The Startup Playbook

Connecting you to the best entrepreneurs, investors and resources from around the world

Ep095 – Tom Davies (COO – Verso Learning) on persistence & perseverance

My guest for Episode 95 of The Startup Playbook Podcast is investor turned entrepreneur, Tom Davies.

Unlike the traditional career path of moving from entrepreneurship to investing, Tom started his career as an investor with the Netus Fund in 2007, alongside well known local VC’s Daniel Petre and Craig Blair who has been on the show before.

Alongside operating as a VC fund, Netus was also involved in helping launch successful US based companies into the Australian market. 

Between 1999 and 2012 when it was acquired by Fairfax, Netus helped launch companies such as MSN, eBay, Monster and Ticketek into the Australian market.

After a few years with Netus and in the middle of the GFC (Global Financial Crisis), Tom decided to venture out and build his own companies; launching Compare Courses, one of Australia’s largest education search websites, reaching over 250,000 potential students every month and Chappelli cycles, the first Australian bike company to retail bicycles direct to consumer online.

Tom now spends his time as the COO of Verso Learning, an online resource for school teachers to increase student engagement and develop critical and creative thinking skills.

In this interview we discussed:

  • Tom’s lessons from both sides of the table as an entrepreneur and investor
  • The importance of perseverance and persistence
  • How to identify and focus on the right metrics
  • The challenges of operating in competitive markets
  • Handling failure and the process of shutting down a company

This podcast was produced by the awesome team at Playbook Media. If you would like to launch your own personal or business podcast, say hello to

Show notes:
Daniel Petre
Craig Blair
Craig Blair interview
Craig Blair interview (video)
Alison Deans
Kerry Packer
Chappelli Cycles
Compare Courses
Verso Learning
Deep Sea Challenger – James Cameron
Reid cycles
Tom Davies (email)

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Music: Joakim Karud – Dreams

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