This month we’re excited to welcome a stalwart of the San Francisco tech community - John Papandriopoulos, better known as jpap.
John is a proud Melbournian with over a decade of experience in San Francisco. He is currently Founder and CEO of Syncatron, an early-stage startup focused on privacy-first file synchronization and collaboration. Previously, John founded SnappyLabs, where he built a chart-topping burst-mode camera app that pushed the iPhone to speeds not seen before. Apple later acquired the company, and John joined the Camera Software team in Cupertino where he developed the HEIF image compression format, now used by hundreds of millions of people worldwide.
John earned his Ph.D from the University of Melbourne (2006) and is a celebrated Australian researcher. He received the Chancellor’s Prize for his dissertation on improving DSL broadband speeds, in 2007 was featured in The Age Melbourne Magazine’s Top 100, awarded Victorian Fellow in 2005 and the RMIT University medal for his undergraduate education in 2002. He is co-inventor of four patents (USA, Australia), acquired by Ericsson AB.
To reserve your ticket, click here.
This month we’re excited to have Stephen Dash, founder of Credible.
Please join us for the launch of the Aussie Founders Network NYC Chapter!
The Aussie Founders Network was started in Silicon Valley three years ago by Aussie founders with a mission to support Aussie tech founders and startups land and expand into the USA Market and scale to success!
There is already great connectedness amongst the Aussie tech and entrepreneurial community in NYC and we are excited to harness and grow the pay-it-forward founder expertise, knowledge and experiences to ensure Australian founded startups prosper globally.
Please come and celebrate the AFN NYC Launch. There will be drinks, delicious appetizers, and discussion!
To kick off the AFN NYC Chapter we have stellar speakers discussing Landing & Expanding your Aussie startup in NYC:
Geoff McQueen, Co-founder & CEO of Accelo, a powerful cloud-based professional service automation platform. Accelo closed their series A in 2017 and Geoff splits his time between the three Accelo offices; San Francisco, Denver and Wollongong. Geoff is also a founding AFN Board Member and a strong voice in the Aussie founder community in the USA and will moderate the panel discussion.
Karl Redenbach, Co-founder & CEO of LiveTiles. Karl is passionate about building an organization that will revolutionize how people interact with technology at work. Originally from Melbourne, Australia Karl now resides in NYC, and lives by the mantra, “You can be comfortable or courageous, but you can’t be both”. Karl has many lessons learned to share on startup milestones including LiveTiles recent ASX IPO in 2018 and the acquisition of Wizdom in 2019.
Lizzy Brockhoff, Co-founder of Masse, a peer to peer recommendations platform that reinvents the way consumers find products. Prior to Masse, Lizzy was an early member of Jet.com leading product development for the launch of Jet.com's website, iOS and Android apps through to Jet.com’s acquisition by Walmart for $3.3BN in 2017 - the highest price ever paid for a U.S. e-commerce business. Lizzy, a dual Australian/American citizen, grew up in Australia and now lives in NYC.
Stephen Dash, founder & CEO of Credible, an online marketplace that provides borrowers with competitive, personalized loan offers from multiple, vetted lenders in real time. Prior to Credible Stephen was an Investment Banker and he has a deep knowledge and interest in fintech to share with founders. Credible has raised more than $70 million in capital, including a successful ASX IPO in 2017.
We look forward to catching up with you on May 30th, 2019!
The Future of Gender Equity in Tech - Panel Event
AFN has teamed up with Hugo (Aussie startup based in San Francisco, they provide connected meeting note software for teams) to bring you a panel discussion 'The Future of Gender Equity in Tech' hosted by Atlassian. We hope you can join us for dinner and an opportunity to hear and chat with some of the smartest people in the industry working on gender equity in tech, including leadership from Atlassian, BlueJeans, Freshworks, Google and Hugo.
The Startmate’s latest Sydney cohort are visiting San Francisco for a one-week immersion to meet inspirational founders, investors and the extended startup community.
Whilst in in SF town the cohort would love to meet with our AFN members who are SF based, and who have loads of founder expertise and advice to share on scaling startups into the USA Market! It’s what our AFN community does best - pays it forward.
In June 2018 Olivia had a phenomenal acquisition of Kanopy by L Squared Capital Partners. Kanopy is the leading film streaming platform for public libraries and universities (a unique collection of 30,000 curated films) which Olivia founded in 2008 in Perth Australia. We are looking forward to chatting with Olivia and learning how she combined her years of experience in media rights management and global entertainment with a love for independent film to start Kanopy and grow it into a profitable, global brand available to millions of viewers.
Gender Diversity Survey
We wanted to share an important initiative from the Aussie startup team at Hugo. Hugo's co-founders are working on research into the role of collaboration tools in achieving gender diversity. They have partnered with AWIP and leading tech companies for the research, with a report coming out late next month. They've shared some of the early results and the insights are staggering!
Please get behind this important research by taking a 3-5 minute survey here.
