I built 20+ startups - Dom Saporito on Founders Lane

I built 20+ startups - Dom Saporito on Founders Lane

In this episode, Dom shares his entrepreneurial journey, his decision, and the people he met. He has got some exceptional value bombs in the interview - A must-listen for early-stage founders across the globe.

Benjemen Elengovan
Benjemen Elengovan

Episode #1




It is such a pleasure and honour to have Dom Saporito (I call him 'Dom') join us for the first interview on Founders Lane.

Dom started his first job as a receptionist, kick-started his professional career as an accountant at KMPG  and later grew as a manager with Pitcher Partners. His startup journey started with building a talent acquisition and recruitment company. Over the last decade, Dom's love for startups and software grew and made him build 20 startups in different industries. Dom is currently the Co-Founder and Director of

  • InternMatch - Global WorkForce EdTech platform facilitating employment through internships
  • GADA Technologies
  • Outcome.life - enables international students to search, meaningfully compare, and apply directly to Australian education providers.
  • and few more

In this episode, Dom shares his entrepreneurial journey, his decision, and the people he met. He has got some exceptional value bombs in the interview - A must-listen for early-stage founders across the globe.

Connect with Dom on LinkedIn | Twitter


Episode Transcript

Benjemen Elengovan  0:00
On this computer. Dom, nice to meet you. How are you? Good now, this is my pod called Founders Lane, and I'm going to talk about it towards the end. But so excited to have you on this channel. And, you know, I've been following you for, I don't know, few years now. But you're was someone that really wanted to talk to you. So for the benefit of the listeners, I know what you've done. But for the benefit of the listeners, I'm going to quickly go share a bit about you. So here's Dominic Saporito. And I call him Dom. And that's how everybody calls him. So Dom started as a receptionist, actually, as many years ago, but worked as an accountant at KPMG. That's really good jump from being a receptionist to world class consulting company, and then rapidly grown into a manager at pitcher partners. And then started building a professional carrier in talent acquisition, headhunting and a lot of other startups. I'll talk into the startups very soon. But DOM is currently the co founder and director of three of the most popular startups that I am following one intern match, which is actually a global workforce edtech platform that facilitates employment through internships, talking over internships. Dom is also the co founder and director of outcome life, which is like the go to word for international students, not just in Melbourne, but across Australia. And they're like the home away from home, and also provides internships and other opportunities to students. Dom loves technology, and henceforth, he's also the director of Gada, technologies, that actually does rapid development of web and mobile applications for different clients across Australia. On top of this, I lost the count Dom is gonna correct me here, Dom is also as founded close to a dozen startups. And I know he's working in a few like in stealth mode. But how many startups have you done so far? Well,

Dom  2:24
it's when you define startup, I mean, there's been lots of ideas, but I think it's about 20. And so I've formally started 20, businesses 10 Were just rubbish. So I quickly shut them down that, that whole thing of fail fast, but six have been good. And I've sold them, there's probably four on the go with the moment that are real businesses, but I've got about another four side hustles that I'm doing with other people, just from ideas that, that come my way. And, you know, I think it's a good problem to solve. So let's explore it.

Benjemen Elengovan  2:56
Wow, you are clinically diagnosed with startup addiction.

Dom  3:05
And with that comes, I actually, I love starting businesses, but actually hate running them. And so I'm much much better at starting them, then then then, you know, going to the scale up bit. And that's part because too, I had a heart attack a little while ago, and the medication means that, that, you know, my ability to focus for any length of time has just diminished. So hence, you know, I have to stick to what I know. And that is, you know, trying to, you know, work with people to encourage their ideas and things like that. So

Benjemen Elengovan  3:44
not not to put a guess to your age. But without doing that. Just tell me how many years of running businesses you have, like, well,

Dom  3:56
well originally, so just just to finish the picture. So originally, I did a catering Hotel Management degree. And that's where I did my industrial training year in 1987, which was a third year of my degree. And during that year, or that was a lot of fun. You know, 19 year old. Working in a hotel was just great fun. I realised that working in hospitality, the pay is terrible. And you got to work weekends. And those things I don't like. So then I became an accountant a couple of years at KPMG, which I didn't like at all. Because in a big, big organisation like that the work you do is inconsequential. So very bored, and then went to pitch apartments really enjoyed my time there dealt. And that's where probably, I grew my love for business because pitch apartments looks after privately owned businesses. And many of my clients, I just looked up to them and wanted to be that person. So after a time, they finally got the courage to leave and start my own business which was a recruitment agency for 14 years. which is terrific really enjoyed that. But then got sick of interviewing people. So fell in love with software, and I've been doing startups ever since. So, you know, that's taken me to where I am today, you know? So first real serious business around 28 When I was 28, I'm now 54. So you know, the best part of 20 odd years in my business?

