BRISSIE BYTES BACK

SIL­I­CON VAL­LEY GU­RUS HEAD­ING TO QUEENS­LAND

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - - FRONT PAGE - DARYL PASSMORE

A JET full of Sil­i­con Val­ley’s lead­ing en­trepreneurs and in­vestors is head­ing to Queens­land on the look­out for the “next big thing”.

Qan­tas and the State Gov­ern­ment will part­ner to char­ter a 747 air­craft to bring more than 200 ex­ec­u­tives and ven­ture cap­i­tal­ists to next year’s Myr­iad start-up fes­ti­val in Bris­bane.

Face­book founder Mark Zucker­berg, Al­pha­bet chief Larry Page and Tesla boss Elon Musk will be among those tar­geted to make the trip.

Queens­land start-up and scale-up en­trepreneurs can ap­ply for a seat on the 14-hour flight from the US, which is be­ing billed as the most in­ten­sive net­work­ing op­por­tu­nity on the planet.

A JET full of Sil­i­con Val­ley’s lead­ing en­trepreneurs and in­vestors will land in Queens­land to show­case the ris­ing lo­cal technology in­dus­try.

Qan­tas and the State Gov­ern­ment will part­ner to char­ter a 747 air­craft to bring more than 200 ex­ec­u­tives and ven­ture cap­i­tal­ists to next year’s Myr­iad start-up fes­ti­val in Bris­bane.

No names have been re­leased but those tar­geted to make the trip could in­clude tech celebri­ties such as Face­book founder Mark Zucker­berg, Al­pha­bet chief Larry Page and Tesla boss Elon Musk.

The high-flyers from the tech cap­i­tal con­trol bil­lions of dol­lars and are on the look­out for a stake in the next ex­cit­ing op­por­tu­nity.

Lo­cal start-up and scale-up en­trepreneurs will have the chance to ap­ply to be among the 360 pas­sen­gers on the jour­ney from San Fran­cisco to Bris­bane next May, with a once-ina-life­time op­por­tu­nity to pitch their ideas to some of the world’s most in­flu­en­tial fig­ures.

“You will have 14 hours of the most in­ten­sive net­work­ing on the planet on that flight – a 14-hour ma­ni­a­cal ses­sion of net­work­ing,’’ Queens­land Chief En­tre­pre­neur Mark Sowerby said.

“This will be one of the great­est con­cen­tra­tions of en­tre­pre­neur­ial tal­ent ever in one spot.

“We want the big­gest names from the big­gest com­pa­nies.

“I want to make sure ev­ery seat is filled by some­one who mat­ters, who can make a dif­fer­ence. There will be so many lives changed as a re­sult of this.”

A sim­i­lar flight last year to Slush, Myr­iad’s sis­ter fes­ti­val in Europe, in­cluded Arielle Zucker­berg, sis­ter of Mark, who is now a part­ner with cap­i­tal ven­ture spe­cial­ist Kleiner Perkins and an “an­gel in­vestor” in her own right.

An on-board dis­cus­sion be­tween one of Sil­i­con Val­ley’s

sharpest in­vestors, Steve Jurvet­son, and the CEO of a com­pany de­vel­op­ing meat from an­i­mal cells rather than slaugh­ter­ing, re­sulted in $20 mil­lion of fund­ing from back­ers in­clud­ing Bill Gates, Sir Richard Bran­son and Kim­bal Musk, brother of Elon.

Myr­iad co-founder Martin Tal­vari, who also helped es­tab­lish Slush, says the Euro­pean event has so far gen­er­ated more than $500 mil­lion in in­vest­ments. It has become the north­ern hemi­sphere’s big­gest start-up event with 17,500 peo­ple at­tend­ing and a mil­lion live stream­ing.

He and part­ner Mur­ray Galbraith from the Gold Coast, aim to make the Queens­land event equally pow­er­ful in the Asia-Pa­cific re­gion.

The first Myr­iad this year at­tracted 2500 peo­ple de­spite be­ing held in the tor­ren­tial af­ter­math of Cy­clone Deb­bie and the num­bers will triple next year.

“This will be a light­ning rod for Queens­land,” Mr Sowerby said. “It will bring all the right peo­ple here. We want to own the start-up and scale-up space. We’re cre­at­ing a di­rect link from Sil­i­con Val­ley to For­ti­tude Val­ley.’’

The Cal­i­for­nian ex­ec­u­tives and in­vestors will be joined by oth­ers from New York and Texas and China.

Queens­lan­ders who join the flight will spend a few days in Sil­i­con Val­ley get­ting to know the tech-preneurs be­fore they de­part.

The three-day Myr­iad fes­ti­val, May 16-18, will be fol­lowed by a huge af­ter-party day on the Sun­shine Coast and the US con­tin­gent will be en­cour­aged to spend sev­eral more days talk­ing to lo­cal com­pa­nies and en­joy­ing at­trac­tions.

“We will give them ev­ery rea­son to be here be­yond Myr­iad,” Mr Sowerby said. “We want to make sure this is the most ex­cit­ing thing they have ever been in­volved in.” Min­is­ter for In­no­va­tion, Science and the Dig­i­tal Econ­omy Leeanne Enoch said it was a rare op­por­tu­nity to show off ev­ery­thing that Queens­land had to of­fer and whet the ap­petite for all things in­no­va­tion.

Qan­tas Group CEO Alan Joyce said Qan­tas was a startup 97 years ago.

“We are ex­cited to be part of a fes­ti­val that helps con­nect the world’s most in­no­va­tive thinkers,” he said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.