Australian city wants to take a bite out of the Silicon Valley pie

Silicon Valley’s success continues to be the envy of the county and the world with many communities trying to replicate its success.

One such city is Melbourne in Australia which has launched a media advertising blitz with the goal of luring tech companies from Silicon Valley. 

“I’ve seen other types of marketing and recruitment strategy, this one seems like it. It’s pretty high profile,” said Matthew Mahood, President and C.E.O., The Silicon Valley Organization. “This is a big play it looks like for Melbourne and they have an interesting strategy, but why wouldn’t you come to Silicon Valley and try to attract some of the top companies that we have to open up an office in Melbourne. I would too.”

To attract tech company eyeballs, the local government has wrapped five VTA light rail trains with ads that read “Melbourne, Home to Australia’s Tech Talent.”

Billboards have also been raised on 10th Street near Folsom in San Francisco and along the Bay Bridge. But mimicking Silicon Valley’s success won’t see so easy, said Mahood.

“It’s very unique and it’s a type of eco-system that many cities are counties are trying to how do they replicate it.”

What Melbourne wants to replicate is Silicon Valley’s economy, which generates $235 billion annually, according to the American Enterprise Institute.

That number is considerably better than Melbourne’s current $24-billion through 8,000 tech companies, which employee 85,000 people. 

A digital billboard located on the eastbound side of the Bay Bridge even touts the time of day in an attempt to highlight that tech companies with offices in Melbourne would be a day ahead in San Francisco. 

Not so coincidentally, the ad campaign was launched at the same time Qantas Airways announced non-stop service from SFO to Melbourne, a long haul that can take nearly 24-hours.

Tech company “Square” recently set up an office in the city down under, so too Zendesk, Google and Salesforce. 

“If it makes sense companies will do it. If it doesn’t they won’t do it,” said Mahood. “It’s still a really long airplane ride so it’s an interesting value proposition that they’re trying to put forward.”

The length for which the Melbourne ad campaign will run remains unclear.