Brisbane Alumni Panel Share Experiences for San Francisco Success

Brisbane Alumni Panel Share Experiences for San Francisco Success

Landing in the US can be an overwhelming experience for many Australian startups and scaleups. San Francisco Landing Pad Manager, Gabe Sulkes, and Landing Pad alumni Igor Stjepanovic and Ryan Mets share their advice to Brisbane ecosystem at the Precinct on 16th May. 

Companies gathered from a variety of backgrounds to ask questions of the panel about expanding into the USA, how to prepare for launching into a new market and the variety of services Austrade could offer to startups and scaleups looking to go global. 


Stjepanovic encouraged companies to conduct research on potential partners and opportunities prior to arriving in the US. Igor Stjepanovic joined the landing pad program in 2018. His company – Gruntify – is a cloud-based GIS tool for asset management. However the impressive real time central database within the Gruntify system allows users to view real-time maps, track trends and utilize private and public data sources for hotspot identification – making it ideal for disaster response management. 

“The workflow allows for multiple parties and agencies to participate and work together on a single copy of the data — in real time,” Stjepanovic said. “With enough data collected, heatmaps, cluster maps, and/or even advanced analytics and reports are automatically produced.”

Since the time in the landing pad Gruntify has continued to expand their presence across USA, taking a role as the Startup in Residence in San Francisco – a program designed for tech startups to work with public sector to solve real world problems in their local area. Gruntify was also part of Bridge SF in San Francisco where it was awarded the US Ignite award for innovative technology.

Ryan Mets – co-founder at Cavewire – agreed that preparation and a scoping trip prior to joining the Austrade Landing Pad in SF were incredibly helpful groundwork when looking to expand into the US, and particularly SF, due to the competitiveness of the market. Mets joined the landing pad program in 2018, and has only continued to expand their USA presence since.

Cavewire reduce administration and improves efficiency for retailers – allowing businesses to enter product information once and then make it available to inventory management systems and manufacturers. The platform is now being used by manufacturers across Asia, Australia and USA. The SaaS product allows, " branded manufacturers to streamline manufacturing, tracking orders and inventory to drive sales from their retailers." 

Businesses that are ‘born global’, and by their very nature will disrupt the marketplace to achieve their potential as high-growth and high-return enterprises.

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