Day 1: Startup House
Hidden behind what looked like a bar door was an entirely new startup safe zone.
The Co-founder of Startup House, Elias Bizannes, made great use of the interior space. The first large room we stepped into consisted of work areas for people to build on their startup projects. While the second and third floors housed multiple bunk beds where budding entrepreneurs could stay whilst paying below average rent prices.
Bizannes spoke of how he first got involved in the startup industry by founding Startup Beach in Australia. He couldn’t be ignored when he began sending emails to senators to show his protest against the filtering of the Australian Internet, and this in turn brought him to San Francisco. Whilst in the US, he began an event called Startup Bus, which brought entrepreneurs together on a bus tour to work on their startup ideas, this later evolved into Startup House.
The next speaker, Robert Collings who works in marketing and communication for Ephox, gave us some great advice. We as Australians tend to stay in our comfort zone and perhaps not push as many boundaries as our American counterparts. In order for us to be successful we must stop self-deprecating and start talking about our accomplishments in a positive way. “Australians are twice as smart as they think they are and half as confident as they should be”, Collings said.
CEO of ANZA Technology Network, Viki Forrest spoke to us next. She explained how to gain access to capital and how we must change our approach if we were to succeed in the American market. Communicating in an applications first manner instead of using principles first would help this process. “Cut the bullshit and get to the point”, Forrest said, it’s the best way to get the Americans attention.
The final speaker was Josh Rio. The Founder and CEO of Seene. “There is no formula for success” was the stand out quote from Rio’s talk. In San Francisco you “don’t quit, don’t die, everything else is a variable” says Josh. Keeping your motivation is everything and the experience that you gain in San Francisco is ten times more than what you can gain in Australia at the moment.
The whole Startup Catalyst crew had a great time and left understanding the differences between the American and Australian market and how to act and be heard.