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Brandscreen founder Julian Tol re-emerges as CEO of Startup Muster

Founder of Australian demand-side trading platform, Brandscreen, Julian Tol has resurfaced as the newly appointed CEO of Startup Muster after several years working with Asian online marketing services.

Tol founded Brandscreen with Seth Yates in 2006. In 2013, they called in administrators after failing to raise capital to keep the company running. Both left the business a year later, while the company struggled for another two years before being eventually wound up.

Julian Tol with Startup Muster founders Monica Wulff and Murray Hurps

In taking over the leadership of Startup Muster – which runs an annual survey of the Australian startup community – Tol said changing local attitudes to business risk and failure is a key area of what he’d like to change.

“During my first stint in Silicon Valley, I was surprised by the attitude to failure. It’s almost a necessary prerequisite for success, and we could do with more of that in Australia,” Tol said. “We need less fear of failure and less stigma around it. I’ve had both wins and losses and I’m better for it.”

Tol arrived in Australia in 2005 to take the role of marketing director for Samsung. Previously he had been Amsterdam-based CEO of Publicis Groupe’s Dutch operations.

After leaving Brandscreen, he went on to work with consulting firm AdScience, before joining Hong Kong-based performance marketing firm iClick.  He has also run his own consultancy, Tol Group.

Co-founder Yates went on to join data management service Krux, before it was acquired by Salesforce where he remains as a San Francisco-based system architect.

Tol will be launching Startup Muster’s 2018 survey on July 2. He said: “Startup Muster is now a fixture in the startup ecosystem. No one else has five years of data in the tank, especially not this level of qualitative and quantitative data and insight into the startup community.”

Monica Wulff, Startup Muster’s co-founder and CEO for past three years, said in a statement: “Julian comes with a wealth of global experience, having founded and scaled five startups across five countries. We’re looking forward to him unlocking greater value from the data we collect.”

In its 2017 report, Startup Muster reported 13.1% of Australian startups were in the marketing sector, up from 11.7% the previous year.

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