Following our massive Australia Day Happy Hour + Fireside Chat, we're excited to be hosting another experienced, worldy and interesting entrepreneur at our March event!
Our guest this month is Bardia Housman, a serial entrepreneur who can share not just his hard-won lessons building and selling two well-known technology companies, but also his insights from returning to Sydney a couple of years ago.
Bardia's first big venture was Start.com.au, the "Hotmail of Australia". A web based email pioneer, Start.com.au was a big deal during the "portal wars" days (back when Yahoo was more than a punchline). Bardia's stories from growing and selling that business to Looksmart during the heady dot-com period should be pretty interesting, especially for entrepreneurs who haven't been through a downturn!
Bardia's next big thing was Business Catalyst, an early e-commerce SaaS platform which decided to go channel-first, selling through web designers and developers before it was at all fashionable to do so! Bootstrapped from launch in 2004, Bardia moved to San Francisco solo in 2008 to get things set up while the team (and his fiancee) remained in Sydney. With their unique channel-friendly SaaS platform and strong growth, Adobe acquired Business Catalyst in late 2009.
For the last two years Bardia has been based mostly in Sydney, where he's been working in the background and helping up and coming Aussie startups succeed. His perspective on the changes in the Australian entrepreneurial ecosystem between when he left and today should also be fascinating.
Aside from being one of the nicest guys you'll meet, Bardia has lots of wisdom to share for anyone growing a business when you're too early, too under-funded and selling to unsexy markets in contrarian ways. This is an event not to be missed.