Startup founder Bridget Loudon says all the whining that goes on in the tech industry isn’t helping anyone.
Gearing up to raise funds at the moment, Loudon and her co-founder Emily Yue have recently returned from San Francisco and noticed some big differences between the startup ecosystems in Australia and the US.
“We whinge a lot in Australia and we need to just get on with it,” Loudon told Business Insider.
In Silicon Valley the support, collaboration and knowledge sharing which was going on was uplifting and very different to what they’ve experienced in Australia.
“They’re open to making one more introduction,” she said about the US, adding, “They share the knowledge they have, they share perspective and they’re just not paranoid.”
During the recent trip to the US the Expert 360 founders met with a number of investors, venture capital companies, a top LinkedIn exec and even a competitor who was happy to chat and share notes.
She said the culture in Australia’s startup ecosystem is very individualistic and it’s holding the sector back.
“Everyone is looking out for themselves. Everyone wants to be the star that makes it,” she said.
“I think people withhold information and people are hoarding networks.
“If you just spent 24 hours in Silicon Valley you could meet anyone you want and that just doesn’t happen here.”
Loudon explained the debate over lack of talent, funding and government support isn’t helping Australia’s startups.
“You’ve got to be able to work around those things. Australians have got it easy and running a startup is not easy,” she said.
“I think it’s good to campaign for things but I think the best thing we can do is get some runs on the board, get some successful startups. I think the best thing the startup community can do is put their head down and grow a successful business.
“It doesn’t come from the government, it doesn’t come from any sort of group, it just comes from you as a startup being more open.
“That’s what we saw over in Silicon Valley, it wasn’t about tax concessions it wasn’t about importing talent. Every single person that we met wanted to help you as much as they could.”
Loudon said opening up, sharing and collaborating would get Australia’s startups moving and growing faster.
“We’re trying to create this hotbed of innovation but we’re not talking to each other, so everyone is making the same mistakes twice,” she said.
It was the open and collaborative meetings the founders had in the US which helped them close some gaps in their business model.
Loudon said feedback on what they were doing has resulted in them switching to chase volume over value so they can develop a vibrant community.
“It’s not about making a lot of money, it’s about building a big [community], getting liquidity in the market place,” she said.
Currently based in Sydney’s Tank Stream Labs, Loudon and Yue are looking at moving into their own office next year as their team continues to expand.
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