The CEOs of seven Australian start-ups have returned from Silcon Valley praising the “stream of opportunities” airising from the first Global Acceleration Program, according to the trip’s organiser ANZA Technology Network.
Launched late last year, GAP is a new scheme designed to help innovative start-ups enter export markets in North America or China.
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In conjunciton with the Victorian Government, the program is delivered by Australia-based Pyksis and the US-based ANZA, both of which assist companies in global commercialisation.
Mark Gustowski of Pyksis Victoria says GAP has been structured to provide companies with the knowledge and first-hand expertise on how to enter an international market.
This is achieved by travelling to the country in question, such as the US, where companies receive in-depth mentoring from experts in their industry.
ANZA chief executive Viki Forrest says the first round of participants recently spent 10 days in the US, cramming in more than 100 business meetings.
“The companies worked one-on-one with mentors to develop viable market entry strategies, crafted Silicon Valley-style presentations, attended numerous networking events and leveraged the ANZA network for high-impact meetings with potential investors, customers and partners,” she says.
“Following the GAP program sessions, each company arranged two days of one-on-one business meetings, making critical connections and providing immediate and near-term opportunities for their US market entry.”
Gustowski says the program isn’t aimed at generating a sale or the creation of a licensing agreement.
“It’s about generating the networks, contacts and partnerships that will allow for companies to have a sustained and strategic entry into their target market,” he says.
Gustowski says GAP is industry-agnostic, so there is no focus on a particular sector. He does, however, outline the main Australian industries of interest in the US.
“There’s a lot of strength in renewables and sustainability, and Australia’s got some really good technology and innovation in agribusiness and also in transport,” he says.
Victorian companies looking to do business in the US or China are eligible for the state government’s Fast Track program, which is provided by ANZA.
Meanwhile, the Chinese Government recently announced its Five-Year Plan, highlighting how important the technology sector has become with regard to commercial and technological development for China.
The seven strategic areas focused on in the plan are IT, biotech, high-end manufacturing, new energy, new materials, clean energy vehicles, and energy saving and environmental protection.