Sunday, October 21

Success For Jason Calacanis Means Backing 6 – 7 Aussie Startups

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For a person with 6 Unicorn’s already under their belt, and a book on Angel investing that talks about his success turning $100,000 into $100,000,000 Jason Calacanis shows no interest in slowing down his pace of new investments. In fact, Calacanis is looking further afield for opportunities than ever before.

Acting on his belief that “great founders can come from anywhere” Jason Calacanis is taking the largest startup event in the world, The Launch Festival, international. Arriving on Sydney’s doorstep for the 19th and 20th the Launch Festival Sydney features a host of highly regarded Venture Capitalists, Angel Investors and Startup Founders who like Jason have made the decision to hop on a plane and see everything Sydney has to offer.

While it would be easy to assume that the goal of the festival is to sell as many tickets as possible, you would in fact be wrong. Not only does the Launch Festival provide a swag of free tickets to startup founders, but according to Jason “we are going to Sydney because I’m looking for investments. I’m looking for founders. I want to make investments”.

If it couldn’t be clearer than that Jason articulated that while high attendee numbers are nice what is the ultimate benchmark of success for Jason and the launch team is the number of investments they can source and make. With the Launch Festival Sydney contracted for two years Jason stated that “I want to invest in 3 companies a year. So in two years we invest in six or seven companies, we then wind up with one of them that returns millions or tens of millions of dollars”

This forms part of Jason’s investment strategy where he believes that the best model for Angel Investors and VC’s in 2018 is to “find startups in Miami, Vancouver, Sydney, Berlin or Sweden. Then help them set up in America and have an office in Silicon Valley”.

While the entire company doesn’t have to move to Silicon Valley having an office there greatly increases your chance of success and allows you to tap into the talent, knowledge and investment community according to Jason.

Australian startups that have the potential to attract Jason’s eye will likely be participating in the conference itself, with numerous competitions taking place and giving startups the chance to pitch on stage. Amongst the competitions are categories like “Best of Frontier Tech”, “Best of Year One” and “Best Blockchain/Cryptocurrency” startup.

If you are not ready to brave the stage just yet, but still hope to one day get on Jason’s radar then The Launch Festival Sydney will return in 2019, where Jason will once again look to open his cheque book and back Aussie founders looking to go long and make an impact on the world.

*** This article is the first in a series of in-depth articles based on our interview with Jason Calacanis. The full podcast will also be available shortly.

To learn more about Jason Calacanis you can:

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About Author

Paul Towers is a passionate supporter of the Australian startup ecosystem and the Founder of Startup Soda. Originally, Startup Soda was solely a newsletter that helped curate the best content from the Australian startup community, more recently however it has turned into a media platform with the aim of improving coverage of Australian Startups, Founders and VC's.

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