New angel group gathers guests of hit podcast The Startup Playbook Case Studies 18 Aug 2022 by Holly Clark Friends and guests of the hit podcast, The Startup Playbook, will come together to establish a new angel group following a $280,000 grant from LaunchVic. The new ‘Playbook Angel Network’ launched in private this year with a group of investors largely made up of successful founders interviewed on the podcast. To date, the Angel Network has completed three deals, including two companies led by female founders. In full flight, it will mobilise over 60 angel investors with the aim of deploying approximately $2.8 million of capital to Victorian startups by 2024. Host and founder of the Startup Playbook podcast, Rohit Bhargava said the new angel group would see successful founders and operators support the next generation of startup talent. “It’s a group of friends and guests of the podcast that know what it takes to build a successful company and navigate the challenges of those crucial early-stages,” he says. “Whether it’s connecting them to other investors to help them close their round, getting guidance and support from our ‘founder & operator investors’ or helping them build their profile and awareness through our content streams to attract more customers and talent. We really want to open up our networks to support our portfolio”. The power of a great story The operator-led model is a key focus in all areas of the Playbook Angel Network. The $280,000 grant from LaunchVic sees Rohit bring on board exited founder James Harrisson to manage deal flow and operations of the new group. Also a fellow podcaster, James said their experience in content creation and distribution would be another key component of the value brought to founders through the network. “At the very early stages, you have limited data points to show people why they should believe in you and your vision,” James says. “We want to be early supporters in promising companies and to lean in and support founders by helping them share their stories, which will help with hiring, building up their brand and attracting more customers and investors.” The Startup Playbook Podcast interviews Zeller CEO & Co-Founder Ben Pfisterer Rohit and James will be supported by a stellar advisory board comprised of experienced investors Jackie Vullings (Partner at AirTree VC), Wendell Keuneman (General Partner at Tidal Ventures) and Lauren Capelin (Ecosystem Manager at AWS Startups and ex Reinventure & Startmate). “Angels are the lifeblood of the startup ecosystem, supporting founders at the earliest stages,” Jackie says. “The very best angels have strong empathy for the founder journey, a creative imagination, and a deep network of investors and advisors. Rohit has all three in abundance.” Scaling up Since launching in 2016, Rohit has interviewed more than 165 successful entrepreneurs and investors from around Australia and overseas, including the likes of Malcolm Turnbull (Former Prime Minister of Australia), Cal Henderson (Co-founder & CTO of Slack), DHH (Co-founder & CTO of Basecamp) just to name a few! The show is built on the premise of successful founders and operators sharing lessons from their journey to help the next generation of startup founders, and he hopes to continue on this mission through the Playbook Angel Network. “The Playbook Angel Network is an extension on the principle that the podcast was built on,” Rohit said. “By having a number of proven operators in the corner of our portfolio companies as investors via the Angel Network, we want to dramatically improve their chance of success” Learn more about The Playbook Angel Network here. The Playbook Angel Network is one of three new groups funded by LaunchVic to unlock close to $9 million for early-stage startups over the next two years. See the full list of angel groups we support here.