How We Work

Working with us

What does it mean to be a network member and what are our common views and approaches and expectations and obligations of network members.

Like all things these are written in pencil and do change but here are some starting points.

Ideals Made Real

Cooper & Co are basically involved in two types of activities, 100% of our activities are focused on tech startups with global potential –

  • Commercial activities – investing and consulting
  • For purpose activities – volunteering and advocacy

Underpinning these activities are our distinctive capabilities, this page is a work in progress that explains how those capabilities work.

  • Our Venture Network – investing, consulting and volunteering (e.g. mentoring)
  • Initiatives Shaping Our World – organising and advocating for a smarter, better future for future generations through work such as The Start Society industry body for tech startups.

We aspire to conceive of ideal outcomes and then execute the necessary steps to make those ideals reality.

Innovation at the Intersection (& Our Logo)

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We believe that innovation is the key to dramatically improving strategic competitive advantage and innovation happens at the intersection.

We take inspiration from our logo – an early Celtic or possible pre-Celtic symbol with a range of meanings.

Depending on interpretation these historical meanings focus on balance, integration, context and connectedness.

These interpretations of the ‘five-fold’ symbol include –

  • Direction or Location (North, South, East, West, Here),
  • Paths/Time (Forward/Future, Back/Past, Here/Now and choices/alternatives e.g. left or right)
  • Elements/Energies – Fire, Air, Earth, Water, Balance)
  • Seasons – Summer, Autumn/Fall, Winter, Spring, Now/Present.
  • A range of other scenarios that tie back into our thinking including the importance of relationship networks and being hyper connected.
  • Note the constant ‘fifth element’ or integrated / presence references.

Our logo has been also derived or interpreted as a Christian symbol but it pre-dates those periods and probably dates to around 3,000 or perhaps even 4,000 BC and includes ancient Celtic and mythological links centred around the importance of connectedness to the Celts (e.g. Danu, early Malta and Lycian coins).

One early interpretation was about being present amongst reality, we take this further to mean in order to change or improve you have to be aware of what is around you.

In other words: For ‘ideals to be made real’ requires being us to be contextually aware and hyper-connected in order to execute change.

An advanced society, no matter how primitive, leaves beauty in its wake.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

Can we create a magically beautiful society with the aid of technology?

Our Venture Network

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There are details on our network members, investments and locations elsewhere, here we talk about how it works.

Each member is invited to join based on active involvement in the industry, professional expertise, trust (including reputation and length of relationship with other members), network, geography and other measures. We are actively working towards a diverse, global, high trust, high speed of operation, low bureaucracy environment.

Each member is expected to give and get in a few areas, all are entirely discretionary and we are actively trying to ‘work the way we want, when we want’ life is too short to do otherwise.

We are aiming long term so the ability to contribute time/skills will no doubt vary through your life phases.

Generally we become more than colleagues, we become friends and life partners with common values and not just around profit but around social and economic impact for those that need help.

You give –

  • Time to review deals – this is surprisingly low time commit because we only send deals that have already been screened for major filters.
  • Time to share insights and connections in your geographies of experience and industry specialisation to other members and investee firms.
  • Time to identify new deals and new investors. Most network members would being doing this daily as part of their day job and this is just a useful by product that can usually work both ways to the benefit of their own firms and the network.
  • Opportunities to do mentoring for founders on a volunteer basis to grow the invests and the wider ecosystem i.e. to give back.

You get –

  • Hyperconnected to an already hyperconnected group that is world class and based in the most populated region with the fastest growth and focused on the fastest growing segments. Everyone has day jobs that keep them in the centre of the industry action.
  • Opportunities to invest time or money as an angel or as part of an angel syndicate or in the fund (and in certain cases alongside the fund)
  • Rewarded for giving time on specific investment deal opportunities by sharing in the upside as a co-investor and for discovering, distilling or developing deals. Note:  Eventually we also expect to pay fund fee profit share to network contributors (i.e. those that give time but not co-invest) but this may be some time away. Longer term we hope these will be full time roles for all or most network members. Separately, some members may also consult through the network and this includes normal time based revenue share plus upside for major contributions.
  • Visibility on industry deal flow, talent, trends, investments, regulatory changes and more we see hundreds each month.

You may pick and chose from the above based on how busy you are with your day job from time to time but if there are particular areas you definitely can not contribute (e,g. employer contractual commitments) please let us know in writing so expectation are clear in advance. Investments are usually direct into the underlying companies you assist if they like you and vice versa.

We are thinking very long term, e.g. senior execs from global firms are aware of and wish to join the network but are waiting for role / contractual changes or life circumstances to change prior to making the commitment.

We are building a platform of simple tools so much of this can be done online easily via our intranet.

The Industry Body

For two decades we have quietly and persistently been identifying gaps in the tech startup ecosystem in Australia determined to help make it world class. This started with specific roles by our founder at Macquarie Bank at eDivision and earlier volunteer work and continued with other institutions eg banks and eventually running some significant tech startups. This continued with our own initiatives like SydStart (now StartCon) and supporting others like incubators, accelerators and co-working communities.

But all these activities fall under the banner of The Start Society (StartSoc), an independent grass roots member based organisation to support tech startups aiming globally.

We are always looking for new members and new volunteers to support StartSoc’s activities from speakers and sponsors to mentors and discounts/deals for members to simple insights that will benefit members.