The Hon. Philip Dalidakis MP - travel report, United States of America, October 2015

Minister The Hon. Philip Dalidakis MP

Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade

Countries visited United States of America
Date of travel 11 to 17 October 2015
No. of official travel days
(including date of departure and date of return)
7 days
Number of accompanying ministerial staff 1
Accompanied by spouse in an official capacity No
Funding for the overseas trip was paid by
(list department/s or agency)
Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources
Air fares (including taxes and fees)$23,562.00*
(Business class travel for both the Minister and accompanying adviser)
Accommodation (including taxes and fees)$4,312.34*
Other expenses (includes surface travel and travel allowances) $5,732.36*
Travel cost for minister and staff $33,606.70*

*The above costs are not final and complete

Purpose of travel

Travelled to the United States (US) from 11 to 17 October 2015 in support of portfolio responsibilities as Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade.

The focus of the visit was to strengthen relationships with innovative local technology companies, developed through the Victorian Government Business Office (VGBO), with a view to attracting companies to increase their presence in Victoria and to strengthen the technology ecosystem in Victoria.

Benefits of travel to the state of Victoria

Travel included extensive relationship building and development discussions with leading Silicon Valley technology companies including a range of high-level meetings as outlined below.

  • Meeting with Zendesk Inc. to discuss continued and future investment opportunities in Melbourne. Discussions also included Zendesk community outreach initiatives and engagement in Melbourne's broader technology ecosystem. A key outcome (as announced on 9 November 2015) is a major partnership between the Victorian Government and Zendesk with the company to create up to 175 new high-skill jobs in Victoria with Zendesk's Asia Pacific Software Engineering Centre in Melbourne.
  • Meeting with Airbnb to discuss ongoing collaboration, building on the inaugural MOU signed with the Victorian Government to support Emergency Management Victoria. Discussions also included the regulatory framework of the sharing economy in San Francisco.
  • Toured Westfield Labs and Bespoke retail technology colocation space. Meetings with Westfield executives and Victorian technology entrepreneurs building retail startups in San Francisco.
  • Meeting with Square Inc. to review establishment of new Melbourne headquarters and discuss impact of new payments technology for small businesses in Australia.
  • Meeting with Eventbrite, a global ecommerce ticketing platform, to discuss its new Australian headquarters in Melbourne and future plans for Australia.
  • Meeting with Slack Technologies to discuss investment opportunities in Melbourne.
  • Meeting with Melbourne founded Nitro PDF to discuss the company's international growth and success.
  • Received briefing from Woodside Capital Partners on trends in cybersecurity and the US technology industry.
  • Received a briefing from Thought Works Inc. on new developments across the technology sector and Silicon Valley.
  • Meeting with Boeing Corporation in Seattle to tour the company's facilities and advocate for Boeing's continued growth in Victorian aerospace manufacturing.
  • Meeting with to discuss innovation in government and opportunities for startups and other initiatives in the technology sector.
  • Meeting with Andreesen Horowitz, a leading Silicon Valley venture capital firm, to discuss new capital raising and technology funding initiatives.
  • I also met with other technology companies for commercial in confidence discussions.

Next steps / follow up

A number of opportunities were identified as a result of the trip and are being followed up by the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources and the Victorian Government Business Office in San Francisco, who will continue to liaise with the individual companies to secure opportunities for Victoria in the high-value, high-skilled technology sector.

Page last updated: 20 July 2016