Benjemen Elengovan  5:28
Wow. Cool. All right, yeah. So you're going to go into a fun session. So the first session, we're going to play a game, okay, I'm going to show you some pictures on the screen. You've got to say the first thing that comes to your mind, it could be a memory, or it could be something that you want to call out. It could be a person. Whatever comes to your mind, I just wanted to Yeah. All right. So let's get get get ready. First, picture.

Dom  6:04
A book. I hate, I hate. I just hate it. And I don't learn that way. And when these people say read this book, and that book, just give me the executive summary. You probably know Paul bream, as well as I do. Paul Brown is the CEO of calendar club. And and I always read him about the book that he created. Because I must admit, I've never read it. But you know, I think in the second last chapter of his book, he's got a summary of 178 things that a startup person should do. I say to everyone, just buy the book, rip out that last chapter, throw the rest away. And that's all you need. That's

Unknown Speaker  6:49
nice, nice. Alright, another one.

Dom  6:56
Money? Yeah. Um, a lot of people tell me, I'm actually not that motivated by money. And I think the true entrepreneurs are definitely not motivated by money, we do not do what we do for money. Because if it was money that we're after, there's a lot easier ways to make money. And so entrepreneurs, I feel are people who are passionate about solving problems. And it's generally a problem that they've encountered themselves, although not always. And so if anyone is thinking that they're going to go into entrepreneurship to make money, then you got a long wait, because it takes, you know, you know, probably takes you 10 years to be an overnight success. Everyone, you know, looks at Melanie Perkins from Canva, who her business was valued recently at $54 billion. But trust me, it took her probably the best part of eight to 10 years to get to that point. And I daresay it was quite a number of years until you see the money. So when it comes to entrepreneurship, do not think money is going to flow straightaway. Because it's actually the opposite.

Benjemen Elengovan  8:05
Nice, yes. Yes. Good one. All right. Last one.

Dom  8:12
A unicorn factory? Yeah. Yeah. Um, although, I mean, people talk about producing a unicorn. And the unicorns are celebrated in this country, that actually gives me the shits, when people talk about that. Because, you know, the chances, the chances of creating a unicorn, and very, very slim. And so, you know, I like to think of that more that, you know, there's a lot of businesses out there that are worth that are worth, you know, 5 million, or 10 million or 20 million. And I've got lots of friends who created businesses that are worth 100 million, or 200 million, and my business partners cousin, created a business he sold for 300 million. And none of those are unicorns, but they're all worth celebrating. And I think that anyone that is looking to go into a startup or into some kind of venture, don't be too fussed about creating a unicorn, if it happens, you know, it may well have to do with more luck than anything else. Because I think it's actually not that difficult to create a business that's worth 1020 30 mil. But it's very, very difficult to create a unicorn has to be quite a unique problem that you're solving. So, you know, to me, it's a bit of a distraction that people talk about, you know, unicorn factories, concentrate on solving a problem. And you know, if you do a good enough job, don't worry, the money will come.

Benjemen Elengovan  9:50
Good. Trying to go for another one. Yeah, yeah, yeah, you like this? Yeah, good. I like this. Job. Okay. One One. More

Dom  10:05
What's this? This is Jim Carrey, obviously, who's nuts, by the way? And I think that I think that generally, there's an element that every startup founder is insane, because why would you do this? It's lonely. It's hard work. You know, things take longer than you think. And you know, and he's working away and beavering away. And that's what it's like. Yeah. So yeah, he typifies someone that, you know, is hustling is working away. But of course, Jim Carrey is just a nutcase. And we all are the number of poor I mean, who would be insane enough to start 20 businesses? Like you'd have to be nuts. And I suppose that's me. But anyway, yeah.

