DQ was founded by James, Arjun and me, Oliver Palmer. Between us we have invested in over 75 start-ups, been involved in raising more than $200m, successfully exited companies we have started, and run accelerator programs across the world. The three of us come from diverse backgrounds but between us we have vast experience in what it takes to build a successful startup and also what failure looks like.
Personally I spent 12 years building a company, starting from a sun room in Sydney, Australia, raising 2 financing rounds and finally selling the company with over 400 employees for close to AU$100m. After my exit I did some work as a venture capitalist, seeing over 200 companies in 12 months with only 2 of them going on to raise capital. I realised that I wanted to help companies reach the point where they were ready to raise external capital more than I wanted to simply say yes or no to investing in them.
DQ was founded out of the frustration we saw when extremely smart and talented people would come to us and ask our advice as to how they should go about starting a company. Everything sounded great until we dug into the early challenges that we saw on the horizon, from gaining early traction, limited revenue for extended periods of time, and almost always a significant reduction in salary from what the potential founder was currently earning. More often than not that was a deal breaker for someone with car payments, a mortgage, school fees, or credit card bills. Taking an unpaid 12- or 24-month sabbatical is simply not practical for most people, once they have started on their career path. However the rewards of running your own business, financially, emotionally and spiritually, far outweigh a corporate career, as long as your business turns in to a success.
Being a founder is hard work, the buck stops with you and the amount of work you have to do will always equate to three times as many hours as there are in a day. We started DQ to give experienced founders the best chance of success. We want to help you make sure that when you do decide to take the plunge and become a founder, there is a long-term sustainable business in place that will have the best chance of becoming a truly great company. We help get everything up and running in the early stages so that you can come onboard and drive things forward. We will also tell you if the business idea isn’t quite right, for whatever reason, and make sure that you don’t jeopardise your career for an idea that the world isn’t ready for yet.
Running your own business can be incredibly rewarding. It also requires a range of skills and as a founder you will constantly be wearing many hats. Partnering with us means that you can share that load in the early stages with a team that has the experience and knowledge to maximise the chance of your success. If this sounds like something you’d be interested in then reach to one of us and let’s take your idea to the next stage.