Heading all the way to the innovation hub of Silicon Valley, the startups in the 2019 Plus Eight cohort had 2 weeks of intensive workshops, meetings, seminars and tours booked to discover how to grow their businesses in the US market.
“After being accepted in to the Plus Eight Accelerator program, we were so excited to be headed to Silicon Valley, one of the startup capitals of the world, an entrepreneur’s playground!” co-founder of AriSave, Michael Breckler tells us before his trip away with business partner, James Lunn.
During their visit, the five teams were lucky enough to witness first-hand the growth of the tech industry as it condenses some of the largest companies with the small startup companies to allow for collaboration and growth in one area. While in Silicon Valley, startup founders went to Berkeley Skydeck Campus to meet Iain McIntrye, the CEO of Humm Technologies who was part of the first Plus Eight cohort, as well as visits to the Salesforce Tower and Facebook HQ where teams met and brainstormed with investors while also discussing their complex business challenges. From on the spot pitches, to panel discussions, the Plus Eight teams got to experience it all.
Idle Australia co-founders, Dylan Hrurukvit, James Stretch and Thomas Rayden, reflect on their time in San Francisco, sharing with us how it has helped their business grow. James tells us, “The startup path is so well known and trodden in SF, that there is no doubting the advantages to being within it. Simply put, there are just more people who have faced the same challenge or know of someone who could help that accelerates business growth.”
Attracting the best companies, the top talent, and the most investment dollars, it’s no surprise that Silicon Valley is the place to go for innovation and growth. Mentor and Programs Coordinator of the teams, Kate Kirwin, tells us LinkedIn is your best friend while in SF, “Intros may as well be currency in SF” she says, “And it never hurts to ask. Asking for meetings, asking for advice, asking for connections to other people, it’s a great way to meet incredible people, and get some valuable advice along the way.”
Whether it’s the location or the mindset of individuals in the space, there’s no denying Silicon Valley is known for numerous incubators that are fuelling the drive to create the next unicorn. With the innovation and startup drive on speed dial, there’s something about the flexibility, nimbleness and the ability to think differently, that puts this location on a whole new playing field.
Founder of Art of Communication, Steve Knight shares with us about some great advice he got during his time away. “There’s this wondrous dynamic and principle of never stop learning. Thank you to our very own muru-D’s, Julie Trell, for sharing with me the phrase, “Be a learn it all, not a know it all” and I say amen to that”.
Since returning to Perth, Cordially (formerly known as Perch) co-founders Ryan Carson and Rob Di Giovanni, have a newfound appreciation for everything here. “We feel rejuvenated and have come back more bold and decisive, it has increased our scope and cemented our product and roadmap to the market which is very exciting.”
Keep an eye out on our blog for each teams full recap of their time in San Francisco! If you’re interested in our Plus Eight program, click here. Alternatively, join a community of like minded startups by booking a tour here.