Benjemen Elengovan  10:59
Well, wonderful. Thank you. Thank you. Thanks, that was really good. I think it was very spontaneous. And you, this is what I like, in Damn, it's because you are very authentic. It is. You say what comes to your mind? And, and you don't care? Like it's, it's what it's what you mean? Anybody says really good. You mentioned about few things in the in the game, which I'm going to actually go to drill down. And I'm going to talk about first thing is about your first startup that you mentioned, our first business that you mentioned.

Unknown Speaker  11:35
What was that about?

Dom  11:37
So it was interesting, because I could not stand being an accountant, I got pushed into it. In the 90s, the world was screwed back then, you know, interest rates on my homeland was 17%, not like 3%. So if you got offered a job, you take it, and out of uni, I was offered a job at KPMG, which I went into then I went into picture partners, which was part of KPMG. And after a few years, I just couldn't stand it anymore. I was good at it. But I just didn't like it. And so I finally got the courage to go. So I actually went and resigned before I had anything to go to. And so when I went resigned to Ron pitcher who gave me his blessing, and he's a lovely guy, and I'll always thank him, it was a wonderful mentor to me. I then went to a recruitment agency. And I met this young lady, lovely lady that had no idea about accounting. And I thought to myself, my God, I've gone to this recruitment agency. She had no idea about accounting, yet she was offering me all these jobs. And when I went back to work, a mate of mine said to me, how did you go and I said, it was terrible, horrible. Chick had no idea. I said I could do better. That was on a Friday. That weekend. This friend of mine, Darren Burke and I, we spent the whole weekend writing a business plan to start a recruitment agency to go in opposition to her, Oh, and Monday, we formally resigned. And then six weeks later, we started my recruitment agency called Caden recruitment. And I did that for 14 years. And so that first one, and this is what I say to all entrepreneurs, start with a problem with solving. You know, I was a manager at picture partners going to what was meant to be the most premier recruitment company in Melbourne. And I found that the person was totally underwhelming. So I thought, Wow, I'm sure everyone else feels this way. So I started a business. And you know, and I did incredibly well in that business until I lost the love for it. And in the last couple of years, it kind of fell apart, because I was off doing software, which was my next love.

Unknown Speaker  13:43
Yeah, Dom I'm

Benjemen Elengovan  13:46
just curious, did you have anyone in your family with history of doing businesses or you know, where? Where did you get this love of starting or doing businesses from? Did you have any family?

Dom  13:59
I did, because we're migrants, and all migrants in my mine's italians. So we all came here in the 50s. And, you know, all migrants come to Australia and no one gives them a go. Which is why in my current business, we concentrate on internationals because no one gives internationals ago, certainly not the love that they should be getting. And so they my parents started businesses, we had a milk bar, we had a fruit shop, we had a butcher shop, and we had a takeaway food shop, and I spent most of my life helping out the family business. And of course, I could have gone into that business if I wanted to, but of course, no one wants to follow in their parents footsteps. And because

Unknown Speaker  14:40
I say, go and go and

Dom  14:44
I was gonna say that, because you know, that was a retail business. I wanted to do and because I went to uni, I just wanted to do something a little more sophisticated. I didn't want to take over the family business. So So you know, I thought of recruitment

Benjemen Elengovan  15:01
Do you think that having that bit of exposure when you're growing up and having that kind of, you know, upbringing around business and stuff, was it helpful?

Dom  15:12
It was helpful for me that I don't think that you're born with it. Because just need to look at my brothers. And I'm the most entrepreneurial of my brothers. My older brother is semi entrepreneurial, he has his own consulting business. And my younger brother couldn't care less, he just wants to work for someone. And so people often ask, Are you born an entrepreneur? Or do you learn to be an entrepreneur, as a victim of your environment? And I think it's a bit of both, I think you need to have it in you. But certainly the environment did help. And, and, you know, my parents were not scared to start a business. And I'm not scared to start a business. In fact, I think it's scarier to stay employed. I, you know, I actually marvelled at people who are happy to be employed. And COVID is a wonderful example, how many people lost their jobs? Yeah, like when COVID hit in my business, I didn't lose my job. So for me, it's safer to be employed, because I'm in charge of my own destiny. And that's why I love working for myself. And hats off to the people who are happy to stay employed. Because knowing that you can turn up to work any day and be fired. That day is too scary. For me. It's a risk I will not take. Yeah,