They're giving away $100 Amazon gift cards at random every week, just for completing the survey.
Going Global | Expanding into the US is a PwC partnership with the Aussie Founders Network and Austrade.
The US is one of the most regulated and complex locations to plant your startup’s flag. So we’ve partnered with PwC to bring you Going Global | Expanding to the US, a breakfast where we will cover the essentials! The event will run in both Sydney and Melbourne.
So if you know startups in Australia who will benefit, please let them know they can hear from PwC’s experts, AFN and Austrade on the key considerations founders and startups should be aware of when beginning to expand to the US.
If seeking investment is on your ‘to do’ list for 2019, please don’t miss our stellar lineup Investor Panel.
Our panel includes experienced, no-nonsense investors and funding & equity expert:
Ash Fontana, venture capitalist at Zetta Partners a VC firm investing in AI first companies. Also a serial entrepreneur, Ash started the money side of AngelList the most successful startup investing platform in the world that now manages over $1Bn.
Luba Lesiva, founder & CEO of L4C an investor relations agency that helps startups raise money and manage investors. Prior to starting L4C, Luba ran investor relations at Palantir Technologies, where she raised $1.2Bn in 18 months.
Ethan Choi, principal at Accel helps lead growth investments in SaaS, consumer internet, and marketplace businesses. Ethan has served in board roles at Lucid Software and PicMonkey, and helped lead investments in Bird, Headspace, Ancestry.com, Prezi, and Jimdo and also worked closely with Lynda.com.
Please join us and dozens of other Aussie entrepreneurs and members of the startup community for a special Happy Hour and Fireside Chat featuring Ash Fontana, serial entrepreneur and now venture capitalist with Zetta Venture Partners.
Since our launch a couple of year ago this is always our biggest event, and in addition to great company, beer and wine we'll also have meat pies and Tim-Tams to try and ward off the homesickness!
For those who haven't met Ash, he's originally from Sydney and started the money side of AngelList – the most successful startup investing platform in the world that now manages over $1B. He then started Zetta Ventures, the first fund in the world focused on intelligent systems. He was the first or largest investor in Aussie companies Canva and Kaggle, as well as others such as Clearbit and Numerai. Ash also co-founded Topguest, a Founders Fund-backed company that built customer analytics technology for companies like United and sold in for 8 figures only 18 months after starting.
The ACS (Australian Computer Society) and AFN would like to celebrate the start of 2019 with you!
Please join us for the launch of Rockstar Aussie Founders Living in the USA, a publication ACS and AFN have co-produced which shares the stories of Rockstar Aussie founders who have moved to the USA to scale their startups. The insights they share details advice no Aussie founder in the USA market should miss!
Christmas is just around the corner and the Aussie community in San Francisco does an amazing job supporting each other all year long. So lets gather and celebrate festive cheer as a community in San Francisco before we spend the holidays with friends and family.
Last years Christmas gathering with the great folks at the Australian American Chamber of Commerce (aka, SFAussies.com) was so much fun we are doing it again!
Please join us at The Devil's Acre on Wednesday, December 5th at 6pm.
Last year tickets did sell out as the venue has limited space, so if you'd like to come along and share in some Christmas cheer please grab your ticket now.
The Startmate Melbourne 2018 cohort are visiting San Francisco for a one-week immersion to meet inspirational founders, investors and the extended startup community.
Startmate would love to meet the AFN founder community who would like to share their experiences of scaling their startups in the USA. Please join Startmate for networking for drinks, canapes and good times, connecting with the latest Startmate alumni founders to the US.
Look forward to seeing you there!
FInd out about an alternative way to raise a Series B…
We're all familiar with the unicorn journey where you raise rounds through the alphabet until you IPO with over $100M of revenue and big growth targets - and hope you're not ignored by analysts and index funds.
What many entrepreneurs don't know is that there's another path to both fundraising and liquidity, and it means you can go big and do it in Australia! A bunch of the good folks from the ASX are going to be in the Bay Area in October, and they're holding a couple of events featuring startups that have taken this path. As you'll see, it isn't just the Aussies taking advantage of a market with deep pools of institutional capital that need to invest in equities (aka, super funds) and much lower listing and compliance costs - an increasing number of US companies are heading down under to raise and get liquidity at the same time.
If you'd like to know more, come along to one of these two events in a couple of weeks:
We are excited to have Chris as guest speaker at our AFN Fireside Chat in September; and look forward to sharing with you Chris’ Planet Labs founder journey which started in 2010 and has raised over $160M.Planet Labs uses over 200 of its satellites in orbit and powerful AI to image the entire Earth every day to provide unprecedented daily, global mapping of our changing planet from space. As the company’s CTO for 5 years, Chris took Planet Labs from the drawing board to having launched more satellites into space than any other company in history, completely transforming the space industry along the way.
Join AFN for casual drinks and a chance to connect with Aussie founders & new AFN members in town for TechCrunch.
