As first timers to the Silicon Valley, nothing is better, than having dinner with a group of laid back successful Aussie entrepreneurs living in the Valley. Geoff McQueen (Affinity Live), Anthony Marcar (Grabble), Alisdair Faulkner (Threatmetrix), Matt Farnell (Appsperse) and Jason Seed (NSW Trade and Investment) joined the Women in Focus Study Tour for a meal and mentoring at a well loved Mexican restaurant in San Francisco.

The guys were so unassuming and happy to help us, despite having huge runs on the board and being busy with their own ventures. They were brimming with pragmatic advice on our ventures and challenged us with the wisdom of hindsight and latest knowledge of the start-up scene in Silicon Valley. We swapped stories of our individual businesses and the challenges we faced, talked about raising capital, how to best test a product with customers, and debated which coffee shops served great coffee (by Australian standards) and which were more likely to provide that chance meeting with the financer of your dreams.

Wisdom from our Aussie Entrepreneurs   

  • Startmate was given a huge thumbs up for providing not only a much needed cash injection to start-ups and mentoring but more importantly the connections at the right level for US VC investment and for eventual company trade sale.
  • Looking for investment? List your start-up on the AngelList website – where start-ups meet investors and start-up meet talent.
  • Ensure you have a robust monetisation strategy (how your business is going to make money) before seeking investment (the more revenue streams the better)
  • For Software as a Service (SaaS) – consumer testing and acceptance is paramount – if they’re not easy to use, customers won’t and your product will fail – use funnel testing (experiment with each element of customer interaction, focus on the analytics and then optimise the design) and AB testing (create different versions of their websites) with consumers to refine your product
  • Collect market analytics (information/statistics gathered from your website) and use them strategically to grow your business and make decisions.
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