The experience has been really positive. The Advance team is fantastic, very passionate about what they do and the community over here is super super supportive.
The Advance program provides so much more than you would be able to achieve on your own. In a few days we have met more contacts than we would have been able to on our own, unless we had packed up in Australia and roughed it here for three months trying to navigate the ecosystem. In three days we have been introduced to a lot of networks, a lot of learning and now also a lot of opportunities.
This has been a fantastic opportunity for us. We’ve had the chance to pitch to some venture capitalists and people within the IT industry here in Silicon Valley. It’s absolutely inspiring, you really should have a go if you’re in the space. We’ve met some brilliant people, we’ve made some contacts that we are going to act upon when we go back to Perth. I would highly recommend it.
I think the number one thing I have taken away is the difference in culture. The idea of paying it forward or paying it back is fantastic. The help provided from people in the US, both locals and the Australians based here is amazing, they are incredibly supportive. You tell your story and people offer time, advice and contacts. That is the number one thing I’ll take back to Perth. The second thing I will take away is how remarkable genuine people are here. Genuine people who are generous with their time. That has been great.
My participating in the Advance Innovation Program was the “catalyst” that sparked so many different and important things for my business. They took us to “pitch” in Silicon Valley, from where I met a range of awesome people relating to my business (founders of PayPal, Facebook, LinkedIn, and others, as well as security gurus). Those guys were so impressed with my solution, that they actually give me written endorsements! Those endorsements then played a key role in my obtaining funding and government grants, winning Australian innovation awards, and being chosen to participate in Microsoft Ventures accelerator. During the Advance program, I learned and practiced pitching skills, and developed my company and product “collateral” which I’ve used hundreds of times since. I met peers with whom I now do business (also Advance alumni!). I learned how “the Valley” works, and a ton about a massive range of important topics (investing, company formation, legal, business, and the “start-up scene”), and I “rubbed shoulders” with the “Aussie Mafia” (millionaire expats who help other Aussie expats succeed in ICT). Again as a result of Advance, I was spotted and asked to speak at TEDx (on a security/business-related subject), which itself lead to a pile of new opportunities and dramatically established my reputation in my field. So, generally speaking, yes: I heartily endorse what Advance.org and Amanda are doing, because it genuinely makes a huge positive difference to their lucky participants! And, if all that wasn’t enough, it was roaring fun and loads of excitement too! I’ve also made many friends from this with whom I keep in touch.