Entrepreneur Anthony Wright’s latest career move is launching The Dash, a venture capital fund with a startup talent agency arm. It’s his second startup, after founding award-winning legal services and tech firm Lexvoco in 2014 and exiting in 2019. Completing the VC Catalyst investor education program in 2022 boosted Anthony’s investment skills and knowledge as he moves into this new stage of his career.
VC Catalyst helped Anthony launch a venture capital fund. “Establishing a fund sounds like an interesting career move, but I was unsure whether it was right for me. VC Catalyst helped crystallise the day-to-day aspects of startup investing. I became confident it would be engaging and rewarding, and a great next step.”
Anthony was ready to explore more rigorous decision-making approaches. “VC Catalyst helped me understand best practices for making good investments and avoiding bad ones. I came into it wanting to develop sound methods for extracting the right information and assessing risk, and I wasn’t disappointed. I still refer to the course materials on a weekly basis for investment methodologies.”
He was keen to learn from leading experts from around the world. “I had been looking at a very expensive course at Stanford University, but one of its lecturers was also teaching into VC Catalyst. It was so great to be exposed to globally well-known experts, and for them to share their knowledge here in Melbourne.”
Anthony developed a more thorough model for assessing potential investments. “Previously I asked for about 20 points of information from businesses, but now I gather around 140. I’m thinking more holistically and covering a lot more detail about the business and its environment. Everything from staff retention to details about competitors and barriers to entry. It’s very methodical and detailed and, while it’s a little slower than my previous method, it leads to better decisions.”
His experience as a founder offers Anthony useful insight. “It really helps with due diligence on founders, particularly their management capabilities and leadership qualities. Lots of people have a good idea but limited leadership skills to make it successful. My background helps me spot red flags like staff disengagement, or founders that focus on potential investors more than customers.”
VC Catalyst gave Anthony access to Australia’s vibrant venture capital ecosystem. “It was a great group of around 30 people on the course and I’ve developed friendships and work relationships that I wouldn’t otherwise have had. The ongoing value these new networks offer is fantastic. Not only did I meet two of my colleagues in the new firm through Wade connections, but I continue to meet inspiring people to bounce ideas off and potentially work with down the track.”
He values Wade so highly, Anthony is now an Entrepreneur in Residence. “I catch up with my business partners once a week at Wade Institute and it’s such a great environment – aesthetically it’s beautiful and the facilities are brilliant, too. I value the opportunity to chat with other entrepreneurs who are also based there – it offers a really nice balance to the days I work from home. Being physically based at Wade is a great way to nurture my new connections and networks, and to keep learning and growing.”
Anthony recommends VC Catalyst to both investors and founders. “It sounds like common sense, but the value of formal education is much higher than just reading articles on the internet. The knowledge you gain in VC Catalyst is useful for angel investors or anyone new to a VC fund, but also for founders contemplating external investment. It will help founders focus their pitch and also prioritise key areas for growing their business.”
Interested to learn more? Our next cohort of VC Catalyst is now accepting expressions of interest. Download a brochure, reach out with questions or register now.