As Silicon Valley becomes embroiled in growing controversy around some of its biggest names, Australia’s largest startup and growth conference is searching the entire Asia-Pacific region for the next global tech hotspots and their most promising startups, which will be given the chance to compete for $1 million at StartCon in Sydney on 30 November and 1 December.
“Silicon Valley’s reign as the world’s top tech startup hub looks tenuous at best,” StartCon CEO Cheryl Mack said. “The barriers to entry for young companies in Silicon Valley are skyrocketing because of soaring costs, and longtime locals fed up with Valley are departing for greener, fresher pastures.
“Indeed, Peter Thiel, who co-founded PayPal with Tesla and SpaceX chief Elon Musk, left Silicon Valley after becoming dissatisfied with the culture in the Valley, among other reasons.
What’s wrong with Silicon Valley these days?
“In a way, Silicon Valley has become a victim of its own success. It has been the birthplace of some of the world’s biggest tech companies, many of which are now sucking up much of the local tech talent, leaving few resources for emerging startups that are just starting out.
“It’s no surprise that other regions around the world are emerging as new hotbeds of innovation, taking on some of the best parts of the Silicon Valley model and turning them into something entirely their own. Cities across the entire Asia-Pacific region, for example, are now vibrant breeding grounds for startups.
“These days, startup founders are more likely to choose places like Singapore, Hong Kong, Sydney, Shanghai, Brisbane, Seoul, or Melbourne as home. This is why StartCon is going to over a dozen cities in the Asia-Pacific region to uncover the best, most innovative startups these places have to offer, and perhaps find the next Silicon Valley in the process,” Mack said.
Is this the end of Silicon Valley as we know it?
The theme for this year’s premier StartCon event in Sydney, ‘Silicon Valley is dead. Long live Silicon Valley!’, will contrast the tremendous change that has swept through the tech sector’s traditional Californian hotbed, and shine a light on the emerging startup hotspots throughout the region.
StartCon 2018 will host a major pitch competition at which the very best startups from across Asia-Pacific, a region with a population base of over 4 billion people, come together to battle it out for $1 million investment from Australian Venture Capital firm, Right Click Capital.
The largest event of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere, StartCon 2018 will showcase over 60 speakers who will appear in person in Sydney to share their insights with more than 4,000 attendees. There will also be expert workshops, a tech expo, a blockchain hackathon, prizes, masterclasses, prizes a FinTech stage and an artificial intelligence (AI) stage.