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Aussie Startups Looking Up To China
|Mike Cannon-Brookes at work at Sydney's top startup Atlassian|
Mike Cannon-Brookes, co-founder of enterprise software company Atlassian, is a role model for future Australian entrepreneurs looking to scale their businesses and expand internationally. Not too many new businesses raise their first round of funding after eight years of starting up, and at $60 million from heavyweight investor Accel Partners of Silicon Valley.
Now topping $100 million in sales internationally, Atlassian, formed in 2002, has been growing by 38 percent annually for the past five years mostly through word-of-mouth referrals, and has chalked up 44 straight quarters of profits, Cannon-Brookes tells me in his central Sydney office. Next
could be a public listing.
The budding startup scene in Australia needs plenty more examples of successful local entrepreneurial companies like Atlassian rather than looking to Silicon Valley or China as its models. But there aren't too many well-known Australian tech startups - at least not yet.
Australia is better known for the Outback, the Great Barrier Reef and kangaroos rather than technology breakthroughs from inventive startups.
Challenged by a shortage of venture capital and angel investment, the tech innovation community in Australia is now reawakening after the dot com era a decade ago flushed out several startup investors and their portfolio companies.
As Australia's mining boom slows, there is a growing need for new Australian companies of a different sort to gear up. A broader and deeper ecosystem for tech startups to scale could be a solution to drive the economy forward. Read Forbes
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Silicon Dragon Sydney!
NEW ZEALAND SPECIAL
Feeling The Startup Scene Shaking
|Nick Churchouse runs accelerator Creative HQ (above) in Wellington. Chief mad scientist Sean Simpson leads LANZA Tech in Auckland.|
I arrived in Wellington just in time for the aftershocks from the 6.6 earthquake that struck New Zealand's capital city this past weekend. The city was empty except for some stray sightseers while office buildings and churches were on lock down, and storefronts were dark.
Yet Wellington's unique entrepreneurial spirit was on show.
Read Forbes post, SHAKING.
(and why I have not seen any cows all week in New Zealand)
in Wellington a few days ago, I arrived in Auckland, the so-called city of sails. It was rainy so there wasn't much sailing in the harbor but instead traffic jams in the LA-like sprawl of New Zealand's largest city, home to a hustling population
of 1.5 million and yes, startups
and small businesses that are angling to go international. While New Zealand's startup scene is young, a few of the more inventive and creative businesses are breaking through in spite of a limited venture capital market yet energized angel investment community.
Can-do Kiwis have a tradition for ingenuity - a trait in common with China's tech entrepreneurs who had to start from scratch.
Getting Hooked on Huka Falls in New Zealand
One thing about sightseeing in New Zealand, don't do it in a rush! One week is clearly not enough time, even if you're only visiting the North Island like I was.
I toured the town of Taupo in the central island's geothermal area on a quick overnight trip after some reporting in Auckland and Wellington.
Taupo is a three-hour drive south from Auckland. Rental cars are expensive in New Zealand -- $150 per day - and gasoline prices about twice as high as in the U.S. I opted to take the InterCity bus (although I think more visitors arrive by helicopter) and really had no regrets as we passed sheep, cows and horses in the Maori land of the big white cloud.
I visited in New Zealand's wintertime when the temperatures were surprisingly mild and the crowds thin, if at all - highly recommended!
Chinese in U.S. r a TWEETS
Baidu Buys Nuomi From Renren; Launchs New App Strategy To Make Consumers Stick http://on.barrons.com/1chzmHY
Nuomi will split from Renren and do an IPO following Baidu's big investment http://www.newsloop.co/u/fz4oac
Silicon Valley startup Kamcord snags $1 million in funding from Tencent, Innovation Works http://bit.ly/16SFUY8
Sequoia Capital raises $1.17 billion for new funds, including nearly $400 million for China http://reut.rs/14QbSdH
Tencent's E-commerce Arm Yixun Added WeChat Payment http://dnlchw.net/1bVGSbo
Excellent, well-sourced NYT story on the political stagecraft of the Bo Xilai trial: http://nyti.ms/17gzlAU
Princeling of Manhattan: Will exiled son of China's most notorious politician reclaim his father's legacy? http://atfp.co/13XsSfo
Startup Asia Talks
|I spoke in Adelaide at the launch of the ANZ InnovyzSTART program, run by director Jana Matthews. Stay tuned for more news from the accelerator as this group of startups begin to scale. Demo Day is Nov. 4. |
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