Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Woden Valley to Silicon Valley: Lessons for IT startups

Greetings from the Hyatt Hotel in Canberra, where Yohan Ramasundara, is speaking to the Australian Computer Society on "Woden Valley to Silicon Valley - lessons for IT startups". Yohan spent three and a half months seconded from IP Australia to Austrade in Silicon Valley. He started the talk by explaining he geography of Silicon Valley. He mentioned the work of the Aussie Founders Network

Yohan criticized the fragmented nature of the Australian government presence in Silicon Valley with federal and state organizations having separate initiatives, in contrast to the Swiss government. One successful Australian government initiative is the Australian Landing Pad @ WeWork, San Francisco. From the photos Yohan showed WeWork SF looks much the same as WeWork Sydney.

Yohan pointed out that people skills are needed as well as technical skills for a successful startup. He also pointed out that successful entrepreneurs are open about their business and willing to to talk to budding start-ups.

Yohan was positive about Standford University and its Product Realization Lab. This is available to students in any discipline and supports traditional fabrication (wood and metalwork) as well as hi-tech. There is now a modest ANU MakerSpace in Canberra. One of my teams of ANU Techlauncher students used the 3D printer to make a case for their project.

Yohan pointed to the Alchemist Accelerator as emphasizing the customs of business. But he pointed out that rules about punctuality differ between cultures. Yohan also pointed out that investors invest in the team of talent as much as they do the idea.

Gabe Sulkes then talked about his work as the Landing Pad Manager for Austrade. He was live on-line from the USA and, for once, the network  held up. ;-)

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