As I prepare to fly to India leading a contingent of the three finalist Australian startups of Big LEAP (round 1), I'm filled with a sense of nostalgia and gratitude. It's hard to believe that it's been almost two decades since I first took the Big Leap myself, moving from India to Australia.
Reflecting on my journey since arriving in Australia from India in 2004, it's remarkable to see the profound changes that have occurred in the startup space, particularly in technology innovation, entrepreneurship, and digital wave. As I prepare to showcase six founders of three emerging startups from the Big LEAP program, I'm humbled by the privilege of playing a role in supporting global digital growth and innovation.
Founding Arrow Digital in 2007 was a pivotal milestone in my journey. At the time, the digital landscape was still in its nascent stage. The iphone had only recently been launched , and few understood its potential. But I saw the possibilities therein to help businesses achieve their goals through cohesive brand strategy across digital marketing channels. It was an exhilarating time to be in the industry, and I'm thankful to have had the opportunity to be in the midst of it all and playing a small part in its evolution.
The digital space has transformed dramatically since Arrow Digital's inception. Businesses today have access to an abundance of tools and technologies that make it easier than ever to reach their target audiences. However, in the decade following Arrow's arrival, the landscape was vastly different. Google was the go-to destination and Facebook Ads had started to emerge. We were early pioneers, agile and adopting the latest trends and technologies.
Arrow Digital continued to grow and evolve. We established pathways for driven, disruptive entrepreneurs and innovators to achieve startup success, and we helped businesses across diverse industries harness the power of digital marketing. On a personal level, I leveraged my position in the industry to give under-represented entrepreneurs, first and second generation founders a voice, lowering the barriers to entry for women innovators who struggled to find a foothold.
As I look forward to my upcoming trip to India, I'm reminded of why I embarked on this journey in the first place: connecting people and building bridges between nations. Arrow Digital's incubator program, Big LEAP, was created to help Australian startups test and enter international markets with the Indian market as the gateway, fostering bilateral commerce, knowledge exchange and resources between the two countries.
On March 3, I'll be traveling back to India with three of the most promising startups from the Big LEAP program, poised to make a significant impact on the global market. I'm grateful for the opportunities that have come my way and my connection to India, which has given me a unique perspective on the world. I'm excited to continue building bridges between nations and expanding my understanding of the Australia-India relationship with boots on the ground.
At the heart of my journey lies the bigger purpose of supporting global digital growth and innovation, and I'm proud to be a part of this vital work. The circuitous route my personal journey has taken has led to the achievement of Arrow Digital, and I'm excited to witness where the digital innovation space will take us in the future. But above all, I'm thrilled to support the next generation of startups and play a role in their journey towards global expansion.