Welcome to the Blackbird Monthly. Here’s what you need to know.

February kicked off with Blackbird Partner Rick Baker going prime time on Innovation Bay’s podcast. Rick went deep on door knocking for Fund 1, our transaction to sell $100M and return it to investors, and opening the doors on our NZ office.

We also announced our investments in Roborigger and Dovetail in February, and hosted a Productivity Masterclass with our Head of Productivity Clark Carter in NZ.

To round out a great month, the UNSW competitive robotics team we sponsor participated at the MBZIRC International Robotics Competition held in UAE.

Where You’ll Find Us in March and April

March:Our Principal Tip has launched regular Office Hours taking place on Thursdays. Book in one-on-one conversations on fundraising, product milestones and company health. March 27-29: Partner Sam Wong will be judging at the NZ Startup Boot Camp held in Hamilton. April 6 and 7: Meet the latest exceptional talent coming out of Startmate at Startmate Demo Days in Melbourne (6th) and Sydney (7th). Founders from this year have turned food waste into animal feed, water waste into electricity, 3D printed prosthetics and an AI bot teaching English among others. Melbourne Tickets here and Sydney Tickets here.

Top Reads in February

The re-awakening of psychedelics.Tim Ferris makes bets on psychedelic drugs to transform mental health care. Good note-taking guide. Follow these 10 principles to note-taking to 10x your efficiency in meetings. Bottled breast milk is in our future.Scientists at startup Biomilq, have successfully grown two key components found in human milk—lactose and casein—from mammary cells in a bioreactor. Manage your energy, not your time:Farnam Street explores the four key principles of energy management.

Community Movers and Shakers

????Black.ai has begun trialling its technology in supermarkets across New South Wales and Hong Kong with great success.

????Roborigger,the Perth based robotics startup, has raised a $5M investment led by Blackbird Ventures.

????Gilmour Space Technology founder Adam Gilmour discussed Australia’s launch industry at the Australian Space Forum.

????Dovetailhas raised $4M led by Blackbird.

????**Fable Food Co *wowed ABC Radio listeners in a segment on their mushroom-based meat.

???? Process Streethas raised $12M Series A from Accel, Atlassian and Salesforce Ventures.

Spotlight On

Charlie Gearside Co-Founder of Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus, a brand engine, founded by Charlie Gearside,Tim Doyle (both former from mattress brand Koala), Benny Kleist, and Alexey Mitko has been on fire lately launching their first two brands - Pilot and Kin to market.

Before Eucalyptus, Charlie worked in an agency, as a developer, designer and illustrator and founded multiple e-commerce platforms. He shares Eucalyptus' ‘Big Mac sauce’ for their success and what he looks for in new hires.

Read the interview here.

Eucalyptus is currently looking for a full-stack engineer and senior front-end engineer. Apply here.

Who’s hiring

Sunfed, who are revolutionising plant-based meat, is looking for a COO and CFO. Vow,who is building a food production system from the cellular level up, is seeking a stem cell scientist, bioinformatician and media optimisation scientist. Propeller,who helps companies manage worksites, is hiring a Full Stack software developer in Sydney.
Ovira,whose mission is to end period pain, is employing a front-end developer with a strong understanding of UI/UX.

1% Improvement

Marginal gains in 2020

"Inspired by the way some of the other Blackbirds work, I’ve started blocking out ‘deep work’ time in my calendar to ensure I make progress on ongoing projects that are equally as important, but not necessarily as urgent, as my day-to-day work. I find that blocking out the time, putting my phone on flight mode, and closing all other tabs, forces me to focus for a two-hour block on a task that might otherwise stay on the back burner for a few weeks," Blackbird Chief of Staff, Sophie Taylor.

Related links:

This is what taking a solo writing retreat taught me about focus

The Nine-Step Weekly Review I Use to Beat Overwhelm and Find Focus

Nine Ways to Make Your Work Day Better

Take Back Your Time with Context Scheduling

Deep Work, Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World, by Carl Newport