful pools are emerging, proving that the valley does not have a monopoly on startups and success anymore.

In every country around the world, entrepreneurial ecosystems are being born, growing and delivering beyond expectations (at least those of people in the know; politicians and money-makers aside).

On being a grain of sand

A grain of sand is small, supposedly fairly useless, potentially painful when slipping in your shoes; a lot of things but remarkable.

A grain of sand is remarkable though from the moment it becomes part of a community. When grains come together, one by one, they create a beach. An evolving product, a creation of beauty and strength that sums up how successful startup communities are born.

But why the hell a grain of sand? And what is this “announcement” about in the end?

I pride myself in being one of these grains. Not a major, outstanding, figure in the startup(s) world(s). I have contributed to the building and growing of the French entrepreneurial ecosystem, the FrenchTech initiative, being an early presence when Lithuania got started on startups, advised and assisted in Scotland, Italy, Asia and Australia.

I love the startup world. I rise, fall, stumble, suffer, fail and succeed with startups.

And after a few years spent in Australia and around the young entrepreneurial ecosystem, it has become very obvious for me – and some great people around the community – that I could not remain just an observer. The time has come for me to join the team again and make a stronger contribution to the StartupAus world.

As such, I am delighted to officially announce that, as of today, Monday the 11th of September, I am joining the amazing team at ilab @ UQ (University of Queensland, in case you are wondering). Delighted is in fact a tame word that does not even cut it. This is an exciting prospect and I am over the moon at the thought of joining forces with these amazing humans that are Rebecca McIntosh and Bernie Woodcroft.

From prior times, exploring the Brisbane scene, I could witness a young, vibrant city and startup scene. Getting to know it and the people who are making it happen on a daily basis, I can safely say, startup life, in Brisbane, definitely is (growing to be) a beach.

The sense of community here is second to none and, on a larger scale, #StartupAus has the potential to grow and shine outside Australia’s borders. It is time to conquer the startup world!

Contributing to building this beach of a startup community will be one of my roles. And I very much look forward to the task, while casting an eye just on the initiatives to be seen at UQ. Ilab, IdeaHub and the Weekend of Startup, the growth of entrepreneurship and innovation in the education world, this pool of varied talents to be found on the university campus and the inextinguishable thirst to change the world witnessed in students.

I find myself in the middle of it all, at ilab, at UQ, in Brisbane and in Australia.

And I can not wait to start facing the hurdles, stumble along the way and ultimately, in a few years, be, once again, be able to tell the tale of the grain of sand and the sandy (startup) beach of Australia.

Also published on Medium.