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Where Silicon Valley and AUSTRALIAN Innovation Connect

Source :– https://www-forbes-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/www.forbes.com/sites/zarastone/2018/02/26/meet-the-conference-founder-thats-flying-silicon-valley-vcs-to-silicon-koala-a-k-a-australia/amp/

360 Silicon Valley Venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, and executives have chartered a 747 to collaborate with and potentially invest in AUSTRALIAN Innovative companies .
They are coming for a three-day conference billed as “A celebration of the human beings who find themselves at the uncertain intersections of culture and industry and choose to make a difference”

“A long flight is pretty boring, and you have to take a whole day off to travel,” said Martin Talvari, founder of Myriad and Myriad Air, which will be transporting these passengers. “So [I thought,] why not make it an experience on its own?” 

What a great way to get to know like and tryst one another!!!

 You get to  spend a couple of riotous days attending sessions and parties, and fly back with the same crew. “It’s a unique experience,” said Talvari, adding that people from the debut flight last year still arrange meetups and catch ups.

 And, like much of Silicon Valley, it’s what you make of it.

 The plane will be full of awesome crazy Australian founders and US investors,” he said. “We want to have a good mix of people.”

The Australian Innovation Ecosystem

In the last couple of years, the startup ecosystem in Australia has grown significantly, helped in part, by large government investments, similar to the startup boom in Israel. Here, Myriad is supported by the Queensland Government’s $513 million Advance Queensland initiative.

 “The flight experience will provide those on board, including some of Queensland’s own entrepreneurial talent, with 14 hours to network, collaborate, inspire and showcase our rapidly growing entrepreneurial ecosystem,” former innovation minister Leeanne Enoch told the Brisbane Times. 

Australia ranks 8th out of 38 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development recognized countries, when it comes to starting a new business, with the majority of employment growth related to startups. In particular, the Australian fintech industry has had a median 200% revenue growth, with 25% of companies surveyed reporting a 700% growth.

 However, apart from a few unicornoutliers such as Canva and Atlassian, most people aren’t too aware of the latest in Australia entrepreneurship…..

How to get there and who will be there?

A number of free seats are being given away by lottery every month to encourage students and low-income people to attend, and the remainder will be filled with a mixture of people, many related to the different governance bodies. 

For example, the plane is provided by Qantas who also has a venture arm now, and have made clear who they’d like to see on board. The same goes for The Queensland Government and their investment in Myriad “They want the people who come to have strategic value,” said Talvari.

Currently a number of high profile flyers (and speakers!) have been confirmed, including Jodie Fox, founder of Shoes of Prey (raised $25.9 million), Yael Eisenstat, International Security Advisor, Former FBI, NSA , Marvin Liao, Investor 500 Startups, Ian Thorpe Australian swimmer  and Naveen Jain, Founder, Investor Moon Express, Viome and Tony Conrad, partner at True Ventures and co-founder of about.me.

It’s definitely extreme to send VCs halfway across the world, but there’s no doubt that those who participate will have a unique experience that will help them get Australian entrepreneurs firmly on their radar. “There’s a wealth of talent and entrepreneurial spirit here, and Myriad Air will play a key role in fixing the collaboration vehicle by creating an unprecedented direct link to Silicon Valley, “ said Talvari. “The country has an early adopter mindset that makes it ideally suited for innovation.” He could be right about that.

The Myriad Conference 

Inagine attending the conference, going to in coworking spaces, bars, and offices. There will be  hundreds of mini-events, and the community really will connect – 

While the jet plane full of VC’s is the hook to this event, there’s far more to this than the aerial part. The 3-day conference is a fusion of continents and cultures and an opportunity of collaboration and learning. 

The promotional material called it “more Burning man than CES” 

Think SXSW scene, with a mix of music, design, and art alongside the technology part of it all. “The best way to design an experience is good food and good music — that [equals] good business,” says Talvari

The current goal: 5000 attendees, $17 billion of VC funds represented and 200 top speakers.

When? May 16-18, 2018.

Festival tickets are available for purchase here.

Zara Stone reports on the intersection of technology and culture. You can find more of her work atwww.zarastone.net. Follow her on Twitter and on Facebook.

Posted on March 3, 2018

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