Galileo Annual Founder Conference 2023 - Gold Coast

What went down at our annual Galileo Founder Conference in Broadbeach on the Gold Coast
Luddy Graham
Jun 2023

The Galileo Ventures Founder Conference is not your average conference.

It’s an annual gathering that brings together the Galileo portfolio for vibrant collaboration, learning, and, of course, having a blast. 

This year, for our third Founder Conference, we landed at Broadbeach on the Gold Coast

As Richard Branson famously said, "Fun is one of the most important – and underrated – ingredients in any successful venture." And that's precisely what we aimed to deliver this year!

The criteria for this year's conference was simple:

💜  Have open discussions on founder challenges, and empower founders to become exceptional leaders

💻 More tech chats

🌳🌊 Get outdoors 

🧛 Do very Gold Coast activities 

🤡 Have fun and relax!

This year more than ever our founders needed a reminder to take a breather.

With an exciting lineup of activities and insightful sessions, the founders were in for a treat. Let's take a closer look at the schedule highlights.

Galileo Unconference Session

In our first Galileo Unconference Session, gathering in a circle, founders brought their top-of-mind questions, and the group shared their experiences, providing invaluable insights into overcoming the challenges of running early-stage startups. 

This Unconference Session touched upon various topics, like fundraising strategy, founder mental health, customer acquisition and retention, and much more.

Some questions that sparked conversation were:

  • How do you create FOMO for investors?
  • How much should we focus on preserving the runway Vs spending on testing the market?
  • How do other founders take breaks and manage the emotional rollercoaster?
  • What's the best way to support customers in different time zones?

Having Constructive Conversations with Yasmeen Faruk 

Effective communication is paramount to success in any start-up, especially early-stage. 

We were fortunate enough to have Yasmeen Faruk - Ex-SF native and growth startup operator who has worked closely with growth founders show us the ropes in this engaging session.

You know the dreaded feeling leading up delivering to difficult news? That's what we worked on.

Whether it's making a team redundant, managing underperformers, hard conversations with your co-founder, or breaking up with customers, Yas shared some useful tools which left the founders feeling better equipped and more confident.

She even provided a handful of hilarious/shocking stories of 'what not to do' and how it impacts your business.

🔥Hot tips from Yas:

  • On a spectrum of Truth (being too blunt) and Compassion (being too nice) founders should work toward sitting in the middle of the spectrum to thrive as effective communicators.
  • When delivering uncomfortable news always aim to get to the heart of the matter at the start of the conversation. Keep it simple, 1-2 sentences are all you need. 
  • No complimentary sandwich when sharing bad news- it's confusing.  

10/10 session, highly recommend 🌟

Galileo Founder-led Sessions

CTO Session with Dave Slutzkin, CTO of Steppen

Our founder-led sessions featured the brilliant CTO of Steppen, Dave Slutzkin.

In this session Dave facilitated conversations to help bridge a knowledge gap between what people think a CTO role does VS what it actually is in an early-stage startup. At times this isn’t always clear to commercial founders which can lead to wrong team hires or unmet expectations. Some teams left rethinking their hiring strategy and shifting who they should hire next.

The AI Landscape with Relevance AI Dan & Jacky 

We had the pleasure of hearing from O.G Galileo portfolio company Relevance AIs' Dan and Jacky all the way from SF. With AI being the new 'it girl' on the scene we thought we'd bring in the first movers in the space to further ignited our AI curiosity.

We touched on what the future of AI has in store for us, which jobs will be redundant, is prompt engineering the new thing, and what the best use case for it is, they even sparked new ways to build AI into the companies.

In between all the work and knowledge-sharing, safe to say we had a healthy dose of fun.

SkyPoint Observation Deck - Starting our conference with a leisurely afternoon dip in the spa and a sunset walk to a breathtaking view of the Gold Coast from the SkyPoint Observation Deck.

High Ropes in Mount Tamborine - We ventured out to Mount Tambourine and challenged ourselves on high ropes courses in the treetops.  Some of us discovered muscles we forgot existed, but the sense of accomplishment was worth every drop of sweat and shaky arms and legs.

Wins Night -  Every year we celebrate Galileo Wins Night where each team had the opportunity to present their most significant recent victories, reminding us of the remarkable progress we've made.

Draculars Cabaret Show - We wrapped up the Galileo 2023 Conference with The Dracula Cabaret show - a fusion of live music, comedy, dance, puppetry, and more.  This Avant-vaudeville spectacle left us with an unforgettable memory to conclude our conference on the Gold Coast.

As with every year we left feeling re-energised, pumped, cups full, and supported by our great little Galileo community 🦾.

The TLDR in pics

Interested in what we got up to in the previous years? Check out our Byron Bay and Airlie Beach conference. 

If you’re a first-time founder looking to raise the first round - we want to hear from you! Apply today and join us in 2024 for our next Founder Conference 🥳

About the Author
The Head of Platform at Galileo. Founder whisperer, smooth operator and community cultivator.
Founder Retreat

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