We made an exciting announcement yesterday: Starts at 60 has completed an investment round, partnering with Seven West Media so we can improve what we do – for you! I would like to stop today and explain a little more about it so you can get as excited as we are. And I want to start by telling you a bit of a story.
Starts at 60 is my baby. I started it less than three years ago because I felt that my parents and so many others in the Baby Boomer generation (and a little beyond) did not have many places to go online where they could feel thoroughly respected and served, where they could publish their own stories, find people like themselves, talk back online, and understand issues that really matter. I wanted you to have a bit of Internet “just for you”, where everything that is important, fun, engaging and educational is at your fingertips, and you were not sold funeral ads, or treated condescendingly. These values are important to me, and sometimes I have walked a more challenging path to ensure we honour them.
I have worked 100+ hour weeks for three years, loving every minute of it to grow something viable that would be able to survive the scourge of a really tough media market, and deliver you something special online. I have travelled Australia selling ads to pay wages of a gradually growing team – there are now 16 people and that number even includes my husband (we were just three people a year ago and just me the year before)! And I have poured my heart and soul in here, as have our team, many of whom have worked far beyond our expectations because they absolutely love it. Every person in Starts at 60 feels the reason why we do what we do, and that is so important.
Most of you will be unaware that we’ve bootstrapped our way here to a site that has generated 5 million page views in the month of January 2016 and could be called “the fastest growing digital media site in Australia”. You may not know the details of how hard we’ve worked, but we hope you know how much we love doing it and can feel it all through the site. Other sites have tried to copycat us – with deeper pockets and big media backers – and we’ve been very aware that our integrity, our passion and most of all, our community are what will always make us special here. So we want to honour that every day by bringing you more and more of the internet you need and deserve. The content that helps you, that connects you with peers, and makes your days a little more fun.
As we’ve grown Starts at 60 we’ve realised because there is so much you need online, it needs to be a bigger project than we could afford on our “small business” budget. So we reached out and asked the most well-respected media company who works with the baby boomer generation to help us fund the next stage of our growth. This will allow us to get there faster and more elegantly, to serve you more, just like you deserve. I’m excited to say they’ve accepted the challenge and we have made them an official shareholder in Starts at 60.
We’ve been working with Seven West Media for months to ensure they were the right partner, and felt the same way about our community as we did. It’s important to us, and they do.
So, with Seven West Media’s support, over the next year we’ll be able to launch, firstly, a nicer website, then a whole new series of capability and services completely dedicated to you, the Baby Boomer, and beyond. And it won’t be designed to “flog” things at you – we’re going to find the best stories, the best solutions and the most important things you need in the online and offline spaces so we can continue to be the place that serves you honestly, with all our heart.
And we’re going to make sure you get the best darned internet opportunities available!
Know this: we are not selling out. They are not taking over. We remain running a business in our own building with our own team, making great media for you, with their help to do it properly, across multiple channels. We are lining up to work harder with a partner in Seven West Media to help us that knows more about making good media, and who can ensure we and you are at the forefront.
It’s enormously exciting for us, and hopefully, you are just as excited knowing you are going to get first class treatment here at Starts at 60. We promise.
Most importantly, know were here for you from 5am, 7 days a week. We put you first – always.