Student Stories: From freelancer to founder

4th November 2016

After almost leaving his creative life behind, freelancer and The University of Melbourne’s Master of Entrepreneurship student, Kade Greenland has found a tremendous market opportunity to bring a startup lens to Australia’s arts community and create his own job.

Work on the business, not in the business

Kade has been a freelancer for eight years, working as a videographer and actor. After spending eight months in Hong Kong last year to get a fresh perspective on life, he made a realisation about his business “I enjoyed my freelancing business, but I had a sense that it was inefficient. And I could grow more if I wasn’t doing the business; going from job to job looking for individual clients. The work provided me with variety, but it was very exhausting.”

“I didn’t want to be the person who sat by the phone waiting for a job to come to me. I saw entrepreneurs as people who built something bigger than themselves and have more control over their life. I knew I didn’t have the skills to do that and I wanted to gain those skills in a concentrated period.” said Kade.

“It’s the same as my law degree or my time at Victorian College of Arts studying drama. Back then, I thought ‘How do I get the best experience in the shortest amount of time?’ And a curated program where like-minded people surround me was the best way to do that. Instead of trying to do by myself and struggling.”

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Limiting stories we tell ourselves

By dedicating a year to his passion, Kade learned new things about himself “When I joined the Masters this year, in my mind, I walked away from the arts. My video pitch submission for the course was for a recruitment business for last-minute jobs. It turns out that idea was sold to seek for $6M this year, so my timing was off, but my instincts were right!”

“I knew I had the technical skills, but didn’t think of myself as a business person. By spending this year on my development, I’ve been able to recognise the wealth of skills I have in the arts, and I’ve rediscovered my passion for being a creator in this field. It has been an incredible validation of my skills” said Kade.

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Create your job

Kade’s love of the ingenuity in the arts is rooted in his family history “My grandfather was a ceramic maker, but he was always tinkering away in his studio; like inventing a waste treatment plant for industrial waste which he sold to the Singaporean government. l love the idea of finding a problem and going away to work on it with people, and after a while, you have a product that you can share. The arts are built on that same creator spirit.”

Kade said “But so many of my friends can’t see how they can make a sustainable practice out of this and build their audience. That’s where my startup, Khorus, comes in. We secure money from investors to help the artists we represent reach a wider audience, deliver a higher quality production, and have a better chance of success. I want to inject entrepreneurial thinking, like product and customer development, design thinking, and investor funding to better commercialise art and create more sustainable pathways for a new generation of creators. It’s about connecting with a whole community and ecosystem.”

Kade is a 2016 The University of Melbourne’s Master of Entrepreneurship student. Learn more about studying in 2018.

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