We'll be at: Hotel SF 653 Commercial St SF (no tickets - buy your drinks).
If you know Aussie founders and tech folks in town who are not AFN members; please share this!
After the success of our first foreign founders event in March, we're joining forces again and with more founder groups to host another one! In addition to joining founders from more than a dozen other countries, we've also got the folks from NSW Space Bootcamp coming along as part of their visit to SF. This is a great opportunity to compare notes and share advice with founders who've left their homeland to build a startup
This is a great opportunity to compare notes and share advice with founders who've left their homeland to build a startup.
Join the current batch of founders from the University of New South Wales’ Founder 10x accelerator program who are in SF.
They’re a bunch of great companies and they are looking to connect with the AFN community over pizza and drinks to learn more about building a company in the US.
They’re shouting drinks and pizza: Register Here!
AFN and the folks at Fearless Female Founders are collaborating for AFN’s first breakfast event! This casual breakfast will feature Maria Sipka (co-founder Linqia and new AFN board member) and Alexandra Kinloch (founder The Inside Academy & Fearless Female Founders) along with many other female founders. Come along to exchange business ideas, share challenges, lessons learnt and opportunities. You’ll enjoy tasty Bluestone Lane coffee with pastries and the awesome view at DocuSign.
In late July we'll be hosting an informal mixer at DocuSign which will include a few special guests and provide a chance for our community to connect and share advice with some emerging founders and leaders.
In addition to bringing together the latest batch of founders in the SF Landing Pad, we'll also be joined by the latest class of Exec MBA students from Melbourne Business School (many of them emerging leaders at Aussie companies who are trying to take back as much advice as they can to drive growth and innovation down under).
This Summer, the Hacker Exchange is bringing over 30 emerging leaders and founders from all over Australia to San Francisco for the ultimate immersive startup experience.
Join us on the eve of Independence Day, and meet this impressive group of undergrad and postgrad students, hailing from: Deakin University, Monash University, Queensland University of Technology, RMIT, Swinburne University, University of Technology Sydney, University of Adelaide, Univeristy of South Australia, and more...
Founders, folks who work with startups and those involved in the tech ecosystem!
The Vault and Aussie Founders Network are joining forces - and gathering our founder communities for our incredibly popular AFN Fireside Chat, featuring as our special guest one of Australia's top up-and-coming entrepreneurs, Casey Ellis, the Founder of BugCrowd. Bugcrowd has had a meteoric rise since being part of Startmate back in 2013, and in March closed a monster Series-C of $26M (on top of over $22M already raised). In addition to building Bugcrowd to over 140 staff globally and being a sought-after expert in cyber-security (he's often asked to give briefings to very serious people in DC), Casey recently replaced himself as CEO to take on the Chairman/CTO role. This is a fireside chat guaranteed to have lots of insights and lessons to share.
ThreatMetrix had an awesome start to 2018 with the announcement that they were acquired by RELX Group in January 2018 for $817M. We are thrilled to have Alisdair Faulkner cofounder of ThreatMetrix as our guest speaker this May! Come along to hear Alisdair’s journey from Adelaide to Silicon Valley; enroute to founding and growing ThreatMetrix through to its successful acquisition!
Join us for our drinks this Anzac Day, kindly sponsored by international law firm Norton Rose Fulbright.
You'll find us at the just-opened-last-week Hotel San Francisco - a new bar that's been started by four Aussies!
Don't be late - if you want to enjoy the sponsored 'drinks on the house' !
The opportunity to be mentored is one of the most frequent 'asks' I hear from our community of founders. The advice an early stage founder can get from a serial entrepreneur and or a founder who has achieved a business changing series A - is pure gold! Our community of AFN founders who mentor are so generous in paying it forward and we are grateful to be able to offer our upcoming Mentor Roulette + Happy Hour!
Join us for a drink and to network with fellow founders from afar!
Aussie Founders Network + FrenchTech + Austrade have organised the first foreign founders happy hour! We all met recently and thought it would be a great to connect founder communities who come from afar to Silicon Valley. So we’ve team up with founder community groups all based here in SF from Austria, Belgium, France, Poland, Switzerland and more! Come along, it's free, buy your own drink and you will need a ticket to get in (capacity limited).
Succeeding in the competitive heart of the tech industry is hard enough, but those of us who've come from far away have learned harder lessons than others. Given our different cultural perspectives, though, there's a big opportunity to learn from each other's experiences - which is where the concept of the Founder Mashup (run by the people at The Vault) comes in.
Join Hacker Exchange for drinks whilst they are in town with 14 awesome student entrepreneurs from RMIT and Monash Uni. We’re having a casual drinks meet-up on Wednesday 21 Feb, 6pm onwards at Hotel Zeppelin, 545 Post St (between Mason & Taylor).
If you’re in the area and want to drop in for a drink and to say hello to the next gen of AFN, we’d love to see you there