Benjemen Elengovan  16:23
I'm talking about the journey of, you know, building businesses and you know, successful ones. And then once they're not successful ones, not when I say success is obviously receptive in a way. But in any of those businesses, have you come across a situation where you took the most hardest decision is like, hey, we did like, if you look, close your eyes? And can you? Is there a memory that you still have? Man, that was the most difficult situation I did in my entire business journey?

Dom  16:56
Well, actually, I think the biggest one was actually my wife's business. So before I started my business, my wife was also a chartered accountant, she worked as an auditor. And I remember distinctly, she came home one day, and crying. And I asked her what was wrong, we'd been married maybe for five years. And, and she said, you know, my boss was mean to me today. And I said, Oh, God, Well, what do you want to do about it? She says, I want to resign and say, good, what do you want to do now? And she said, I want to start a business. I said, What? She has a florist. And I go down your life in a florist. But my wife was the type of person very creative with their hands. And she'd be the type that would go and buy a bunch of flowers, a few bunches of flowers from the supermarket or from a florist. And she could make something more beautiful. And she'd make her own hampers. And really, I didn't understand it. How do you know that today, you're an auditor in a chartered accounting firm. And tomorrow, you want to be a florist. That was just it made no sense to me. But I said, Sure, I'll support you. And she did, she resigned the next day, six weeks later, we opened a florist. And she had it for 13 years until we had kids. And then we thought one of our children needed a little bit of extra help. So she sold it. But recently, in the middle of COVID, the middle of a pandemic. You know, one year ago, she opened up another florist, and he's just going gangbusters. And I'm really proud of it. So at the time, I just thought, My goodness, you know, we're in the middle of the 90s. Interest rates are horrendous. Unemployment was through the roof. And, you know, she was brave enough to go and start that business that she just knew that that was her calling. And she was right.

Benjemen Elengovan  18:42
But I'm just I'm just gonna take another deep dive into that situation, you know, probably that night when this conversation is happening, and what was running in your mind? And obviously, you know, you're going to talk for your wife also. But what was running? What was the mental climate cloud of what's happening that night? What What made you say, Okay, let's do it.

Dom  19:05
Well, after I got over the initial shock of the business that she chose, because I would never in a million years would have thought that she'd want to be a florist. It was pure excitement. And I think that's another thing about entrepreneurs as well, in that we see the opportunity. We see every reason why this will work. Not every reason why it won't work. The accountants and the lawyers will tell you every reason why it won't work. And so for me, it was one of the most exciting parts and it's still one of the most exciting things I've done other than having children. It was just a wonderful day. You know, while we can start a business together, you and I, and so we found a shop. We gathered it did the fit out to I took six weeks to open and we had a deadline because Mother's Day was coming up. And of course mother's days will make a lot of your money. And we had no frickin idea we open 10 days before Mother's Day. And in retrospect, it was a disaster. But at the time, we thought this was awesome. We had, and back then there was actually real money. Yeah, there's no such thing as a credit card. And I remember that night, it was like a scene from the movie that we probably took a few 1000 bucks. And we just threw all this money onto our bed, you know, the $1 coins and the $1 $2 notes, which I have here, some anyway, I won't grab it. And it was just, we just laughed our heads off, I reckon we laughed for about 20 minutes, because we'd never seen that amount of money in the house $1,000 in ones and twos and fives and 10s and 20s. You know, I don't think there was a 50 back then. And it was just euphoria. And we thought, wow, that was this. And and that's, I think, where we got the addiction just to start businesses and have a go, because, yeah, it might not work out. But gee, imagine if it does,

Unknown Speaker  20:57
hmm.

Benjemen Elengovan  21:00
You also mentioned, Dom, that you know, a number of the businesses that when you have closed or you know, you didn't feel that was going in the right direction, or you are not being feeling more love towards it. And talking about the ones that didn't go in the right direction that you planned. It's a very big decision. Many founders that I have met, didn't want to let go. And they hanging into things that didn't work. For how, give me an example of a scenario that you've been where you took that decision to say, Enough, this is going to stop, I'm going to work another one?

