Is San Francisco the New Epicenter of Silicon Valley?

September 6, 2010

For years it’s been an open secret – young entrepreneurs and tech-savvy folks who work for the big Silicon Valley conglomerates have been living in San Francisco while commuting to Silicon Valley. After all, does anyone really relocate to northern California to live in Mountain View?

Now it appears that many of these people also did not move to the Bay Area to commute. They’ve started companies in San Francisco proper – not 30 or 40 miles south on the 101 freeway in Palo Alto or San Jose, traditional epicenters of what’s typically considered Silicon Valley.

According to the San Francisco Sunday Examiner, San Francisco has been “beating out South Bay cities for venture capital, boosting key sectors and creating a hotbed of growing firms.” Software companies, social media, gaming, green tech and biotech are leading the pack of industry sectors attracting the VC dollars.

Good news for the entire innovative tech industry in the Bay Area (which includes Silicon Valley and San Francisco): “investors poured nearly $3 billion into Bay Area companies in the past three months – a 100 percent increase from the first quarter.” More than $283 million went to companies located in San Francisco. (Read more)

Startup Bus Pitches — and Winners — at SXSW

March 15, 2010

We’ve got some of the first coverage coming out of SXSW on the companies formed on The Startup Bus last week, that launched in Austin, TX on Friday night.

There were 8 Australians among the 25 “buspreneurs”. The project was the innovation of Elias Bizannes, who many of you know as the founder of Silicon Beach. A number of Australian entrepreneurs based in the US also took part in the project as sponsors, including Atlassian and eStrategy.

For coverage on Friday night’s launch party see KazzaDrask Media and

Photo courtesy of KazzaDrask Media.

It’s Not a Toy! The Rise and Necessity of Smartphones

June 10, 2009

They are no longer techie gadgets or status symbols, Blackberries, iPhones and their lesser known competitiors — or Smartphones — are fast becoming a necesarry tool of everyday American business culture. The New York Times reports:

For a growing swath of the population, the social expectation is that one is nearly always connected and reachable almost instantly via e-mail. The smartphone, analysts say, is the instrument of that connectedness — and thus worth the cost, both as a communications tool and as a status symbol.

“The social norm is that you should respond within a couple of hours, if not immediately,” said David E. Meyer, a professor of psychology at the University of Michigan. “If you don’t, it is assumed you are out to lunch mentally, out of it socially, or don’t like the person who sent the e-mail.”

Hmmm. Think about it. And read more at “Smartphone Rises Fast from Gadget to Necessity” (registration may be required).

New Procedures for Australians Traveling to the US

January 8, 2009

As of Monday, January 12, Australians traveling to the US are required to obtain approval through the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA).

This is an online system administered by the US government which determines the preliminary eligibility of visitors to travel under the visa waiver program prior to boarding a carrier to the United States.

Most travelers can expect to receive authorization within a few minutes. However, travelers are advised to complete an ESTA as soon as they begin to plan their travel, and at least 3 days in advance, to avoid any last-minute delays.

Travelers who do not have a valid ESTA on or after January 12, 2009 may be denied boarding, experience delayed processing or be denied admission at a United States port of entry. Once granted, electronic pre-clearance will be valid for up to two years and for multiple-entry visits to the United States.

It is recommended that travelers keep a print-out or record of their ESTA application number for reference, if required, at airports or seaports.

Australian passport-holders who hold a valid visa for travel to the United States (i.e., work or student visas) are not required to obtain an ESTA.

For complete details, click here.