Friday, March 15, 2013

Entrepreneurs at the Australian National University

Greeting from the Australian National University in Canberra where Peter Davison, founder of the Fishburners Start-up Space, is speaking to the ANU Entrepreneurs Society. Peter described Fishburners as "tech but not too tech". He argues there are two types of Entrepreneurs: naive tech silicon valley types who mostly fail and the Jedi knights with skills, knowledge of their field and a network of trusted colleagues. He argues that Silicon Valley is unique and attempts to emulate it elsewhere are unlikely to succeed. For Australia he suggests an alternative strategy of encouraging entrepreneurs to look at a problem in depth, build a network of stakeholders and be prepared to change their idea. He recommended the work of Saras D. Sarasvathy. Peter ended with some suggestions to get started, many of which revolved around leveraging the university for business. Peter was surprisingly ambivalent about not-for-profit ventures, given that the funded the non-profit Fishburners.

ps: It happens I was at Fishburners in Sydney last week and the ANU is opening its own co-working space "Entry 29 Co-working Space" in a few weeks time. This will offer office space for as low as $200 a month. The new venture is named after Griffin's entry in the competition to design Canberra, which was "Entry 29" (Canberra was founded 100 years ago this week). The Entry 29 building is at 17 Childers Street Acton ACT (behind the Conservation Council), ideally located between the ANU campus and the Canberra CBD.

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