Australian technology powerhouse TechnologyOne has partnered with Startup Catalyst to drive Australia’s culture of entrepreneurism and innovation.
Sponsoring this year’s Future Founders Mission, the Software as a Service company will assist in sending 20 tech-savvy Aussie youths aged 18 – 29 to Silicon Valley. The 10-day mission will include visits, starting today, to dozens of tech companies, from startups to giants including Google, Twitter and Xero.
Speaking to the winners, Startup Catalyst CEO Aaron Birkby said it was a mission “designed to be mind-blowing”.
“We expect winners to return to Australia and infect others with the ideas and inspiration they take on board,” Mr Birkby said.
Moulding the next generation of entrepreneurs
Brisbane entrepreneur, investor, Shark Tank star and founder of Startup Catalyst, Steve Baxter, said the program will allow young entrepreneurs to see how startups operate in world-class environments.
“This is something we need to be doing to assist the cultural transformation of our economy to one that is fast paced, startup aware, and global first in its thinking,” he said.
“I want to help our entrepreneurs learn the street smarts of building a successful startup from the best the world has to offer – that way, we can accelerate the formation of some Australian companies with the potential to make a real dent in the universe.”
Applications were invited from around Australia, and selected by Startup Catalyst for their potential to be Australia’s next batch of globally-successful tech entrepreneurs. The winners, which included 12 men and eight women, were selected from 521 applications and a shortlist of 71 interviews.
TechnologyOne partnered with one of the winners, Stephanie Piper, to sponsor her involvement in the mission. Stephanie is currently the President of the Brisbane Hackerspace and the Community Engagement Coordinator at USQ. She also teaches adult-level 3D printing and 3D modelling classes.
“I’m honoured to be going on this mission and excited for the opportunities this experience will open up for me,” she said.
“After the mission, I plan to bring insights and networks back to aid makers in the local community, and mentor others in developing hardware startups.”
Securing the future of Australian IT
Commenting on Startup Catalyst’s partnership with TechnologyOne, Mr Brikby added: “TechnologyOne is the original Brisbane tech startup, and has maintained its entrepreneurial spirit, which is absolutely vital for a company’s growth and its customers’ success.”
TechnologyOne’s Chief Executive Chairman, Adrian Di Marco, said young talent programs like this will be the foundation of the future of Australian IT.
“As Australia’s largest enterprise software company, it’s important to us to engage with Australia’s youngest and brightest minds in STEM. We’ve partnered with Startup Catalyst to actively foster a diverse and vibrant IT industry, and create excitement around this exciting time in Australia’s economy,” Mr Di Marco said.
“These people are the next generation of IT professionals and our future industry leaders. It’s exciting to consider their potential and the creative impact they can have on the future of IT.”
Mr Di Marco said it was important that established and successful companies like TechnologyOne support startups and entrepreneurial initiatives.
“Once a startup has gained momentum, the entrepreneurial spirit that has brought them success can easily diminish. Startups need to recognise the importance of ongoing R&D investments, to continuously evolve their products. Through R&D, startups can reinvent themselves and their business to keep pace with changing technologies and market developments.”
“We’re an established, leading technology company. Our entrepreneurial spirit remains strong through our continued investment in R&D. We have one of the largest Australian-owned R&D centres for enterprise software, with a dedicated team of 400 developers. Every year, 19 per cent of our revenue is reinvested into our R&D program, which continues to produce leading-edge technology.”
Mr Di Marco praised Startup Catalyst’s efforts in strengthening Australia’s ties with startup hubs like Silicon Valley.
“Ventures like Startup Catalyst’s missions are vital in educating Australia’s brightest entrepreneurial minds on the startup journey,” he said.
“Many Australian startups move overseas for more supportive and favourable environments. Although Australia is not yet seen as an attractive location to run, manage and grow a startup business, we have a lot to offer the global startup community. There is a lot we can learn from tech entrepreneur hubs like Silicon Valley, London and Singapore.”