SYDNEY, Dec. 12, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Australia’s original startup community Fishburners has appointed experienced startup founder, and former co-founder and COO of product recognition AI company Tiliter, Martin Karafilis, as its new CEO effective 5 December 2022.
Martin succeeds interim CEO Alan Jones, who was appointed in June 2022 to provide continuity of strong and experienced ecosystem leadership during the COVID-19 recovery, and expand diversity and United Nations SDG-aligned initiatives.
Martin is an experienced startup founder, bringing with him 10+ years as a founder, investor, advisor, engineer, speaker, and author with a wealth of knowledge across technology, innovation, business, startups, entrepreneurship, investment, and more.
Most recently, the retail AI business Martin co-founded in 2017, Tiliter, creates software capable of recognising products without barcodes, and counts supermarket giants like Woolworths among its customers.
Martin’s appointment affirms Fishburners commitment to applying real-world experience and leadership in the startup ecosystem as it supports early stage technology companies to get started, scale up, and deliver on socially and economically impactful solutions with global impact from day one.
Clive Mayhew, Chair of Fishburners, said: “Martin was a stand out candidate with the requisite leadership skills that arise from co-founding multiple successful startups, and taking various innovative concepts to launch and beyond. As the environment for startup founders continues to evolve, Martin’s deep understanding of the startup ecosystem and the challenges founders face will add real value to our engaged community and help navigate Fishburners’ success.
“The board was suitably impressed with Martin’s strategic, values-led approach including his commitment to shaping the world for the better through technology.
“We offer our thanks to Alan Jones who acted as Interim CEO while we undertook the search for a CEO, and wish him well in his portfolio of activities, including the launch of the M8 Ventures fund.”
Alan Jones, former interim CEO of Fishburners, said: “It has been an honour and privilege to fill the role of Fishburners Interim CEO after being involved with the community in various capacities for over a decade. I thank the members and team for making me feel so welcome during this time. Fishburners remains close to my heart, and I look forward to staying close as I chase my VC ambitions.”
Martin Karafilis, CEO of Fishburners, said: “My first ever pitch was at Fishburners – the role they played in my own development as I began my startup journey cannot be overstated.
“Hubs like Fishburners provide the foundation for Australia’s most promising and earliest-stage technology companies, and our rapidly-growing national startup ecosystem. I couldn’t be more thankful for this opportunity to give back and help the ecosystem grow, and I look forward to expanding Fishburners’ scale and impact through the Founders Hub platform, and other new initiatives.”
Fishburners (www.fishburners.org) is Australia’s original startup community and coworking space. It was founded in Ultimo in 2012 and has supported 2,300 founders who have raised $368 million in capital, generated $378.8 million in revenue, and created 5,300 jobs.
Fishburners exists to help start-ups grow and make a sustainable impact for the benefit of society. For more than 10 years, Fishburners has engendered a culture of innovation and has supported Founders to deliver broad based economic and social impacts for the benefit of all Australians. It is one of the biggest anchor tenants of the Sydney Startup Hub, and also has thousands of active users of its Founders Hub online community platform.
Notable Fishburner ventures include Koala (valued at $159 million in 2020), ASX-listed Jayride ($46 million market cap), V2 Foods (valued at over $500 million in 2020), and Car Next Door (valued at $55 million in 2021 and recently acquired by Uber).