10 Aussie start-ups gunning for Silicon Valley

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4. Switchcam

 

Everything seemed to work with Veokami’s business model. The Sydney start-up helps users locate and share videos from events such as concerts, political events and conferences.

 

US incubator 500 Startups liked it so much that it picked it out for seed funding. Other US investors followed suit, despite the business only launching in August last year.

 

The only problem? The name. Veokami became Switchcam and the business, now headquartered in San Francisco, is planning on making it big in the US tech scene.

 

“I miss Veokami sometimes, but my co-founder and I were two of about four people who could actually pronounce the name,” said co-founder Brett Welch in a blog post

 

“Incidentally, (buying the domain) Switchcam.com was only a little more than $1,000, which was definitely worth it.”

 

 

5. 99dresses

 

When 99dresses shut down in January, many were quick to write the business off as a failure.

 

Founder Nikki Durkin has been proving ever since that those judgements are a little premature. A few tweaks to the platform were needed for a subsequent relaunch, rather than a complete scrapping of the idea, which allows women to buy and sell unwanted clothes.

 

Those in the know are convinced that Durkin, who started her first business five years ago aged just 15, can make it. 99dresses was recently named as the best company to come out of Y Combinator, suggesting that Durkin will be one of the few women, as well as Australians, to crack Silicon Valley.

 

We recently featured a video interview with Durkin, where she explains her start-up journey so far.

 

 

6. Collusion

 

Some start-ups relocate to the US for the size of the market, connections to mentors or just for the chance to be part of an entrepreneurial scene that appears to be on the up, despite the country’s continued economic woes.

 

 

Others, like Collusion, say that they would prefer to stay in Australia, if only the circumstances allowed.

 

The business, which provides a new way of writing, drawing and collaborating on the iPad via an app and stylus, aims to raise around $10 million via Kickstarter and other investors.

 

The problem? No-one in Australia is prepared to take a punt, meaning that founders Rob Yearsley, Sumeet Patel and Navdeep Saini are heading Stateside.

 

“It seems that Aussie tech VCs can’t even be bothered to look at what’s going on in their own backyard,” he told StartupSmart.

 

“I could go round chasing them all and try and get them out of a meeting, but the US investors are just in a different league.”

 

 

7. Wooboard

 

Travelling to the US to convince an investor or potential client to pick you ahead of the plethora of rivals isn’t an easy task, so it helps when you have a heavy hitter to back you up.

 

Wooboard has benefitted from its genesis within Sydney tech hub Pollenizer, which has proactively promoted it to the US market.

 

The pitch? Wooboard is a collaborative online human resource tool designed to boost workplace morale and improve productivity. Pollenizer developed the idea in-house in early 2011.

 

The business, which received angel funding from Elevation Capital last year, has grand plans, with a target of 10,000 business sign-ups by the end of June this year.

 

 

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