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BART JELLEMA is confident. ''We have a working product, a very defined market, it's very clear where our exit is as well, so from an investor perspective … it's a no-brainer.''
Digital Dreamers - Guy Kawasaki
Venture capitalist and Apple fellow Guy Kawasaki tells how Australia can become a big tech player.
But he has already made millions selling his first tech start-up, a coupon site called Tjoos.com.
Now the 35-year-old Sydneysider is on a bus rolling through the US desert, competing with dozens of other teams on StartupBus to build an innovative start-up that can win over investors in a final showdown at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas.
There are 10 other busloads of geeks in the competition - and all believe their idea is the next big thing. The Herald followed their journey in a video series being launched on smh.com.au today.
''I could have retired, but you know you still got to fill every day, and why not fill it with something you love,'' Mr Jellema said.
Along with fellow Australians Scott Cowley, 19, and Ivan Vanderbyl, 23, Mr Jellema is building YearInPrint, which aims to preserve users' social network memories by intelligently plucking out their most memorable Facebook posts and printing them in a glossy book.
Mr Vanderbyl and Mr Cowley are weighing up a move to the US, but Mr Jellema has already found considerable success working from Australia, and he is not in a hurry to give up the lifestyle.
But many find it hard to resist the draw of the US. ''Some of the smartest guys that I've ever known from Melbourne and Sydney [are] now all in Silicon Valley or San Francisco or New York or Boston,'' said Mr Vanderbyl, who started coding when he was 10.
The creator of StartupBus, Elias Bizannes, is an Australian. The first outing in 2010 had just 25 participants. This year it has 300. There is a sister competition in Europe.
''I kind of started this as a way to actually build the Aussie ecosystem so it's kind of killing me that we haven't got this in Australia yet, but it will happen,'' Mr Bizannes said. ''We all want to go back to Australia, but we're entrepreneurs and we want to do something that has an impact and make some money.''