Federal Government Launches 'Landing Pad' in San Francisco

19/02/2016 7:58 PM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST
Andrew Meares via Fairfax Images

The federal government has launched its first innovative 'Landing Pad' for Australians in San Francisco.

Designed to help entrepreneurs bring their ideas to the US market and build high-growth enterprises, the workspace will be set up at Rocketspace, a tech startup campus that has previously housed Uber and Spotify.

“It will provide Australian tech start-ups with a collaborative workspace, allowing them to pursue international opportunities. The next Atlassian, 99 Designs or Hydrus could be launched from here, ” said Minister for Trade and Investment, Steven Ciobo.

The Landing Pad is expected to not only be used as an operational base for market-ready start ups, but to facilitate networking between the 20,000 Australians working in the Silicon Valley and US investors.

“There are what we call the ‘Australian mafia’ here in Silicon Valley,” Federal Assistant Minister for Innovation Wyatt Roy told ABC Radio on Friday, from San Francisco.

“The landing pad will provide a networking opportunity to utilise those entrepreneurs and help our innovation ecosystem back home.”

According to Minister Roy, the space will be run by a locally-engaged coordinator “who will be a significant resource and will bring unique knowledge and experience to help Australian start-ups achieve their internationalisation efforts”.

The move is part of the federal government’s push under the ‘National Innovation and Science Agenda’ that will see $1.1 billion invested into Australia’s business and innovation sector.

Austrade will use $11.2 million in funding to set up five Landing Pads in “global innovation hotspots” worldwide.

A second Landing Pad is expected to be set up in Tel Aviv in Israel.

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