IPitch News Archive
By Rachel Youens on Monday, February 22nd, 2010
• A new coworking office has opened in Sydney and is inviting the city’s techies and creatives to come sample the space March 5. CO-WORKA is located in Dee Why and was founded by Aly McAuley, who uses a bear as the spaces logo symbolizing the urge for small businesses and contractors to come out from hibernation and socialise.
• On Australian Gizmodo last week, it was announced online DVR system myTVR has is now capable of working on Blackberries. The service started out only working with PCs, macs, iPhones and iPod Touches and Symbian but has since opened up the service to Android and most recently Blackberry Bold. This service is only available in Sydney and Melbourne but allows viewing of DVR television over a 3G connection.
• Australian startup Effective Measure, which provides online audience measurement technology, has just raised $4 million in capital from American VC Fund Rho Ventures. Although the startup is based and created in Australia, they have offices globally and focus much of their effort on the Middle East. Last year, Effective Measure went head to head with Nielsen, the global leader in market research, over the Middle East.
• Time is running out to get involved with the next Innovation Bay dinner. You can read more in past posts on this event, but the dinner brings fresh young tech startups in front of specifically tech investors and has been a fruitful endeavor for companies like Posse. The event is hosted largely by MitchelLake, who are currently helping to cook up a major upcoming tech even for Australia. If you are interested in pitching at the event, contact Phaedon Stough here.
By Rachel Youens on Thursday, February 18th, 2010
• The Victorian government is offering $100,000 for web or mobile developers to create applications using government data. The App My State competition is part of an initiative to improve the public’s access to public sector data including crime resources, hospital maps and water information. The whole of the competition will be launched in late February.
• A recent Australian visit from Silicon Valley blogger Esme Vos of Pajama Entrepreneur has landed coverage for several local startups. Tjoos, Topikality and IPitch member ZapMe all saw coverage on the blog.
• Most events that offer experts like these are going to charge you, but Tom and Fenn of beloved Melboure startup Adioso do it for the love. This weekend the pair will be helping to host the second Melbourne YC and Hackernews meetup. If you aren’t yet familiar with those names, Y Combinator is a unique Silicon Valley incubator and Hackernews is its active message board. Tom and Fenn are former YC alums and you can read more about their experience in Tom’s last interview with IPitch. The even is at Match Bar and Grill at 3 p.m. on Sunday, find out more here.
• The first Australian Social Innovation Camp is creeping up at the beginning of March. The camp took 35 ideas from a multitude of disciples and whittled them down to eight topics. Much like Startup Camp, teams will come together for the weekend and spend the next two days developing a strategy around that idea and end the weekend with a presentation. Applications closed Wednesday for the March 5th event.
• In other “Camp” news another round of Startup Camp will be launching this weekend with developers, marketing and designers setting off in a mad three day dash to launch a product. Past sessions have given birth to startups such as traffic navigator iTraffic and event planner Activity Horizon. There are still 13 positions left for graphics designers and developers, find out more here.
By Rachel Youens on Monday, February 15th, 2010
• Sydney startup Shoes of Prey has once again been featured in international tech site TechCrunch this time offering a pair of its custom made shoes as a Valentine’s gift for some geek TechCrunch reader or their lucky better half. Shoes of Prey was finalist earlier this year for Best Bootstrapped Startup in TechCrunch’s annual Crunchy Awards.
• The winners have been announced for the Next Web Australia’s Startup Awards, and the name are a pretty unsurprising collection of all of the favorites who popped up throughout 2009 at events like Tech23, Coming to America and The Hive. In the top slot were the same two startups who stole the show at Tech 23. Winning Best new startups was music and celebrity ranking site We Are Hunted, and as runner up ticketing startups Posse took the award. Other notable winners include Perkler as best breakout startup, Mogeneration as best mobile startup and Tjoos Bart Jellema and Pollenizer’s Mick Liubinskas taking top award and runner up respectively for startup person of the year. Click here to see the whole list of awards and check out the videos below to see We are Hunted and Posse presenting at Tech23.
• In other TechCrunch news, Australian-turned Silicon Valley CEO Ben Keighran is finding success with his new iPhone app designed to help find and rate iPhone apps, Chomp. The app got a write up on the site last week and showcased Chomp’s ability to let you subscribe to people’s app activity and to get recommendations similar to the way Netflix can advise similar selections. Ben spoke earlier this year at MitchelLake’s Coming to America event and is the founder of instant messaging service BluePulse.
