Moving to America
Summary: Why I moved from Sydney to San Francisco with my startup (RecruitLoop), and how we’re pursuing a ‘dual-base’ strategy.
We decided in late January to relocate from Sydney to San Francisco. It had been bubbling for a while. But then things moved quickly.
Within 4 weeks of pulling the trigger, we had a US company setup. Passports back in our hands with visas approved. Flights booked, bags packed, and most possessions sold. A removalist van left with the remaining few boxes at midday on a Sunday. 30 minutes later we were on our way to the airport. Literally.
Why the rush? We’d been offered a demo spot at Launch Festival, one of the biggest startup events in the US. It seemed a pretty solid entry point. The biggest names in tech along with 5,000 attendees. We arrived in country with 12 hours to spare. In reality, it was helpful just to have a deadline of any sort, to force the decision.
The logistics of getting into the US, as an Australian founder, couldn’t have been easier. I’ve said to a few people it felt like cheating. The visa process was remarkably simple (thanks Geoff!), which I’ll write about separately. As it stands, I (and my wife) can live and work in the US for the next 2 years, extendible almost indefinitely. It cost less than $3,000 upfront to ‘flip up’ to a US company. Which I’ll also write about separately. I believe this will become an increasingly common path for Australian startups. More also later.
The more important factor is why we made the move.