Last Friday, at the Anthill incubator, the crew enjoyed a quiet knock-off drink with Ned and Andrew from goCatch (an impressive, new application developed to connect taxi-drivers with smartphone users in need of a ride).
As we meandered through the usual topics of Beer O’Clock conversation — innovator dilemmas, startup bug-bears, whether Pippa Middleton is or isn’t more hype-worthy than Kate — the following suggestion was posed: “Why doesn’t Anthill coordinate a trade-mission to Silicon Valley?”
A trade mission is normally a trip organised by government officials for the purpose of exploring business opportunities. People who participate in trade missions are typically introduced to important business contacts and provided with ‘fly-on-the-wall’ opportunities to see how people in other parts of the world get the job done.
It sounded like a great idea. (Better than a discussion on the merits of Royal fandom.)
We have plenty of contacts among Australia’s global expat community. We even have contacts with some impressive international business identities, as a media stop when they come to Australia. Plus, there’s never been a better time to be a startup in Australia. The last 18 months has been littered with examples of Aussie entrepreneurs cracking global markets.
We might even be able to rope in some government and/or private sector assistance.
But how could we make it happen? Where would we begin?
Fortunately, it also occurred to our tiny posse (as the night wore on) that we have one asset at our disposal that should theoretically come in handy at moments like this. You!
In summary, Anthill is thinking (just thinking at this stage) about coordinating a convoy of Australian startups and taking them to Silicon Valley (as a global mecca for entrepreneurs).
Should Anthill lead a trade-mission to Silicon Valley?
First, here are some questions that we have yet to determine an answer for:
- Is Silicon Valley the best place to go?
- When would be the best time of year to make this happen?
- Are there state and federal initiatives, grant programs, tax-breaks, anything to support such a venture? Would any experts in such matters like to take part?
- Is this something that the private sector might be interested in backing? Who?
- Lastly, is this something that an intrepid Aussie entrepreneur (like you) might want to be a part of? If we don’t have the support of entrepreneurs… well… that would be the end of it.
So… please, please please… share your thoughts, questions, ideas, feedback below. If you’d like to come, raise your hand. If you’d like to help in some capacity, let it be known.