Category: 2015 Youth Mission

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#everything: A Trip to Twitter

It’s Day Two into Startup Catalyst’s whirl-wind tour through Silicon Valley and today’s been one filled with extra excitement for me. We started with a visit to an Equinox data center in San Jose, then made a stop-off at Jon Jon’s, a local favourite of Steve Baxter, but perhaps the most exciting part of the day was the visit we made to Twitter. Twitter resides in the middle of San Francisco’s Tenderloin, in an unassuming antique building. The only way that you’d know that Twitter was even in the location is purely from the @twitter sign on the corner of...

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Day 2: Equinix

On the 29th of September, myself and the Startup Catalyst crew visited the Silicon Valley Equinix data centres. The data centres were huge, monolithic cubes with no windows, signage or banners. We approached what appeared to be an entrance and started looking around for signs of life. After a few moments of us standing around awkwardly, the front doors mysteriously swung open slowly, as if in a horror movie, presenting us with a dark, empty hallway. A security guard walked into view and directed us to the correct data centre. From there, we were greeted by security personel who escorted...

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Day 1: Atlassian

Our middle session of Day 1 consisted of a visit to Atlassian which is located on Harrison Street in San Francisco. Atlassian is a software development company and they make (awesome) software for teams. For non-tech readers: Atlassian’s claim to fame is JIRA and Confluence. Last summer I completed an internship in the Sydney Atlassian office and was fortunate enough to meet some of the San Francisco team whilst I was there. I reached out to my connections and was able to organise for our group to have a tour and a presentation. When we arrived at the office we...

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Day 1: XERO

We visited the Xero office in San Francisco. The Xero office was great – they have an impressive view from their balcony and had a great balance of serious and fun in their office space. I think we were all pleasantly surprised by how interesting the visit to Xero was. Most of us didn’t know what to expect at Xero — how interesting could accounting software really be? From the moment we walked in, everything was insanely smooth and well organised. We had two talks in store for us, one from James Maiocco, ‎General Manager and one from Sidney Maestre,...

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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...

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Day 8: Frisbees, Bitcoins, and San Mateo Superheroes

After the enormousness of Startup Weekend the last few days (blog post for that is coming soon, I’m assured), today was a bit of a rest day. It started with a great sleep in, to the extent that quite a few people missed breakfast. By 11, most of us had made it onto the bus, ready to make the short trek to San Mateo. San Mateo is a beautiful little city of about 100,000 people, about half an hour south of where we were in downtown San Francisco. We parked next to a little park in the middle of town,...

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Day 4, Part 1: Visiting the AWS Loft

We had a busy day on Day 4 as we travelled between three different presentations.  We began by visiting the Amazon Web Services (AWS) “loft”, a pop-up centre that advocates for, and supports developers using, Amazon’s cloud services.  Despite it’s temporary nature, the three-storey set-up demonstrated AWS’s culture with everything from light up signs and posters to a beer machine and free ice cream.    In the loft, they run technical consultations, bootcamps and even pitch competitions. We had the opportunity to listen to Nate Slater, a solutions architect at AWS, give a presentation about scaling to your first 10 million users.  During the...

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Day 2: NASA Ames & Borondi

On day 2 of this amazing trip, we headed to Mountain View, CA to visit Singularity University on the NASA Ames campus as well as Borondi Group,where we scrubbed through the deserted Maccas (McDonalds) and Bowling alleys to find an old rocket near the newly-acquired Google X hangar (which you can tweet @MoffettHangar1). When we arrived at Singularity University, Pascal Finette, the head of Singularity lab gave us a great talk on what to look out for when we are starting a startup. There are quite a lot of points that he told us and all as important as the...

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Day 1: Silicon Valley’s Startup Scene, an Introduction

After sleeping off a very long Day 0, we kicked off our Silicon Valley journey at StartupHouse, which is a startup co-working/accommodation space founded in 2010. Today’s theme was naturally an introduction to the Startup culture in San Francisco/Silicon Valley, with a great panel of speakers (most from Australia) who came to share their experience and knowledge with us, and gave us a starting point of what to expect during our journey. Here are their lessons. The first panel of speakers discussed what was involved in Getting Started in the Bay Area. Josh Rio (Sceene) began with common misconceptions that Australian entrepreneurs have...

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The Adventure Begins

If you aksed me a year ago what a tech startup was, I woulnd’t really have know. Since catching the startup bug at my first startup weekend a few months ago, I have been an intern at the Silicon Lakes startup incubator, learning everything I can about the startup process and getting involved in the queensland startup community. Now in less than a week I will be travelling to the heart of startup culture and home to the biggest tech companies on the planet, Silicon Valley. The trip is part of Startup Catalyst, an initiative that aims to take 20 technically...