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Blackbird

Life At Blackbird

We are building a team that is as ambitious as the companies we invest in.

We want Blackbird to be the best place to work in Australia & New Zealand.

In 2021, we were recognised by the AFR for Best Employee Experience in Australia, (which was pretty exciting) but what we really care about is our culture - and that’s stayed steady at a 96% engagement score on CultureAmp.

In two years, our team has grown from 12 to 70 people, and we’re only just getting started.

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Teams at Blackbird

Our team is as diverse as the companies we back. Many of us have founded or worked in technology businesses before and know what it’s like to survive the startup rollercoaster - but just many of us come from a completely different background.

Meet some of our Blackbirds.

Phoebe Harrop

“When returning to Aotearoa after 8 years away, Blackbird was without a doubt where I wanted to spend my next chapter. Everyone at Blackbird is empowered to do their best work, and it shows: each Blackbird is a force of nature, whether they’re investing, managing accounts payable or looking after our own investors.”

Phoebe Harrop
,
Principal
|
Investments
Kate Glazebrook

“I was a founder in the portfolio for 4yrs before joining, but the view from inside Blackbird is even more ambitious and mission-driven than I expected. It’s a privilege to be surrounded by a diverse group of people as relentlessly curious, energetic and humble as those in this team, let alone the universe of incredible founders and operators in our ecosystem.”

Kate Glazebrook
,
Head of Impact & Operating Principal
|
Founder Success
Clark Carter

“Blackbird is filled with great people to work with. There’s a high level of trust, autonomy, empathy, and good old fashioned banter, yet everyone performs like a Formula 1 pit crew. Blackbird also allows me to work remotely from Tasmania and has been responsive to different work setups as needs change. This has had an incredible impact on my work/life happiness.”

Clark Carter
,
Head of Productivity
|
Building Blackbird
Lucia Salim

“Blackbird is a company that is truly passionate about what it does, and the value of "making our kids proud" really resonated with me. Everyone at Blackbird thinks like an owner and is here to do their best work - being amongst such a talented and motivated team is contagious and inspires me to keep improving myself.”

Lucia Salim
,
Financial Accountant
|
Operations
Paul Redfern

"Everyday you get to show up alongside a group of motivated, kind, and talented humans and work on the same bold vision to accelerate the most ambitious founders, operators and investors in the region. We move fast, with focus and we have a ton of fun. If you’re looking for a role with impact, then you’re in the right place."

Paul Redfern
,
Head of Programs
|
Startmate

Our Northstar and Values

Giant leaps forward made by a passionate few 🚀🚀🚀

Giant leaps forward: We believe in a future where humanity continues to leap forward, to overcome our great challenges.

Passionate few: Blackbird was founded on the belief that small groups of people create the biggest change. The name “Blackbird” comes from a jet developed by Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works team, who were separated out from the main engineering organisation to design and build jets that were inconceivable to most.

1.

We wear T-Shirts.

Blackbird is a startup and will always be run as a startup. Our style, our office, our events and our communications relate to the founders we back.

2.

We are true believers in founders.

Founders come first, they are our reason for being. We work for our founders, they don’t work for us.

3.

We believe in love at first sight.

We make high conviction decisions after careful research and debate, but also trust our instincts built up over years of pattern matching.

4.

We think in decades not days.

We invest for the long term. Building iconic businesses takes the best part of a decade  or longer. We don’t plan for exits.

5.

We are comfortable with the misunderstood.

We don’t need to know all the answers to make an investment decision. We’ll look to maximise the upside, rather than minimise the risks.

6.

We will make our kids proud.

Everything we do, we do with integrity, in a way that we’d be happy to tell our kids about.

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Where We Work At

We are a fully distributed workforce and there’s Blackbirds in Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland, Hobart, Perth and Orange. We believe in a culture of openness and we have completely open plan offices for all the team, we share almost everything within our team, and encourage everyone in the team to bring their best selves to Blackbird, whatever that looks like.

Drag Me!
01

Our Aotearoa office is a small but mighty crew of five hailing from throughout the whenua. Find us at our Ponsonby HQ - affectionately called the bach since it looks like someone's modest holiday home stuck down an inner city alley - or on the road meeting founders in all corners of Aotearoa.

The blackbird aotearoa office interior
02

The Melbourne Blackbirds will tell you they’ve got the best coffee - and they’re probably right. They also have a steady stream of La Croix, Cremorne’s tech community on their doorstep, and the beloved Startmate Monthly Family Drinks events.

The blackbird melbourne office interior
03

Smack bang in the middle of Surry Hills, our Sydney office is a stone’s throw from many of our portfolio companies. It’s also got fresh coffee, plenty of TimTams and even a novelty “birdbox” phone booth.

The blackbird sydney office interior

Our Hiring Process

We don’t discriminate on the basis of race, religion, national origin, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, or marital, veteran, or disability status. We are proud to do blind hiring through Applied, one of our portfolio companies, to ensure every applicant gets an equal chance to succeed.

1.

Applied

egg hatching

We use a blind application process through Applied. You'll answer 4-5 questions relating to the skills we're looking for.

2.

Phone Call

egg hatching

We contact the top applicants from Applied for a 15 minute chat about the role and what you want to get out of it.

3.

Interview

egg hatching

We conduct 2-3 interviews in person (or on Zoom) to get to know you better.

4.

References

egg hatching with a bird

We talk to a few of your references to get a feel for what it's like to work with you.

5.

Offer

bird with pencil

We make an offer to the candidate we feel is the best fit for the role.

Benefits At Blackbird

We’re building Blackbird like a startup, not a traditional VC firm. That means deep work, planning and thoughtful discussion is important, but so is having fun. There’s weekly team lunches, good coffee, better music (not to mention resident DJ Lil’ Butter) and all kinds of social clubs from running to reading fantasy books.

01

We’re flexible by default with working locations and hours to suit your life, whether it’s working from home or leaving early to pick up the kids from daycare or school.

Work on Your Terms
02

We’re proud of our employee-first policies, from 20+ weeks of parental leave, to our quarterly KitKat days where our entire team takes a break with a full office shutdown.

Family First
03

Happiness and work satisfaction is everything. We survey the team regularly to measure wellness and engagement and are proud to say we score over 90% on both!

Measuring Happiness
04

We work hard without letting work get in the way of life. We’ve implemented no Slack or emails after hours or on weekends, so you can switch off and enjoy yourself.

Unplug and Relax
05

Our team is hungry to continuously learn and you’ll receive an annual $5000 budget to spend on whatever you’d like to learn - from coding courses to meditation.

Become a Learn-it-All
06

We believe every Blackbird contributes as an owner of our company and deserves to be recognised as one. All of our team have carried interest and are owners in the management company, to share in our financial upside.

Share in our Success
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Become a Blackbird

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