Silicon Lakes, a Gold Coast incubator and co-working space has announced a trip to Silicon Valley with several local start-ups set to launch in the coming months.
This is the second trip for Silicon Lakes coordinators Aaron Birkby and Greg Burnett, who visited Silicon Valley late last year.
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Upon returning, Birkby told StartupSmart Australia needed to focus on building up a functioning early stage capital ecosystem.
“We want to break the mould about what an investment looks like, it doesn’t need to be so traditional anymore,” Birkby says. “We want to put together an angel investor education program, taking some of Australia’s financially successful people and introducing them to start-ups and the start-up space, helping them to understand what it means, what it looks like and what the rewards are.”
This trip is focused on international community development and learning.
Burnett told StartupSmart the first trip honed their thinking about how to develop a strong ecosystem.
“The big message that we brought back was the importance of density. On the Gold Coast everything is very spread out including start-up action. But in the last 12 months we’ve worked really purposefully to bring in all the elements so we can create collision,” Burnett says.
Silicon Lakes is now based in the same location as IT forum and robotics and hardware community TechSpace. They’re in negotiations for a space eight times their current size near Bond University.
Nine of the 10 available spaces in the tour have been filled. Burnett says they want to connect Gold Coast start-ups to networks in San Francisco.
“We’re catching up to the Sydney and Melbourne in terms of credibility and networks in Silicon Valley. These start-ups may not plan to go to the US right away but now their visions are on that scale,” Burnett says.
The two week tour will take place in June and include visits to San Francisco, Silicon Valley and the downtown start-up precinct in Las Vegas. The tour group will attend community events and demo days, as well as meetings with local investors.