My New Community


Nicole McCallum

September 4, 2019

Everything is connected. Nothing changes by itself.

Many amazing moments in my life can be attributed to the communities and the networks I belonged to. I think back to my first job and the community of other impressive graduates in my cohort. The mentors and fellow founders who supported my startup journey. The network of expat Kiwis when I moved to Australia. All of these communities have enabled me to succeed during my endeavours.

People who are connected are more supported, more empowered, more creative and more likely to succeed. Being connected and supported is what supercharges founders and companies to success.

It’s this connection stuff that gets me out of bed in the morning and the reason why I’m excited to join Tempus as Head of Community.

My Story

Since I was young, I had a keen interest in business. My early experiences include a side hustle lemonade stand, school bus keychain sales and reselling frozen croissants (I knew my croissant market.) Outside of business hours, I was a performer — an international highland dancer and a part-time theatre actor. Although the quality of my performances was questionable, I knew one thing…I had a love for telling stories.

When I arrived at University, I decided that studying law was the best way I could combine storytelling with business. Law school taught me some key life skills such as problem-solving, persuasive speaking, negotiation and the correct wine to cheese ratio at a networking event. But with the law degree done and the wig ceremony behind me, I did what any normal lawyer would do…work for a software company!

Fresh out of law school and thrown in the deep end, I was working alongside engineering teams where words such as API, Cloud, Trello and Cookies (not the edible kind) became the norm, and I loved it!

I developed a passion for technology and the way it’s shaping our future. I immersed myself in the growing startup community in Wellington (my home town). I attended a startup weekend with friends and one month later, we were co-founders on a mission. Our company, Cohelix, was an HR tech platform for the wine industry to manage seasonal workforces.

We took Cohelix to market in New Zealand, secured paying customers, a partnership with the NZ Government, and had a hunger to expand internationally. A few months after launching in Australia, we realised the dynamics were very different, we didn’t have product-market fit, and our business wasn’t ready. After 18 months we made the difficult decision to wind up Cohelix. With a bunch of lessons under my belt, some great relationships, and a newfound respect for companies who’ve made it, I was ready to take on a new challenge.

I stayed in Australia (adding to the Kiwi quota), and joined the team at CoVentured, a software startup connecting startups with corporates. As Head of Startups, I built the CoVentured network to over 40,000 companies and 200 communities, worked directly with founders to strategically align their products with Corporates. Satisfyingly over this period, a vast number of our startups formed lasting customer relationships with corporates through our work.

This brings us to Tempus…

Why am I excited about joining Tempus?

Tempus is an incredible firm with smart people, an impressive portfolio and a bright future ahead. Deeply rooted in the firm’s culture is curiosity, a genuine understanding of founders and a desire to back the most ambitious missions.

Tempus invests in the next generation of impossible — and as Head of Community, I’m playing my part in this startup folklore.

As Head of Community, I facilitate engagement with our investors and founders, empower our founders, engage with the startup ecosystem and expand our community. I find energy in building meaningful relationships, supporting others, celebrating wins and sharing stories.

Venture capital firms play an important role in the startup ecosystem beyond money. We believe a community can provide the resources, support, advice and friendships to help founders excel and build extraordinary companies.

At Tempus, we are empowering founders to build startups that positively impact the next generation. We have a team of former founders, operators and seasoned investors who truly understand what it’s like to build successful companies.

I believe that nothing can change in isolation. Which is why we are creating the community to empower founders to build the next generation of ‘impossible’.

If you’re a founder or an ecosystem supporter, I’d love to hear from you! Just email me 👋 😊

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