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To Silicon Valley and Back Again

By Nicola Smith on May 24, 2021 in News

Happy to be back in the east. Photo: Supplied

Bondi local Cameron Avery created a company that took him all the way to Silicon Valley, but after ten years, the eastern suburbs called him home.

Mr Avery started his company, Elastic Digital, in the sunroom of his home on Warners Avenue, Bondi, in 2001.

The company soon grew into Elastic Grid who offered an algorithm that allowed tech companies to do all their marketing; emails, social media posts, animation, and web design on one platform.

Mr Avery decided to bet on himself and make the jump many Aussie tech start-ups dream of, moving his family to Silicon Valley with just four suitcases in 2010.

His path to the tech world was unconventional. Mr Avery completed a Bachelor of Building but a distaste for construction sites led him to change direction.

He worked as the general manager of Planet Hollywood restaurant and in the props department of Mission Impossible 3.

“Then I saw a full-page article on one of the principal guys in the Australian Ballet who had got into tech and I just thought, if he can do it, so could I,” Mr Avery told The Beast.

Almost twenty years and a hugely successful company later, Mr Avery and his family came back to Bondi in 2019.

Elastic Grid had customers from Dell to Dropbox when a US Competitor Zift bought them in November, 2017.

The company had grown from 15 people in 2010 to a staff of 60-70 people based in three different countries.

Zift then sold Avery’s original company, Elastic Digital, back to him for just $1, asking him to run the Australian branch of the newly merged operation.

Mr Avery explained that while Zift now manages the algorithm, Elastic Digital builds the products that go inside.

“It’s as though they have a platform that is like an empty apartment. We’re the interior decorators who come in and do the design and fill it with beautiful things,” he said.

While it may seem like Mr Avery is back where he began, he couldn’t be happier to be back in his native Bondi.

“The cliché is true; we work to live and (people in the US) live to work. I wanted my kids to grow up Aussie. Now my son surfs all the time and I just think that’s such a gift,” Mr Avery told The Beast.

He’s also happy to be back working on the creative side of things.

“It’s like back to the future, we’re back to that small size company doing the creative side of things and I love it. I used to think a lot about where I wanted to be in ten years’ time and now, I think about it less because I love my life now, so I’m not worrying,” Mr Avery said.

Part of his contentedness about the future is due to the community in which he now finds himself.

“My street is like a mini vanilla slice of Australia. It’s quiet, everyone knows everyone – we even have a neighbour who puts our bins out for us. I just love those little things that Aussies do, we’ve got each other’s backs,” Mr Avery told The Beast.