Dom  21:35
Well, I've, I've got one rule in my life, about whether to continue a business or not. And that is, does it create revenue is someone actually willing, you'll always find one person to pay you for something, but it doesn't matter what it is, could be the most stupid thing on the planet. But and you'll find one buyer, one customer, or two or three. But to generate revenue, that's the test. And it really annoys me when I hear people talk about all we're gonna raise money for this idea. Don't raise money, because a. you're gonna have to dilute you can only give away equity once, just make some revenue, just generate revenue. Because if you can't generate revenue from your idea, it's a dog. Get rid of it. And I've seen so many people, and the stupid thing in some cultures about saving face. Like that's for the birds, like forget about saving face. And, and people think lots of failure. Yeah, you know, a lot of people that I mentor, I say to them, you know, if you decided that you're going to run a marathon, you made a decision today that you aren't going to run a marathon, you're not going to rock up to the Melbourne marathon, this weekend, and run 42.2k You will kill yourself. So when you decide finally, that you want to own your own business, would you really expect the first business to come off when you got no training in it. And to me, I love to hear that people have started something. And it didn't go quite well. They did an online business, whatever it was, but they've done multiple things. In fact, a lot of accelerators will not accept you unless you've done multiple things. And it's not failure. It's practice. Like I would much rather back someone who had three or four go at starting a business and it didn't quite work out. And then they get this really good idea. Because they've learned so much from the stuff that didn't work out. So for anyone who is looking to start a business, start something anything, start an E commerce platform, online, sell anything, because what you're going to learn from setting up a company, starting, you know, doing a website, getting a domain name, getting your SEO, right, all those things that's going to help you for when the big idea comes along, that could be really worth doing. But this thing of raising money before you've got revenue, that is ridiculous. No one should do it

Benjemen Elengovan  24:05
if if, if if I were to say that you got this, you know, a restart button, and you know, if you press this button, you can go all the way back to 1990s. And where you started your career, what would you do something that different this time?

Dom  24:25
Yeah, well, you know, first of all, I have no regrets ever, because I know that I make decisions with the information that I had at the time. Navitity plays a big part in that. So don't get me wrong, I have no regrets. But having said that, in my recruitment business, I made one fatal mistake. And that was that I created a permanent placement business. And I spent 14 years doing permanent placements because you get such a big chunk of money. So I think our average invoice was 12,500 That was building a business, that generated revenue, but not value. Though I now know. And in the businesses that I start now, I'm always looking to generate a value business, something that's worth a lot. And it doesn't necessarily generate a lot of revenue, and you got to bootstrap it. And so if I had a start, if I had spent my youth working on a recruitment company that had a contract, I would have been able to sell it for five times earnings. Instead, I created a permanent placement business, that was actually with nothing at the end of 14 years, and I just had to shut it down. That that's what

Benjemen Elengovan  25:44
good, good, well have

Dom  25:47
on site is 2020 vision. But I have no regrets. Because I didn't know that at the time.

Benjemen Elengovan  25:54
Nice. You, you, you, you love software.

And you have been working in a number of different projects in startups, products that is heavily involved in building innovative softwares. And I know you're not a software developer. And this is one of the biggest questions in the startup ecosystem is like, you know, I've got an idea or not, I'm not a technical founder, I don't know to code. What would you say to those founders who have this idea of in getting to technology, but have no experience or education in building tech?

Dom  26:34
Well, I think the tech is actually pretty easy to do. There's so many different tools out there where you can build, certainly your proof of concept, and very little cost, focus on the problem being solved. But I choose now to focus on businesses and problems that I can solve using this incredible thing that's been given to us. And that is the internet. And so yes, I'm into tech, and I'm into software, but I do it because it gives me access to the internet, I can solve problems using the internet. And to me, that's the enabler. However, in our business, especially outcome, which is gone really well, we did the unscalable. First, you know, we didn't have internet at the very start, you know, people thought that we're logging into a platform, really, it was just a website. And in the background, we were doing everything manually. And I would always say to people do the unscalable. First, if there's a business there, by doing the unscalable, then you can add the technology to make it scalable. And so you got to prove your concept, almost your MVP has got to be something that isn't tech driven. Just create the illusion, because you're testing it to see people actually want whatever it is that you're solving. And once you've nailed that bit, then you can launch into the tech. But not the other way around this thing of build may will come is for the birds. It doesn't work. Everyone that's done their dough has done it because they built it first and expected people to come doesn't work. So but you do not need to be a coder in order to build tech products. In fact, I prefer you won't, because those skills you can get. But entrepreneurial skills is much harder. And that's what's more valuable.

