News & Analysis

US investors arrive in Melbourne for roundtable on investment in Australian innovation

- February 2, 2016 2 MIN READ

A number of US investors have arrived in Melbourne for a roundtable at the Victorian Parliament today. The roundtable will see the investors, including Thiel Capital portfolio manager Matt Danzeisen, DOM Capital Group managing partner Tony Owen, and Trimantium Capital co-chairman Roderick Thomson, meet with Victorian ministers and business executives to discuss investment in Australian innovation.

Among the topics up for discussion between the investors, politicians, and executives from companies including Bank of Melbourne, NAB, Deloitte, PwC, and Australian Super, is how to leverage superannuation for tech investment.

Cohosted by Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade, Philip Dalidakis and president of the Legislative Council in the Victorian Parliament, Bruce Atkinson, the event will also see a hand-picked group of local startups, including MoneyPlace and Timelio, given the opportunity to pitch to the investors, who have stakes in companies such as PayPal, Facebook, and Airbnb.

Coming just days after Dalidakis announced the board of LaunchVic, the independent body tasked with overseeing the growth of the state’s startup ecosystem through the Labor Government’s $60 million startup fund, the Minister said the delegation’s visit is a huge vote of confidence in Victoria’s startup reputation and, more broadly, Australia’s mounting capabilities to unlock capital and grow big business.

Thiel Capital’s Danzeisen said, “There’s been a lot of change in the Australian economy since the 1990s that has led to great prosperity, supported by one of the strongest financial systems in the developed world.

“As technology continues to impact the way business is conducted across the globe, we see a lot of opportunity for an Australian approach to financial services where world-class innovative companies can grow from the solid foundations that the government and private sector have developed over the past 30 years.”

Thomson of Trimantium Capital has also kept an eye on Australia, having joined the Melbourne-based Trimantium Global Alpha Fund, which focuses on tech companies across Asia, the US, and Israel, as investment director and co-chairman last year. Thomson has invested in companies including Chinese giant Baidu, Skype, and Virgin Mobile.

The US delegation follows Foreign Minister Julie Bishop’s own pitch to American business leaders at a G’Day USA event last week. In a speech to Fortune 500 company executives, US policy makers, academics, and economists in New York, Bishop said that Australia has a lot to offer in terms of innovation, encouraging the audience to learn more about about and invest in Australian technology.

Image: Tony Owen. Source: WGNPlus.