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Cultivate connections: Phaedon Stough’s vision for Innovation Bay startup community.

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TLDR:

Innovation Bay, a community group in the tech sector, connects angel investors, venture capitalists, and entrepreneurs to foster collaboration and innovation. Founded in 2003, it began as an exclusive founders club for sharing stories and insights. Over the years, it evolved into a multifaceted network with distinct communities tailored to different stages of the startup journey. Phaedon Stough, the CEO and Co-Founder, has been instrumental in shaping the organization’s mission to cultivate a thriving startup community. Innovation Bay has played a pivotal role in nurturing and shaping the Australian startup landscape.

Phaedon Stough’s entrepreneurial spirit led him to found Mitchellake Group at the age of 26. In 2003, he established Innovation Bay as an invite-only founders club to foster candid conversations and connections among tech founders. The platform later expanded globally, launching in San Francisco in 2013. In 2020, Innovation Bay transitioned into a membership structure with tailored communities.

Through Innovation Bay, Stough aims to create a collaborative ecosystem that drives the success of founders and investors within the community. The organization brings founders together in unique peer groups to learn from each other, support each other, and build meaningful relationships. It also facilitates collaboration and investment through pitch events and agnostic deal flow.

The long-term vision for Innovation Bay is to have a collaborative ecosystem of 600 founders and investors working together to spearhead innovation in the region. Stough believes that this will drive innovation across Australia, position the country as Asia’s leading ecosystem for startups, and attract funding from the US market later in the startup journey.

For individuals aspiring to become investors, Stough advises finding a community for collaborative learning, building a diversified investment portfolio, and learning how to support founders. He also emphasizes the importance of risk management and networking in the investment landscape.

Innovation Bay has had various milestones and achievements throughout its 20-year journey. It has grown its membership to nearly 250 members and corporate supporters and expanded its presence outside of Australia to New Zealand and Singapore. The organization also partners with local governments to support the tech ecosystem and is in talks with other governments in the APJC region.

Overall, Innovation Bay’s mission is to foster a collaborative network of founders and investors, support early-stage companies, and contribute to shaping the startup landscape in Australia.

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