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Co-founder of Envato.


Having co-founded Envato, the global marketplace for developers and designers, which just celebrated a $300 million milestone for author earnings and has more than 170 employees in Melbourne, Cyan Ta’eed is rightfully in demand as one of the most sought-after women speaking on tech and entrepreneurialism in Australia.

A life-threatening stint in hospital during the early years of starting her business taught Cyan that life’s too short to get caught up in your own head. “If there’s stuff you’re going to do you shouldn’t wait around or say ‘no’ to it because it stresses you out.”

Born in New York and raised in Sydney by creative parents, Cyan studied graphic design. With her co-founder and now husband Collis Ta’eed, she launched the first of a group of online markets for designers and developers. They personally funded the business, working freelance out of a garage to pay for the site build.

Shortly after launching, the pair went travelling. Having established a business they could run from “anywhere that had Wifi”, they sold almost everything they owned in a garage sale, packed everything else into two suitcases, and got on a plane to Hong Kong.

They spent 18 months travelling while growing the business, starting with thirty hour weeks before doubling those hours as the operation got larger. By the time they returned home, they had an office in Melbourne and a number of full-time staff, including developers.

Envato has flourished ever since, now boasting a community of more than four million and a purchase every six seconds.

Despite the rapid business growth, Cyan’s managed to spend time with her young sons. She’s currently pushing to ensure Envato’s parental leave processes are the best in the industry.

But Cyan still finds time to herself, exercising regularly and finding morning runs to be meditative. “It helps me frame my day,” she says. “To stop being so reactive to what’s going on. It’s about making proactive decisions about what will make each day better.”

Cyan is passionate about getting more women to be entrepreneurs in tech. She says “women need to see examples of women doing this stuff.” And she is. Envato now has 1.75 million active buyers all over the world.

Talking Points

From your Parent’s Garage to the World

How Envato grew from an idea in Cyan’s parents garage to a global business with 7 million members and 280 staff. This talk covers the challenges of early growth and how a bootstrapped young business navigated fast expansion in a disruptive environment.

Leadership with Purpose

Cyan had to learn how to run a business as Envato grew, and with that came hard won learnings around the importance of leadership and purpose. These days Envato is Australia’s Coolest Company for Women, and has been on the BRW Great Places To Work list for three years running. In this talk Cyan shares Envato’s philosophy on leadership, creating brilliant teams, and fostering innovation.

Diversity and Innovation

In this talk Cyan Ta’eed relates the pivotal importance diversity has played in Envato’s culture of innovation. Envato is considered a Unicorn by the press, and is known for it’s culture of innovation and self-disruption. Cyan shares how diversity and flexibility have been key drivers in developing Envato’s culture of innovation. She also shares their diversity journey and what they’ve learned along the way.

The Future of Work: Disruption, Technology and Opportunity

The Committee for the Economic Development of Australia estimates we will lose 5 million jobs in the next 15 years. Drawing on her experience founding a disruptive company, Cyan shares Envato’s how this might play out, how the innovation boom could save us, and what companies can do to disrupt rather than be disrupted.

The Entrepreneur’s Journey: Inspiring Women to Launch

Envato’s phenomenal growth has been a surprise to everyone, including Cyan Ta’eed, it’s cofounder. While steering the company through rapid growth Cyan learned a lot about the power of entrepreneurship and “just getting started.” Cyan firmly believes more women should be entrepreneurs, and in this talk shares what she has learned along the way, and the joy of taking bringing an idea into reality on your own terms.
Cyan was a panellist in our forum exploring diversity, entrepreneurship and Australia’s future workforce in front of 300+ guests, and was excellent. Cyan is energetic, open and engaging, and shared some great insights and ideas as a truly dynamic entrepreneur and business leader. Cyan was generous with her time and feedback from guests has been overwhelmingly positive. CEDA

Cyan was an absolute pleasure to work with and was a huge asset to our on stage panel. Her passion, drive and enthusiasm for her work was clear for all to see and she contributed to the discussion with insightful and thoughtful points. We would have no hesitation in working again with her in the future.

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