We actively partner with exceptional founders from across the 77 regions of Queensland, Australia and beyond to build investible and scalable ventures. We also happen to be backed by one of the leading early stage VC firms in Silicon Valley.
Our mission is to be more than just mentors, investors and directors, and to be true venture partners. We are not afraid of working alongside founders at the ground level and committing as much time, energy and passion to their ventures as they do.
We've been there before, both as founders that have started, scaled and exited ventures in one of the largest markets of the world and as investors that have funded hundreds of early stage companies. We know what it takes, and what it means to be venture partners.
Welcome to 77 Partners.
Founder & Managing Partner
Brent has 25+ years of experience spanning technology, startups and investment in Australia, United States and Europe. His passion lies in partnering with early stage ventures, and working with founding teams as a mentor, investor, director and more. Brent is also an Investor-in-Residence at Bee Partners, a leading early stage venture capital firm in Silicon Valley and a Strategic Partner of 77 Partners.
Brent was formerly a founding team member and Head of Investment & Ventures at QUT bluebox, the commercialisation company for the Queensland University of Technology, where he formed and managed the QUT Founders Fund and a range of startup initiatives including QUT bluebox Challenge and Accelerator programs. Prior to this role, he was a New Ventures & Investment Fellow at Boston University's Office of Technology Development and an Associate in the Private Equity and Venture Capital team at Queensland Investment Corporation. Brent has also held roles in management consulting, government funding and engineering.
When he is not with ventures or with his family, Brent is an avid hiker and can be found on trails anywhere from Lamington National Park in Queensland to Lake Tahoe in California.
Yotam has 25+ years of leadership experience, including as Co-founder and COO of Y-Combinator startup Earbits, which he helped build from the ground up and lead to its acquisition four years later. He was formerly the Chief Entrepreneur in Residence at QUT bluebox where he supported hundreds of startup founders through accelerator programs. Yotam draws on his remarkable international accomplishments to guide and mentor aspiring startup founders through one of the most exciting yet toughest journeys they’ll make.
Originally from Israel, Yotam served as a Commander and Trainer in the Israeli Defense Force before taking up a scholarship to study music at Berklee College of Music in Boston. He graduated Magna cum Laude and in 2005 moved to Los Angeles to accept an opportunity to compose and produce music for television. It was during this time that he and his fellow band member conceived the idea for what would eventually become the highly successful Y-Combinator backed start-up, Earbits.
When he’s not learning new things or guiding our next generation of founders, Yotam enjoys spending time with family, meditation, chess, and exercise.
Bee Partners is a leading pre-seed and seed stage venture capital firm based in San Francisco with a portfolio of over 50 companies across edge computing, applied data, human computer interaction, synthetic biology and market networks. The firm has realised exits to Adobe, Autodesk and others. Bee Partners operates upon the foundation of five firm values: practice “Integrity Investing”, invest in building companies, balance intuition with data, appreciate that time is worth more than money, and go beyond yourself.
Bee Partners backs founders with grit, uncanny passion, resource magnetism, and empathy. They are focused on founders who translate their uncanny passion to deep market insights - in either an enabling/frontier technology that stratifies multiple industries or a vertically-focused enterprise SaaS approach that has the opportunity to reach across multiple functional roles within that vertical (e.g. market networks). Put simply, they invest in companies with a unique catalyst that drives scalable growth.
Bee Partners was one of the first investors to make a commitment to 77 Partners, and also provides to 77 Partners strategic advice across all aspects of venture partnering; deep insights to technology vectors, commercial markets and early stage capital in the US; and connection to the firm's partners, principal and associates in Silicon Valley where the 77 Partners team regularly visits. 77 Partners shares the same values and founder focus as Bee Partners, with 77 Partners Founder & Managing Partner Brent Watts also an Investor-in-Residence at Bee Partners.
77 VENTURE CHALLENGE
Go from pitch ready to investment ready
The 77 Venture Challenge is a 3 month program designed for startups and early scaleups that are preparing to raise pre-seed or seed level funding. It provides founders with highly customised support to accelerate their journey from being pitch ready to investment ready. It is currently targeted at startups and early scaleups in AIR (Artificial intelligence, Internet of things and Robotics) and related sectors.
The 77 Venture Challenge is best suited to ventures that have already participated in a traditional early stage accelerator program, developed a pilot product and/or recently entered the market. The program’s structure emulates an investment deal process with one major exception - founders will receive constant feedback and full transparency from the 77 Partners team, allowing them to understand how a prospective investor actually evaluates their venture and how best to prepare for fundraising.
Over the course of the program, each venture receives regular one-on-one sessions with 77 Partners, meetups with other ventures in the cohort, and an opportunity to hear from high level, international founders and investors. All meetings and sessions are online. In between these sessions, each startup works at its own pace to iterate and refine key investment items with ongoing feedback from 77 Partners.
By the end of the program, there are curated connection opportunities with prospective funders. At least one venture is offered a $100k investment from 77 Partners, and a range of business services from program supporters (eg. legal, accounting, board advisory, etc.) each valued at up to $10k. Any venture that receives capital from 77 Partners joins the 77 Partners’ portfolio and continues to receive high levels of support from 77 Partners as ongoing venture partners.
10 ventures were selected to participate in the inaugural 77 Venture Challenge in 2020, with a second program running in 2021. Ventures don’t have to pay money or issue equity in order to participate in the program. The 77 Venture Challenge is supported by Advance Queensland, SoftBank and several business service providers in Queensland.