“Stay in your lane…”


In the last week of June, the Black Nova team tuned in to the Antler Virtual Demo Day 2020 to watch 12 Founders pitch their hearts and souls out after completing Antler’s Program.

If you’re unfamiliar with Antler check them out here. You’ve heard of startup accelerators and incubators. Antler are a startup Generator, pulling together the best minds and experience from interdisciplinary roles to create startups out of thin air, that then go on to secure funding and scale.

After watching the 12 pitches, one thing stood out to me. You have to be crazy to be a Founder.

To walk away from a stable career path, and back yourself against the heavily stacked odds (90% of startups fail), with huge uncertainty, competition and limitless hours of hard work in front of you is crazy, there’s no other word for it. If you’ve seen Gladiator, think back to the scene where he enters the colosseum. Some days must feel like that as a Founder (without the lions and swords of course).

But more than ever, successful, intelligent and sane people keep stepping up to the plate to run the entrepreneur gauntlet. Why is that?

The Founders I’ve met since joining Black Nova vary wildly.

Some are the accidental entrepreneur. They hit a problem and thought, “there must be an existing solution for this”. Turns out there isn’t and they can solve it better than anyone and are now on a quest to save people from the very challenge they encountered.

Some have always been that way inclined. They’re on their 3rd or 4th business, and it’s been an innate drive of theirs to be in control of their own destiny.

For some it’s been something they’ve always wanted to do, but always put off. The timing was never perfect. But after a spark of inspiration and too much FOMO, they’ve finally thought “Fuck it, I’m doing it!”

But all of them share one thing. At some point they’ve been told a variation of; “ you can’t do that, stay in your lane”. To which they immediately flip the script… “ Why not?” They’ve been knocked back and had their dream stamped on. But they came back for more.

And the world is a better place for these people. They take the risks no one else does. They jump first and learn to build the plane on the way down.

There’s a quote by Theodore Roosevelt that sums it up perfectly for me:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

The last few months have been pretty dire for huge numbers of people. But one thing is certain. There will always be those crazy souls who say “ why not?”

In my opinion it’s infinitely better to be in the arena, than to be the armchair critic telling people what they can’t achieve.

News: Strawman reaches 10,000 users as interest in crowd-sourced investment research grows

Sydney, July, 13, 2020 — Strawman founded by Andrew Page has reached a new milestone by reaching 10,000 users, despite the economic volatility for the Australian Stock Market. Black Nova Group has proudly supported the re-launch of the Strawman Index through their partner, Experience Digital.

Strawman is a community-based platform that allows Australia’s best private investors to evaluate and produce share market research and recommendations. Users share investment ideas and research by managing virtual portfolios and building company reports. Using real world prices, Strawman allows you to gain valuable experience in trading and portfolio management — risk free — as well as follow proven investors with hard won track-records.

Founder and Managing Director, Andrew Page says “Strawman is all about the democratisation of sharemarket research. Our goal is to give private investors a platform in which they can connect and collaborate in way that delivers real results”

Since their re-launch in early 2020, Strawman’s user base has grown significantly. The community has delivered returns that sets them apart from most professionals, that sadly have a poor track record.. With an overall increase of 38% per annum since late 2017, Strawman has effectively unlocked the ‘wisdom of the crowd’ and empowered private investors to make more informed investment decisions

The platform provides members the capability to share investment ideas and rationale by managing virtual portfolios and building company reports, all of which are ranked by community endorsement and portfolio performance.

“We are pleased to see Strawman’s growth continue to skyrocket right through the recent volatility” says Matt Browne, Black Nova Group’s Managing Partner, “first time investors have the opportunity of gaining well researched insights alongside experienced investors, helping everyone to navigate ever-changing market conditions, which is an edge when investing in today’s financial market”.

As the only platform that allows you to paper trade the ASX using virtual portfolios, Black Nova Group is backing Strawman while it paves the way for first-time investors to gain experience in portfolio management and trading without any risk.

Black Nova Group

Black Nova Group exists to empower the next generation of iconic, tech startups. We inject capital and services into businesses looking to scale. We operate in Australia and Europe and are united by one goal; supporting great founders with ambitious dreams to achieve their potential.

Covid-19 in a Digital World

Has Covid-19 turbocharged the digitisation of business?

The world before Covid-19 was already moving quickly, now the world seems to have completely lost its ability to move at a reasonable speed.

Organisations that once planned their strategy at a three-year to five-year phase have little choice now but to scale in a matter of weeks and months. This crisis has presented us with a glimpse into a new world, one where ‘digital’ has become essential to every form of communication, forcing businesses to adapt. A world in which agile methods of working are a necessity for meeting business needs.

It has formed a future in which digital systems will become the primary form of engagement and automated processes will be the driving force for productivity — a source of flexible, open and steady supply chains.

Can the pandemic have a positive outcome for businesses?

If there is a silver lining, it might be in the diminishment of obstacles to improvisation and innovation that have emerged among clients, markets and organisations. The ways they learn from and adapt to today’s crisis will deeply influence their performance in tomorrow’s changing world, providing the opportunity to retain greater agility as well as closer ties with clients, employees, and suppliers.

In this unique moment, companies can learn and progress more quickly than ever before. Those that are successfully able to make the transition will more likely be successful during the recovery.

So, what now?

It is time to reconsider digital capabilities — those that provide support to employees, clients and the stakeholders to which corporations are increasingly responsible for — and to those that position you for a post-Covid-19 world. A place in which some things will go back to their prior form, while others will be forever changed. Playing it safe now, as crazy as this sounds, may just be the worst option.

If you feel like your business is unable to keep up with the speed of this changing landscape remember that you are not alone.

At Experience Digital our team is at the forefront of digital change and would be happy to assist with your digital transformation.