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David Theodorou

David Theodorou

Co-Founder, Entrepreneur & Mentor

Key Topics

  • Dave’s experience in identifying a gap in the startup community and how he developed Black Nova Group & Experience Digtial into long-standing, successful businesses
  • Discussing the methodologies behind team management and how employing empathy is key to cultivating a team that’s passionate about their jobs and wants your business to succeed
  • How he waited for the right time to begin leveraging the AWS partnership and what he’s done to honour and propel it further in the future
  • The importance of observing an array of management and leadership styles and cultivating one that works best for you to implement with your team
  • Why being transparent with customers in relation to risk is recommended to early-stage startups to build a solid relationship of trust and empathy


  • 0:07: Introduction to Sips with Startups & our guest Dave Theodorou, the Co-Founder of Black Nova Group & Experience Digital and his experience in launching multiple startups as well as sharing valuable advice with us
  • 0:28: Dave introducing himself and telling us what he’s sipping
  • 1:36: The psychology (and authority) behind coffee consumption
  • 2:22: Dave explaining his background within the startup community and how Black Nova Group & Experience Digital support startups. Discussing the rationale behind creation and how his expertise has evolved in regards to strategising.
  • 3:55: Talking through the process of ideation – the decision making behind coming up with new business ideas
  • 5:02: Explaining the methodology behind Availabled, an application that provides the capability for event scheduling outside the realm of social media
  • 6:18: 10 years of Experience Digital – how AWS has helped us get here
  • 6:30: Dave’s experience with and opinion of AWS, how our involvement has expanded and our partnership grown
  • 7:08: Experience Digital’s approach to our partnership – discussing Holly’s role as the dedicated AWS Community Lead
  • 7:54: The catalyst for the major career shift from being in the military and fire service to founding multiple businesses
  • 8:24: Diving into Dave’s background in the military – key learnings that act now as transferrable skills
  • 8:51: How learning in-depth about multiple leadership styles in military school allowed Dave to cultivate an individual, personalised leadership & management style and how these skills assist him in firefighting as well as being an entrepreneur
  • 10:00: The importance of ensuring your team enjoys their job and is passionate about your business rather than micro-managing, and ensuring you look at the bigger picture
  • 10:29: How the leadership skills Dave has learnt in the corporate business world have given him the ability to empathise and lead by example.
  • 11:15: Dave’s biggest startup setback – talking about failures in regards to misunderstanding and miscomprehension of risk
  • 11:50: Experience Digital’s first customer, Precedent Productions, and how Steve Loe, the Managing Director, took the risk and continues to be a customer today
  • 12:18: How to handle risk – how can you foresee upcoming risks? The process of coming to terms with its inevitably and feeling comfortable with acting with complete transparency when it comes to sharing the potential or current risks in order to forge a stronger customer relationship
  • 13:22: Juggling family as a founder & entrepreneur – employing balance when raising kids
  • 14:44: Dave’s key piece of advice he would share with his younger self – ‘Risk is a communal thing to discuss, not an internalised problem. Clients don’t want you to suffer and no problems can be 100% foreseen.’


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