Alan and Matt from Bugherd were part of the first Startmate batch. With mentoring they have transitioned from nerds to successful startup founders.


“Before Startmate I was just a plain, garden variety web developer”

Bugherd were part of the original Startmate class in 2011. Co-founders Alan Downie and Matt Milosavljevic had previously worked together at a digital agency and had done startups together like that had achieved success but were not large businesses. Bugherd was their first real attempt at creating not just a product but a business.

The idea of Bugherd may seem silly on the surface. There are already 1,000s of bug trackers in the world, why do we need another one?

The insight Alan and Matt had was for a specific kind of company and workflow. Agencies and all sorts of people needed to get feedback from people who weren’t good at computers and stuff (hat tip: zoolander). They didn’t know their browser version, operating system and couldn’t really describe the problem in any useful detail to the developer who was charged with fixing the issue.

Bugherd allows non-technical people to visually point and click at something that’s wrong and then captures all the technical details like browser, operating system and other assorted information automatically. It gets people out of email back and forth and scribbled upon pictures of screenshots and into actually fixing what’s wrong.

Over the past three years, they have built an amazing, fast growing business. To the original point of why another bug tracker, you can see for their customers who have clients of their own, there is simply no alternative to Bugherd and they would be extremely disappointed if Bugherd went away.


We began Startmate with no connections and then 3 months later had investors line up through introductions from people we had met through the program.

Following Startmate they raised a small seed round, including from 500 Startups. They flirted with the idea of moving to the US but ultimately decided to settle in their home town of Melbourne. I love it when teams do this. They don’t pontificate about what the US is and is not. They go and try it for a few months and see if the pros and cons weigh up. For some it makes sense, for others it doesn’t.

Bugherd has been able to recruit a fantastic team, found investors from the US who didn’t care where they were as long as they had great ambition and have happy customers all around the globe. They’ve since raised much larger capital from Starfish Ventures and Tankstream Ventures in Australia and are rapidly scaling.

Perhaps the greatest joy has been watching Alan and Matt develop into wonderful founders. The learning curve has been steep but they are now some of the strongest founders in Australia bar none in my opinion. They have made the leap from nerds to great CEOs.

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