Benjemen Elengovan  28:33
Yeah, yeah. I'm talking about the skills. What's your superpower? You know, what's the what? What's your superpower? Or what's your personal hack or a secret that you hold?

Dom  28:47
I mean, I'm really good at talking to people. And, and having a conversation with them and finding out what is the problem in their lives that they need solving. I'm very curious. My superpower is my curiosity. I remember, you know, one year I met a dairy farmer. And it was a Christmas time. We're all on holidays. And it was about 30 people, these half dozen families, we all go away together. And there was this dairy farmer and I asked her lots of questions. I said, How many cows he got? And she said 450 I said 450 Oh my god, how long does it take you to milk them? Just while we milk them twice a day. So what twice a day. And how long does that take, she says 90 minutes? I go you got to be kidding. 450 x 90 minutes. That was it. I had to go to a farm. And I her dairy. I asked everybody in the group 30 People not one person came with me only I went and I helped them milk the cows because I was curious. And I came away from there with probably three viable businesses through issues that dairy farmers have that needs solving. So my superpower and my wish for everyone is go to meetups network with people and stop talking about yourself and ask the other person, what do they do? What are the issues? What keeps you up at night? That's where you're going to get ideas worth solving. And a couple of pieces of advice. Never ever fall in love with your business ever. Because if it's a dog, get rid of it, and never fall in love with the technology either. Because technologies come and go. And I've seen too many businesses that got stuck in, you know, Microsoft crap that stifles their business and means that they can't grow.

Benjemen Elengovan  30:38
Yeah, yeah. Wow. Oh, Dom. Such a lot of good value. And thank you for sharing so much about, you know, not just about startup for you also went told about your personal story. You know, you spoke about the amazing women that you are married to and her entrepreneurial skill, which looks like she'll beat you at some point, which is all she's doing. And yeah, yeah. And, and, and thanks. And you've been you've shared a lot of things that really needs to be told to early stage entrepreneurs while they are contemplating thinking and I was recently told there is good advice and there is bad advice. And for the listeners out there who's listening this this is purely good advice. This is raw advice, and take it and run with it. And the chances that you will be more successful is higher. And I've got another game actually. And this is this is this this is to know good finishes episode with another game. Okay, and it's way old style game. Everybody knows it. And on this is like the rock paper scissors. We're going to play two rounds of this game and who wins gets to do a truth or dare with the other person.

Truth or Dare? Yeah, yeah. All right. You ready? Yeah.

I'm going to show you him to the camera. And all right. Rock, paper, scissors. Okay, now the one rock paper scissors.

Dom  32:17
Oh, God.

Benjemen Elengovan  32:22
Yes. Okay. I wait. I mean, okay, I'm

Unknown Speaker  32:29
to today.

Benjemen Elengovan  32:34
No, oh, I've got too many options. Okay. I don't, I'm gonna I'm going to do because you've kind of answered on my truth questions. I'm going to do there with you. I'm going to show you a picture of a funny face. You got to do that on the camera. Okay. All right. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker  32:59
Yeah, okay.

Benjemen Elengovan  33:03
And here is the picture for you. Oh, my God. Nice. Okay. Well, you got the dribble. But one more than one more than I really like one more.

Unknown Speaker  33:19
Okay. No. Okay.

Benjemen Elengovan  33:25
Nice. Thank you. Thank you so much. Okay, one last time. And maybe I'm lucky again. Okay. So, rock, paper, scissors. Ah, again, rock, paper scissors.

Unknown Speaker  33:44
Oh,

Unknown Speaker  33:46
do you when you get to choose truth are there

Dom  33:49
truth or dare, You're going to have another kid you go two? You're going to go again?

