Entrepreneur and angel investor Sidney Minassian has hailed Australia’s growing start-up ecosystem after returning to the country from a stint in the US to launch his latest venture, Contexti.
Minassian, who spent five years working on start-ups in the US, says that he has returned to an improved environment in Australia for ambitious new ventures.
“The start-up scene here is much more vibrant than when I left and there’s a lot more activity in the space,” he tells StartupSmart.
“I decided to come back to Australia for family reasons, but it also became clear to me that you can start and run a business from anywhere now. I can run this business just as well from Sydney as I can from the US.”
“I don’t see moving back to Australia as a step down or a regression in any way. There are a lot of businesses that have gone over to the US and not quite done what they should’ve and there are others that have done well, such as 99designs, Atlassian, Kaggle and so on.”
“There is a huge opportunity in the Asia Pacific market and we’ve seen plenty of US companies set-up there. We are well placed to take advantage of that opportunity right here.”
Minassian is the founder and CEO of GrowthQ, a start-up and venture advisory firm. Prior to this, he founded Think Software and Liaise Inc., successfully launching the latter business in the US.
The entrepreneur is also on the board of Kayweb Angels, a New York-based start-up investment group headed by fellow Australian Haig Kayserian.
His latest venture, Contexti, is a data analytics consultancy and systems and training service provider.
It already has an unnamed Australian bank and a Singapore-based media company on board as clients.
“I was looking for something that revolved around enterprises that was in a growing market and I realised that there was still a huge pain point around data capture and analytics,” he says.
“Big data is going gangbusters in the US and Europe and we’re about 12 to 18 months behind here. No one has mastered this area. Some companies dabble in advising about it, but not the whole implementation from a strategy.”
“I’m encouraged by the start-up scene and what we can do here in the market. I’m also encouraged by the fact we have first-mover advantage.”