Gabe Sulkes: Around the country and back again 2017

Last month I was lucky enough to travel around Australia to attend fireside chats, roundtables and panel workshops with local stakeholders and potential clients about opportunities available through the Landing Pads program.

At the Australia Post Regional Pitchfest in McLaren Vale, South Australia, I saw presentations from top startups competing to win a share of A$100,000. It was great to see regional Australia's innovators and let them know about the benefits of the Landing Pads program, as well as potential synergies with community representatives such as StartupAdelaide, the Government of South Australia, and the New Venture Institute at Flinders University.


It was also great to be part of Sydney's Tank Stream Labs panel discussion about fintech opportunities in the US, including in the blockchain, insurance tech, and business to business payment spaces. The panel was organised in partnership with FinTech Australia and included leaders from the Reinventure Group venture capital firm and DataRobot, a machine-learning scaleup.

The San Francisco ecosystem is complex and it was great to get an opportunity to outline the advantages of the Landing Pads program in Melbourne. I was part of a panel at The Cluster for prospective Landing Pads participants, investors and service providers. The panel included San Francisco Landing Pad alumni Tristan Alexander of GymSales and Alex Gelbak of OpenCities, and Jeanne Cheah of RMIT's Hacker Exchange.

My last destination was a quick sprint through Queensland with stops in the Gold Coast, Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast. At the Gold Coast, I was part of a workshop for local scaleups in partnership with the new Gold Coast Hub and TradeStart. 

In Brisbane, Austrade partnered with Startup Catalyst to host a panel discussion at The Precinct. It was great to hear from current Landing Pad client, Jamie Leach of Gruntify, and Fire Station 101 community manager Chad Renando. They both provided great insights into how to get your startup market-ready.


The trip culminated with a workshop at the Sunshine Coast’s Innovation Centre, a business accelerator based out of the University of the Sunshine Coast. It was great to discuss opportunities in the US with incubating scaleups.

It was fantastic to talk to so many startups around the country and provide advice on the Landing Pads program, particularly in San Francisco. Don’t forget you can book a virtual appointment with me, or any of the other Landing Pad managers.