Name: Bart Jellema


Twitter handle: @bartjellema

Works at: ZeroMail

the Fetch: Who do you think is doing cool stuff in our industries?

Bart: I think Facebook is still a company to watch closely. Their size and user base combined with the development speed faster then most startups allows for massive and rapid innovation. Locally I’m interested in OrionVM (excellent technology), Kogan (great marketing) and Startmate (applications have just opened and can’t wait to see what comes through).

What are some local upcoming startup events you would recommend?

I think it’s not so important which events you go to as long as you get to pitch over and over and over. Pitching and getting feedback from with different backgrounds and perspectives early on has been very valuable for me.

Where do you get your information from?

Mainly from other people, by chance. Also through some newsletters and mailing lists I’m on (Silicon Beach Google Group) and through Facebook.

What was your first job?

When I was 15 or so I worked as cleaner in my holidays and after school.

What’s the hardest challenge you’ve had to face work-wise?

Dealing with bad performing employees.

What are your thoughts on the future of the Australian startup scene?

It’s going places. Three years ago there hardly was a scene or community; it was very fragmented. This doesn’t mean there weren’t any startups, but the community we now have makes more people aware of the option of doing a startup. The ecosystem supporting startups has also grown a lot. We have successful incubators (like Startmate), lawyers and accountants focusing on startups, VCs from the US investing in Australian tech companies (Accel) and many startups moving to the Valley creating awareness there that Australia exists. With lower wages for programmers, etc, easier access to outsourcing (China, Philippines, India) and some good incentives (new R&D tax incentive) I think Australia is a very attractive place to startup. The next few years are going to be exciting.

What’s next?

ZeroMail. Since January I’ve been working full-time to fix email. We’re currently closing our seed funding from the Citrix Startup Accelerator. We have a fully functional web-based email client and a lot of cool features in the pipeline.

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