Student startup founder on Catalyst mission to Silicon Valley

Josh Holmes visiting the offices of skateboard startup, Boosted.

A final year Griffith ICT student and co-founder of the University’s startup club, Studio 39, recently toured Silicon Valley and San Fransisco with the group Startup Catalyst, founded by Shark Tank member and Brisbane startup luminary, Steve Baxter.

Joshua Holmes is part of the new movement of students seeking different outcomes from their university education. Rather than seeking employment or a career they are looking to establish their own startup.

He was supported on his trip by a grant from the Griffith Science group.

Startups are different from traditional businesses in that they generally offer digital solutions to real world problems. They are associated with what has become known as “disruptive” technologies- mobile first platforms that disrupt traditional businesses by being more agile, cheaper and closer to customer desires.

Because they are digital, they have the potential to grow rapidly and utterly change the landscape of their industry, think Uber, Netflix or Airbnb.

We caught up with Josh packing his bags to follow his dreams, first to Melbourne, then beyond.

“The trip was ten days and we toured many of the top tech companies in the San Francisco bay area and Silicon Valley, including huge companies like Google and Facebook to smaller, more recent startups like electric skateboard manufacturer Boosted,” said Joshua.

“Talk about people getting stuff done, the pace at which the scene over there is moving and the problems they are solving is truly inspiring. It was like looking at the future. We got to meet and talk with people who are building awesome products or who are at the forefront of the startup scene.

“I had a moment of realisation after seeing what was going on over there- the pace, scale and fun that everyone is having in solving problems and building great products. I need to get into that too, as soon as possible. There’s no point waiting around or thinking ‘one day’- just do it. I need to move into an environment that fosters the innovation and speed of technology and values the same things I do.”

Rather than rewrite it, we thought we’d direct you to Josh’s brilliant blog, so you can see and read a day by day account of the trip.