International Insights Gained From Silicon Valley @CORE

On Tuesday 25th October, CORE Innovation Hub hosted Silicon Valley @CORE; an information evening following the recent trade mission to the renowned startup ecosystem led by our resident accelerator Unearthed.

The industry delegation, including representatives from Unearthed, Iluka Resources and BHP Billiton, visited San Francisco and the Valley from 20 – 25 September.  There they met with tech firms, startups, venture capital firms and banks, incubators and industrial technology firms such as GE

CORE resident startups, industry executives (including Woodside, Chevron, BHP), contractors (Clough), technology entrepreneurs and providers, and Western Australian Government representatives were all in attendance at the Silicon Valley @CORE session, which was held to debrief on the visit and gain insights from the delegates.

Kathy Bunce, General Manager of People, Innovation and Information and Miriam Stanborough, Innovation Manager at Iluka Resources were two of these delegates. Iluka is an active proponent in the Perth innovation ecosystem, who has invested heavily in its people to identify and champion new pathways for the business, through dedicated innovation champions, processes and collaboration platforms. Kathy and Miriam drew alignment with those components of the Silicon Valley ecosystem.

One key learning the industry delegates noted as being the most remarkable, and one that we could look to benefit from in Australia, was the high degree of openness that they experienced from the companies, banks, venture capital firms, and accelerators, and their willingness to share successes and failures.
 
They found the Corporate Venture Capital model used in the Valley very interesting, where corporates actively invest in technology startups. Iluka has recently made its first investment in a tech startup, and they will continue to work on being more open to innovators along their supply chain.  

C3 IoT, a high-growth startup out of Silicon Valley also shared their founding story at the event. This enterprise Internet of Things application software company was founded in 2009 by Tom Seibel, and is employing advanced analytics and machine learning at scale to deliver real-time actionable insights for business imperatives.

John Vignocchi, Director of Alliances at C3 IoT, spoke about C3 IoT’s origins. Before the term Internet of Things was coined (they have changed their name from C3 to C3 IoT), they were solely focused on the energy sector and building solutions for the smart grid. 
 
What was interesting for CORE members to hear was how C3 IoT is now transitioning, very successfully, to delivering its real-time performance monitoring and predictive analytics solutions to scale across other data-intensive industries such as healthcare, financial services and banking, fraud detection and predictive maintenance. In turn, John said that he sees Perth as a dynamic growth market for his business.

Overall, there was consensus at the event that while Silicon Valley is one of the world’s greatest innovation ecosystems, the resources and energy sector challenges are here in Australia and we without doubt have the potential and capability to develop Australia as the Resources Innovation Hub of the world.

We do however need to stay connected to Silicon Valley, as they have the capital and experience that is difficult to grow quickly here, and from which we can reference and learn.

CORE is soon to announce its first international partnership with Caterpillar Ventures in San Francisco; enabling our members here to connect with and utilise the San Francisco office space and link into their industry and innovation network.