Andrew Bogut, Australia’s premier basketballer, has launched a new venture that aims to help Australian start-ups gain contacts and funding opportunities in Silicon Valley.
The 2.13m NBA superstar, who plays for the Golden State Warriors, will be the face of an events spin-off of the Melbourne-based consultancy firm he is a director of, One Management Group & Consulting.
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The new venture will take small groups of entrepreneurs on a tour of Silicon Valley, taking in the sights and sporting events of California.
Start-ups on the trip will also have the opportunity to meet relevant business figures in order to build a network for funding or overseas expansion.
Only two or three trips to the US will be organised each year. The first tour will include a visit to Twitter and Australian success story 99designs, with plans to include Facebook and Google on future trips.
Bogut, who will share his insight with those on the tour, co-owns One Management Group & Consulting with Bruce Kaider.
Kaider tells StartupSmart that there’s been strong interest for tours that link Australian businesses with the growing Aussie presence in Silicon Valley.
“The number one target market for this is entrepreneurs, as well as people looking to expand companies overseas and want insight into how to do it,” he says.
“We’ll facilitate one on one meetings, so if someone says they want to meet a VC for funding, we have the ability to do that.”
“It’ll be about building a network. You won’t strike a deal in your first meeting, but meeting key decision-makers is invaluable.”
“You don’t necessarily need to be in the tech space. You could be a young exec who wants a mentor or to build a network. There are a number of things you can get out of it.”
Kaider says that the venture is a further opportunity for Bogut to expand his entrepreneurial activities, including potential investments in promising Australian start-ups.
“He’s looking to life beyond basketball and he likes the tech space,” he says. “He’s a savvy investor and researcher and we’re always looking at opportunities to grow.”