It seems like no matter whatever incentives the Government is introducing for the tech community, local startups and founders are still heading overseas to pursue growth and expansion opportunities.
In an attempt to support Australian startup companies overseas, the Aussie Founders Network (AFN) supports founders, investors, and industry advisers with the aim of building a network of Australian-founded tech companies globally with a valuation of $100 billion.
Launched by a group of Australian start-up entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley, the networking group aims at supporting local entrepreneurs and hopes to grow the ecosystem and have a group valuation of $100 billion by 2026.
The AFN was founded by Elias Bizannes, Geoff McQueen, Kate Kendall, Patrick Collins, Mitchellake and Phaedon Stough. With the five making up the venture’s board, Bizannes explained that the group is simply looking to now formalize a process that has been working in Silicon Valley for a decade, with the community of Aussies in the area having long helped each other with investment deals, opportunity creation, and mentoring. Kendall said,
We want to encourage more Australian entrepreneurs to think big and to build the reputation of what it is to be an Aussie founder globally. We also want share the knowledge and resources that exist here in the US, especially in the Valley. When I first came here in 2010, I was very grateful for the Aussies who connected me with investors, shared their feedback and helped me become a better founder. The community has a real culture of authenticity, hard work, honesty, and mateship.
Kendall added that by creating a network for founders, by founders, the AFN hopes to make a real impact.
There are three types of membership available: founders, for those who have started a tech company in Australia or Australians who have started a tech company, with these companies to have either at least three employees, have raised $100,000 or more, or have annual revenues of over $1 million. Founding employees also apply to this tier.
The second membership type is for the ‘apprentice’, a founder of a tech startup that hasn’t yet met the founder thresholds or someone who wants to start something but hasn’t “pulled the trigger yet”. With helping new entrepreneurs succeed a key goal, the AFN states it will soon be launching a program aimed at supporting new founders.
The third type is for those part of the community but not founders, whether they be service or space providers, investors, Australians working at a startup, an event manager, and so on.
Membership to the AFN is currently free, with applications processed quarterly. Two referrals from the network are needed.