Microsoft has announced it is supporting The Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade)’s ‘landing pads’ in an initiative that will help Microsoft SaaS partners to expand into global markets.
First introduced by the Turnbull government in 2016 as ‘The Global Innovation Program’, ‘landing pads’ are the federal government agency’s scheme to help Australian start-ups set up shop in commercial centres around the globe.
Austrade chief executive officer Xavier Simonet said, “Landing Pads provide market-ready Australian technology businesses with access to some of the world’s most renowned innovation hubs including San Francisco, New York, Tel Aviv, Shanghai, London and Singapore.”
“The Landing Pads have helped over 95 Australian technology scale-ups to win new business and expand internationally. The US and Canada is where the greatest number of businesses have seen success, so it is the perfect place for our partnership with Microsoft to start”
Microsoft’s support for the Austrade project will begin in September 2022 as a pilot program to assist 12 Aussie start-ups open in San Francisco before applications open for all 9,000 Australian Microsoft partners.
Olinqua, Passport 360, WithYouWithMe and Tesserent-backed biometric security vendor Daltrey are among the 12 start-ups in the pilot program.
The support is broken down into two phases. First ‘pre-departure services’ to prepare participants through business mentoring, trade and export workshops, and technology-intensive workshops to remove technical roadblocks for projects
Then “in-market support” delivered through Austrade’s Landing Pads in San Francisco. Participants will have access to a coworking space and office facilities for 90 days, as well as one-on-one assistance from a dedicated Landing Pad manager and entrepreneurs in residence.
Participants will also be connected to local founder communities and introduced to Austrade’s extensive customer networks, partners and contacts.
Microsoft Australia and New Zealand chief partner officer Vanessa Sorenson said “we’re thrilled to invest in and support our SaaS partners with high growth potential alongside the Australian Trade and Investment Commission.”