The Startup Playbook Podcast

Insights and lessons from the world's best entrepreneurs and investors

Ep149 – Phil Morle (Partner – Main Sequence Ventures) on leaps, equity and the art of flearning

My guest for Ep149 of The Startup Playbook Podcast was Phil Morle, Partner of Main Sequence Ventures

Phil started his career as a Theatre Director, before taking those skills into tech initially as CTO of file-sharing company, Kazaa before going on to Co-found the first tech incubator in Asia-Pacific, Pollenizer.

He is now a Partner at CSIRO’s venture capital fund, Main Sequence Ventures, which has $490M in funds under management to invest in emerging Australian deep-tech and science based startups to solve the world’s biggest problems.

In this interview we discussed:

  • Why 50-50 equity splits between co-founders are a bad signal to investors
  • Taking leaps and having a high velocity of learning
  • The art of Flearning
  • The important balance between “soft skills” and Venture science
  • & much more!


  • 2.26 – How Phil got started in theatre and transitioned into building startups
  • 10.19 – Common mistakes and traits Phil has seen in business since working with startups 
  • 19.54 – The importance of taking leaps and the success of Spreets
  • 28.25 – Decision to close Pollenizer after two final chances and the importance of closing when it’s the right time
  • 38.00 – The importance of reputation and being willing to put your reputation on the line
  • 44.51 – The power of giving employees equity for motivation and commitment 
  • 49.14 – Bringing together the CSIRO and Hungry Jacks to create v2food
  • 56.48 – The important lessons for startups working with large companies 
  • 1.03.34 – Collaborative work with businesses and coming together to share experiences
  • 1.09.11 – Identifying opportunities and the balance between soft and hard skills in founders 
  • 1.13.55 – Main Sequence Ventures new fund and what projects they are working on
  • 1.18.24 – Where to find Phil and Main Sequence Ventures 

Links Mentioned 

Phil’s Links: 

Companies Mentioned

People Mentioned 

Special Thanks:

Special thanks to Nick Hazell and Mick Liubinskas for their help with research for this interview! ?

Feedback/connect/say hello:

[email protected]
@RohitBhargava7 (Twitter)
/rohbhargava (LinkedIn)
@rohit_bhargava (Instagram)
My Youtube Channel


Music: Joakim Karud – Dreams

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