Last night we turned up at River City Labs in Brisbane to listen to Audrey Melnik, an Australian described as a "serial entrepeneur" . It was an informal, fireside style chat that allowed her to interact with the audience.
It was really good to hear someone who has taken to the tech startup world so wholeheartedly and so succcessfully. Not that all her startups have been reging successes - WotWentWrong just didn't get traction (it offered a way of helping understand why a relationship went wrong), but the point of failure is that you learn from it, and she clearly has. I was intrigued by her description of launching a product in the US whilst living in Australia, it was a good illustration of how irrelevant geography can be in the right hads.
Audrey seemed to have little problem picking up a technical team as she went along, although not all the individuals worked out as well as she had hoped. An Argentinian developer was slow and not particularly helpful when it came to making suggestions for improvement, but still wanted to be called the CTO. The Russian developer that she used later was exactly the opposite. He was able to produce code faster than she was able to specify it and made a host of helpful, positive suggestions.
She is part of the "ex-pat Aussie" infrastructure in California these days, helping startups get in contact with the right people to pitch to. She's also part of the venture capital movement there, and, from her background, she's going to be worth listening to.
We have some friends in Cairns who have a startup and are close to initial production, and it's a shame that they weren't in Brisbane to hear Audrey. I think it would have given them a real boost.