An Entrepreneur’s Perspective of the ANZA Gateway Program

The ANZA Technology Network is an independent organization designed to help Australian and New Zealand technology companies explore market opportunities within the US. They offer a variety of programs which connect companies with industry leaders who can help them find the perfect revenue model, market niche, and investor plan. While I was at the 2007 Gateway to the US Summit conference I had a chance to talk with Frank Carbone, one of the featured CEO’s and founder of Wanted World Wide. Below are the questions and answers from the short interview (with some hyperlinks added).

Q: What were your three biggest concerns in trying to penetrate the US market?

  1. How and where do we start?
  2. What is the best way to go about attracting investors?
  3. What are the differences (including legal differences) between doing business in the USA and here in Australia?

Q: What were the three biggest surprises from your visit to Silicon Valley?

  1. The amount and depth of networking that does go on.
  2. The way that people were happy to share their knowledge, talk about their experiences, provide referrals, if they had any, and in general how helpful everyone was.
  3. The biggest surprise was resulting interest and how quickly everything moved (and I’m not talking about how fast everyone seems to drive). We know we have an excellent product and concept but fully expected things to take a little longer than they are shaping up to.

Q: From your own perspective, what specific benefits did ANZA offer as a part of their service?

ANZA allowed us to meet with people that we might have not had any contact with otherwise or would have taken a lot longer to find! The information provided by the other mentors (ours was unfortunately not able to be there), the VC’s, Viki, the panel sessions and Australians now living in the USA was of enormous benefit.

There was a small group of diverse presenters at this program which meant that we received valuable information and feedback from them also without the feeling that we all had to compete against each other. A major benefit of this program was of course the networking and the fact that it exposes different business types to VC’s and other interested parties.

Q: Would you like to share any other thoughts or suggestions?

We received excellent service from the ANZA “Gateway to the US” program. This was the first time we had ever presented at such an event, so we felt a bit under prepared and wishing we had known a few things: e.g. our presentation no doubt could have been better, but we have no complaints about the program itself and the level of service we received. It was quite a learning curve for us.

November 12 update: See ANZA Gateway Summit ’07 – It’s a Wrap! for more info on the 2007 ANZA Gateway Summit.

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