Lars Rasmussen, the Aussie co-founder of Google Wave and Google Maps turned Facebook developer in the US, said that he would make a return to Australia if there was a compelling start-up that he could come back to.
Speaking at the NSW Tech23 innovation forum in Sydney today, Rasmussen said that he misses Australia, having left the country to join California-based social networking giant Facebook last year.
"I miss Australia like crazy. I left here for California to work for Facebook and look forward to coming back here," Rasmussen said as Tech23 organisers presented him with an accolade he'd won at this year's iAwards ceremony.
In an interview with The Sydney Morning Herald on his exit from Google, Rasmussen said he made the decision to leave after a "compelling personal pitch from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg", adding that Facebook felt like a "once-in-a-decade" kind of company.
The Google Australia alum employee said that he would consider an official return to Australia if the local start-up sector provided him with the impetus.
"Maybe from stuff like Tech23, I'll find a reason to come back in a few years," Rasmussen said.
Tech23, sponsored by the NSW state government, aims to promote innovation in the ICT sector, awarding prizes for the best ideas pitched during the event, judged by industry leaders, including venture capitalists and successful start-up heads like Mike Cannon-Brookes of Atlassian.
Presenters spoke today on a range of subjects, including organising the enterprise and growing into the cloud. Speakers included representatives from data analytics firm Kaggle, bug aggregator Bugherd and cab mobile application goCatch.
Tech23 funding is part of the state government's push to become the state of choice for the ICT sector, which also includes a new government ICT strategy sourced from local industry and an attraction package run by the government as part of Digital Sydney.