Unknown Speaker  33:56
Ah.

Benjemen Elengovan  33:58
Oh, hopefully my wife doesn't hear this episode. Until I have the other kid. To be honest, I love babies. And I do want to have another one. But decision is not only in my side. I need the gates of heaven to bless me

Dom  34:16
Or not, with two kids you know the normal cars fine and all that as soon as you have three. You know, it's two two rooms when you go on holidays. It's you know, you got to buy the big car. Van you can borrow my Florist van

Benjemen Elengovan  34:38
Yeah, look, I'm I'm going to support the Australian declining population as best as I can. But one thing I'm really really nice and thank you for being so candid, authentic. And what I like is that energy and the charisma like for people who don't know I actually started my first startup in Melbourne. But with years of not having confidence to start a business, I actually started from a programme that Dom was actually running from outcome life. And that was kind of the seed of all that I've done. Until now I've been that's been like four or five years has passed.

Dom  35:21
And, you know, and can I say, you know, and people from your cohort, to watch their confidence grow, to watch them succeed, to watch them learn. I mean, it's just been wonderful to watch, you know, yourselves the guys from pencil rocket, little green panda. Yeah, I mean, you know, you guys have just done incredibly well. And you had no experience. And, and, you know, for the listeners, you know, my advice to people is just give it a go, you're actually may be shocked at what you may succeed. And, and, you know, find a mentor, find some people to talk to, you know, make sure that you don't bet the farm, you know, bet everything on whatever it is that you're doing. Understand that the first thing you do may not work out, and that's fine, then it's the second one and the third one. But, you know, I think too many people will die, you know, perhaps thinking what might have been, and what they may have been able to achieve. And there is no better time in the history of the planet, than to start a business right now. Two reasons. One, the internet, like this thing gives you access, the same access bhp has to customers or, or, you know, Amazon, you have the same access. And number two is, money is so cheap. And there's so much money out there. Another piece of advice, if someone is looking for an area in order to focus on, go where the money is, go where the future is. And right now, if you even went to say the state government websites in, in your local state, have a look on their websites and find out what are the key things that they focused on for the next 10 years. For a lot of people, it's going to be on regional areas on primary production, helping people you know, in regional, Victoria, regional New South Wales, wherever it may be. And there's so many grants out there that can help you. And so follow the money. And you know, you won't go wrong, there's so many problems need. So we haven't even began to leverage the Internet to solve many of the problems and automation and data. That's where it's at.

Benjemen Elengovan  37:43
In fact, that was my house. So those are actually the last question. But don't you actually covered that to a wonderful? Again, I can't thank you enough for not just being part of a significant part in my startup journey, personally, but also being playing a very key role in many international student startups, lifecycle, but also being a very good friend, and you know, trustworthy person to talk to share ideas, actually, to be challenged at the same time. So love to have you in the community, I wanted to see more and more successes, stories coming through, and all the best on mentor match, all the best on intern match all the best outcome, life, and all of that stuff. So for the listeners out there, I'm going to go and put all those links in the podcast description in the video description. So please keep them and if an international student, please please click them. I'm also going to put Dom's LinkedIn even though he hasn't said but I'm going to put it there. Because Dom like networking, please reach out to him. Don't reach out to him. And please write something and say I saw the video I saw the podcast. And this is how I'm reaching out and Dom would be able to recognise where you're coming from.

Dom  39:04
And I am planning to to do another cohort of the pre accelerator program in the new year. If we get enough interest and hopefully we can do it this year, face to face because last year's didn't have the same vibe because it was all over zoom. But hopefully we'll be back in our building at 17 hardware Lane the student the Student Centre, study Melbourne students centre. So fingers crossed, so if anyone's interested drop me a note. Happy to include you in in the correspondence. Yeah,

Benjemen Elengovan  39:37
thank you. Thank you. Well, and thank you so much, Dom, fantastic, and we will make sure we get you on the podcast again very soon.

Dom  39:47
Oh, no worries Good on you Benje.

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Benjemen Elengovan

Startup Addict | Founder & CEO of MyGigsters | Tech Enthusiast | ClubHouse @benjemen and Podcast Host