San Francisco Landing Pad

The Australian Landing Pad @ WeWork, San Francisco

The San Francisco Landing Pad operates out of WeWork, a global network of workspaces that includes entrepreneurs, innovators, service providers, corporate innovation departments, and investors. WeWork’s diverse membership has included Airbnb, Dropbox, Reddit, General Electric, Microsoft, Red Bull, Honda, and General Motors.

The program’s base at WeWork is located in the San Francisco financial district. The neighbourhood is peppered with startups, technology investors and established companies, all of which combine to provide a rich environment of skills and talent for Australian companies to draw upon.

WeWork’s 220+ offices across the world also provide participants with the opportunity to expand the Landing Pad experience across geographies as they scale their ventures globally.

While in the San Francisco Landing Pad, participants receive

  • introductions to mentor networks and strategic partnerships designed to drive growth. The San Francisco Landing Pad has relationships with a variety of accelerators, universities, government entities, corporate innovation offices, and investors such as Y Combinator; RocketSpace; Plug and Play Tech Center; MBC Biolabs, and the San Francisco Startup in Residence (STIR) program.
  • access to a curated community that supports Australian entrepreneurs. The Aussie Founders Network, a member-driven community of Australian founders, investors and industry advisors in the Bay Area, provides a hub of thought leadership and mentors to support Landing Pad participants.
  • business advice and programming designed to help grow your business.

A sampling of workshops include:

  • Legal essentials including entity formation, IP considerations and human resources
  • Communications and marketing essentials
  • International accounting essentials
  • Selling to Corporates
  • Pitch coaching bootcamp.

San Francisco dual civilian and defence Landing Pad

Austrade is partnering with the Australian Defence Export Office and CSIRO to deliver a tailored program for companies developing, or interested in, products for civilian and defence use, who are interested in entering the US market. The Landing Pads program provides tailored, cohort-based residencies to help Australian start-ups/scale-ups land and expand into major global innovations hubs around the world.

This Landing Pad residency program will commence on 27 May 2019 and conclude on 24 August 2019.

Land in the Bay: The Australian entrepreneur’s guide to the San Francisco Bay AreaLand in the Bay

The Australian entrepreneur’s guide to the San Francisco Bay Area

Review this new publication from Austrade for information on scaling a venture into the San Francisco Bay Area.

The guide includes details on preparing for a United States expansion, the nuts and bolts of establishing and growing a company in the States, and an overview of the diverse resources available to Australian entrepreneurs during the journey.

Download the guide (PDF 7.71MB)


Find out more about doing business in the US.

David Brown

David Brown

Director Market Entry Services
San Francisco Landing Pad

Originally from Sydney, David brings recent startup experience to his role as Landing Pad Manager for San Francisco after spending 2 years as employee no. 1 in the US for an Australian tech company where he led the company’s expansion into the North American market. Working one-on-one with the founders and cross-functionally across all business units, David delivered the first US technical and channel partnerships and developed and implemented scalable processes to improve company-wide efficiency and overall success. Prior to his time in San Francisco, David ran his own hospitality business in Sydney and worked as a Private Equity/M&A lawyer in Sydney and London. As the Landing Pad Manager for San Francisco, David empowers high-potential startups to scale in the United States and globally.

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Who should apply?

The San Francisco Landing Pad is best for market-ready tech-based scaleups that have already conquered the Australian market.

“The biggest positive was the opportunity to arrive into a new country with a support network already in place. Without the landing pad, we possibly may have delayed moving international as quickly as we had. “The office environment was motivating, being around founders in the same boat, particularly Australians expanding into the US market, and it was helpful to take workshops on the operational aspects involved in launching a business into the USA.”

Bennett Merriman, Event Workforce Group as published in Startup Daily

About San Francisco

Epicentre of global technology innovation

The San Francisco Bay Area is widely recognised as the epicentre of global technology innovation and is recognised as a place where new ideas are developed into billion dollar companies.

California is home to over 60 unicorns (companies valued in excess of US$1 billion), a list that includes Bay Area titans such as Airbnb, Dropbox, and Stripe. The collective value of California technology companies is in excess of US$2 trillion and accounts for approximately six per cent of all corporate America’s profits.

62 Unicorns in San Francisco

A city of creative thinkers

Salesforce, Twitter and Uber are just some of the companies using the infrastructure and density of talent in the city to create a new layer to the existing innovation system – one which challenges established players.

Established venture capital network

As the financial capital of the west, San Francisco has a strong venture capital network that actively seeks new business and investment opportunities.

In 2016, there was US$69 billion in venture capital (VC) invested in the US, with 60 per cent of that invested within the West/Northwest region of the US. The Bay Area alone accounts for more than one-quarter of all global VC investment and hosts nine of the top 10 VC firms in the world.

San Francisco Venture Capital infographic

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