SHARK ANDREW BANKS ON WHY AUSTRALIAN STARTUPS NEED TO GET A BIT OF AMERICAN ATTITUDE

SHARK ANDREW BANKS ON WHY AUSTRALIAN STARTUPS NEED TO GET A BIT OF AMERICAN ATTITUDE

HE'S a former thespian who borrowed $5,000 on two credit cards to get his first business off the ground in Sydney's Woolloomooloo, and went on to establish two of the world's biggest recruitment companies employing thousands of people.

Now based in the exclusive suburb of Beverly Hills in Los Angeles, Andrew Banks is well placed to evaluate the startup landscape in Australia and the US and understands what it takes to build a business empire from scratch.

The entrepreneur and investor is now one of the five "sharks" on Ten's business/entertainment show Shark Tank, and their job is to either fund or "maul" startups and inventors who are looking to take their ideas to the next level.

Banks himself says he doesn't forget he was a struggling startup in his early years. That $5,000 credit card debt funded a restaurant business while he was an actor and after 18 months of 19 hour days he sold out and headed to Europe with his wife Andrea.

He worked in corporate human resources and returned to Australia and co-founded Morgan and Banks with Geoff Morgan in 1985. It went public in 1995 with revenue of $800 million and merged with TMP/Monster.com.

In 2004, Banks launched Talent2 International which specialised in HR outsourcing and executive search. The company now employs more than 1,600 people in 20 countries and Banks sold his equity in 2014.

Business News Australia spoke with Andrew Banks in Los Angeles and asked him about Shark Tank and the difference between Australian and American entrepreneurs.

Why do you do the show?







Did you splash the cash on anyone in this series?



At times, yourself and the other so-called sharks can appear ruthless - are you this tough on potential startups in real life if they come to you and they haven't thought things through?







What do you look for in an entrepreneur or a start-up? Is it innovation or do you look for someone who's going to be a disruptor?



So, someone spots you on the street, or grabs you at an event, and they ask you what they need to do to make their business idea a success: how do you summarise that?



You started and grew two recruitment firms from the ground up into major companies employing a lot of people - what have been the biggest challenges? Raising funds, satisfying clients, retaining your own staff?








Read our other stories from Shark Tank here:
Richards looking for scaleup potential in next Shark Tank class
Janine Allis' special blend to boost success
Shark Tank's Naomi Simson reveals the first question she asks of startup entrepreneurs
Startups are 'not for the faint hearted': Steve Baxter exclusive interview part 1
Brutal honesty on earning the 'gift of investment': Steve Baxter exclusive interview part 2


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