Duel Fates of Two Australian Web 2.0 Start-ups

July 31, 2009

Brad Howarth provides his usual insightful view into the Australian tech community and savvy entrepreneurs’ forays into Silicon Valley in his Bootstrappr column on ZDNetAustralia. He examines the very different fates of two Aussie Web 2.0 startups and their founders, Omnidrive’s Nik Cubrilovic and Atlassian’s Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar.

One company has had a good deal of success, while the other has failed. Read their stories here — it is a lesson in just how different the outcomes for start-up companies and entrepreneurs can be.

Gateway 2009 Company Registration Now Open

July 23, 2009

Registration is now open for the ANZA TechNet 2009 Gateway to the US program. Any innovative Australian or New Zealand early-stage company or start-up seeking to develop a US market entry plan or strategy should check out all this program has to offer. For US$3,995 (which covers the cost of two company executives) it is tremendous value for an international program.

The Gateway program starts with a series of Gateway Focus Workshops being offered in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney, August 24-28. These full-day workshops are led by ANZA CEO Viki Forrest, who has worked with hundreds of companies entering or exploring the US market and Chris Shipley, the world-renowned tech analyst and leader of the Guidewire Group. Chris has seen thousands of companies over the past 15 years, in both her role with Guidewire and as the executive producer of the DEMO conference.

Viki and Chris will be joined by VCs from Starfish Ventures at the workshops for a full-day working with you to develop your company pitch for the US market and to gain a better understanding of current market trends, US business culture and the environment of Silicon Valley. Spaces are limited, so register for the workshop today.

Those who complete the Gateway Focus Workshop are then invited to attend the Gateway to the US, which includes 4 weeks of online mentoring with a dedicated coach with valuable US market experience in your industry niche, plus attendance at the 3-day Summit in Silicon Valley, October 5-7. If you are committed to completing the workshop, and know the US market is the place for you and your company, you can register for the entire Gateway to the US package by clicking here.

What Do Entrepreneurs Fear Most?

July 13, 2009

With 95% of all new businesses failing in their first five years, entrepreneurs would be crazy not be fearful. The good news: fear is part of the game and you are not alone. Entrepreneur Magazine takes a look at the five most common fears entrepreneurs have from financial stress to keeping up with technology and deconstructs them with the help of a couple of experts, including a psychologist. The article then offers tips on how to deal with these common fears of being your own boss and its responsibilities, and how to move forward.

(Read more)

Where Is the Natural “Silicon Valley” in Australia?

July 13, 2009

Silicon Beach Australia is the place for honest discussion about starting up innovative tech businesses in Australia and to connect with other Aussie entrepreneurs. Recent discussions on the board have included the fallout from cutbacks in government grants, lack of angel and VC funding communities Down Under and where would be the natural place for a Silicon Valley-like community to spring up in Australia. The Silicon Valley discussion is a most interesting one, as those who have spent time in the Valley try to share their impressions of the US tech hub with those who have not yet experienced it.

The discussion has ranged from those who don’t see why they should have to leave Australia to grow a good business idea to those who can’t imagine doing what they’re doing without the exposure to Silicon Valley and its pace and access to people who are willing to share their knowledge — willingly, and for free.

To get on this discussion and many other spirited debates, you can become a member of Silicon Beach Australia by clicking here.

ANZA’s Bridge to the US in Australia Starts Today

July 7, 2009

ANZA TechNet launches its 2009 Bridge to the US program today in Sydney, with additional stops in Adelaide and Melbourne. One of the highlights of the tour is a free evening networking event in each city called “Good to Great: Where’s Your Company?” led by ANZA CEO Viki Forrest and past participants of ANZA’s Gateway and Fast Track to the US programs.

In “Good to Great”, Forrest will discuss the decision making, risk taking and leadership qualities that make good companies great ones. ANZA TechNet has worked with hundreds of early-stage and start-up companies over the years, emphasizing the need to globalize in order to most effectively capitalize on Australia’s standout innovation. At the “Good to Great” sessions, Forrest backs up her first-hand knowledge of working with these companies by showcasing Aussie entrepreneurs who have tested the US market and asks them to share their experiences. This is a “must-attend” event for any early-stage or start-up company.

The Sydney event is being held on July 9 beginning at 6 pm; the Adelaide event will be held on July 13 at 5:30 pm; and the Melbourne event is on July 15 at 5:30 pm.

Click  here for further details and registration.

Ten Unconventional Wisdoms for Funding Start-ups

July 6, 2009

Dean Takahashi of Venture Beat has compiled serial entrepreneur Naval Ravikant’s “10 Unconventional Wisdoms for Funding Start-ups” from his keynote at the Finance4Founders dinner in San Francisco last month. Among the top 10 are:

1. Valuation is temporary, control is forever.

2. The less you raise, the more it matters.

3. If you want advice, ask for money.

To read the rest of this engaging list, and explanations for each, click here.

The Top 100 “Most-Networked” Venture Capitalists

July 2, 2009

TechCrunch has crunched the data on a study by Yael Hochberg, Alexander Ljungqvist and Yang Lu titled “Whom You Know Matters: Venture Capital Networks and Investment Performance” and have found that better-networked VC firms experience significantly better fund performance.

A venture firm’s network in the study was defined as

being made up of all the other venture firms who co-invested with it in funding rounds. The more co-investors a venture firm has, the better its network. The better its network, the better its overall returns. The correlation between the size of a venture firm’s network and its returns may have something to do with better access to deal flow, talent, advisers, potential customers, and potential exits.

Find out who the Top 100 best networked VC firms are and read the rest of the story here.