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Silicon Lakes directors head to US to build relationships with start-up community

Tuesday, 11 June 2013 | By Gavin Lower

The directors of Gold Coast incubator Silicon Lakes are flying to the United States tomorrow (Wednesday) to build relationships with the start-up community there and provide a future pathway for Queensland start-ups.


Greg Burnett told StartupSmart the 12-day trip was aimed at “planting seeds” and to “acclimatize” themselves with the start-up sector in the U.S.


“It’s a `soft landing’ into starting to build some relationships with a couple of accelerators with the goal to building a pathway as we graduate start-ups out of the Gold Coast,” he says.


Burnett says one of the main stumbling blocks for start-ups on the Gold Coast has been access to early seed funding.


He says while Silicon Lakes does not provide seed funding, it is building relationships with angel investors on the Gold Coast and hopes to learn more about seed funding opportunities while in the US.


Burnett, who is being joined on the trip by fellow directors Bill Bass and Aaron Birkby, says they’ve had little trouble finding people willing to meet them following Twitter’s acquisition of the Brisbane-based We Are Hunted music app earlier this year.


He says they plan to visit the Microsoft Innovation Center and seed funders TechStars in Seattle, and hope to spend time with funder Y Combinator and accelerator KickLabs. They also plan to meet the people behind the Startup Weekend event in preparation for a Startup Weekend on the Gold Coast as well as Australian start-ups that have moved to the U.S.


Silicon Lakes officially launched in February and is a not-for-profit incubator working closely with the Gold Coast City Council.


Burnett says they are working with 12 start-ups at the moment, with half of those in the app space.