• After months of buildup, including a stellar Tech23 speech, savings site Myzerr has finally launched. Founder Slade Sherman sums the site up as Ning for coupon offers. Basically, the site has three aspects: individuals, communities of which they are members and finally businesses of which the communities and individuals are members of. So basically if a local cafe wanted to offer discounts to all the members of the local church, Myzerr would be the simple community site for them to do that. You can read more about Slade and Myzerr in this interview on the Myzerr blog.
By Rachel Youens on Thursday, February 11th, 2010
All across the country startups are bent over desks toiling away on Commercialisation Australia applications, but only a lucky few will reap the rewards of the government’s latest stab in the dark at fueling innovation. A good business plan and help from a grant writer are a start, but with most things, it never hurts who you know. That said lets take a look at the six people who butts you will need to start kissing because they are the butts sitting on the board of Commercialisation Australia. This is no easy job, as you can read from this Anthill Magazine analysis, and the board members and CEO Laurie Hammond have some tough decisions ahead of them. One thing I’d like to note is the wealth of powerhouse women on this board. In a field like tech, where it’s not unusual to go to events and see wall to wall men, it’s refreshing to see so many innovative and business savvy women breaking into the boys club.
Dr. Katherine Woodthorpe
Katherine is the chief executive of venture capital group AVCAL, and has a varied background is in science, technology, HR, change management, government interaction and mergers and acquisitions. For several years, Katherine was the Chief Executive of the Technology Industries Exporters Group, an industry peak body she helped establish to assist technology companies improve their export performance and has also worked as a CEO mentor with The Executive Connection.
Specialties: Climate and ecology, private equity
Dr. Susan Pond
This woman has a list of accomplishments as long as my arm. She was the first woman to be appointed to a Personal Professorial Chair in the Department of Medicine at the University of Queensland, the first woman to receive the Wellcome Australia Medal, and the first female Managing Director of a Johnson & Johnson Company in Australia. She is concurrently a Director of AusBiotech Ltd, which facilitates the commercialisation of Australian innovation.
Specialties: research collaboration with universities, bioengineering and nanotechnology, Queensland
Dr. Bruce Whan
Bruce directs Swinburne Knowledge, Swinburne University of Technology’s commercialisation unit, and is also CEO of Swinburne Ventures Ltd. Bruce is Chairman of INNOVIC, the Victorian Innovation Centre Limited, which hosts the international Next Big Thing awards and helps Victorian businesses with everything from grants to mentoring. He’s had close links with Swinburne’s Australian Graduate School of Entrepreneurship for many years.
Specialties: innovation, Victoria
Besides having an awesome name that mixes the worst of American presidents with the best of tasty fruit, Mr.Apple is also the Industry and Economic Adviser for the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union. You can read a bit more about Nixon’s feeling on Australian innovation and manufacturing in this 2006 ABC interview.
Specialties: manufacturing, government and policy
You know that thing called WIFI, that thing you probably use like every day? Yeah CSIRO invented most of the key parts of it and that’s where Jan Bingley works as General Manager of IP, Licensing and Technology. She also handles the company’s equity portfolio of around $100 million.That portfolio presently contains businesses like Avipep, Windlab Systems and more. You can read some of Jan’s tips on exactly CSIRO grew its portfolio in this article.
Dr. Laurie Hammond
Laurie is the founder of Gold Coast incubation and investment group InQbator. InQbator has a number of tech investments including WindLab Systems, Ivolve and Mantara. He has a storied past with venture capital and seed stage investing on behalf of a number of companies. Laurie has been a member of a number of boards and committees on Australian tax, business and innovation.
Specialties: Venture capital, Gold Coast
Innovation In Australia May Not Be Hitler Regime Tough, But Venture Capitalist Chris Golis Says It’s Still Tough
By Rachel Youens on Wednesday, February 10th, 2010
There may be more than four letters in “entrepreneur” but it may as well still be a dirty word in Australia. In this ABC interview retired venture capitalist Chris Golis argues that although the federal government is committed to an innovation agenda (you can see Hitler launch the policy in the above video..just take a minute..it’s worth it), they aren’t necessarily realizing the role that entrepreneurs play in making that innovation happen. Golis has a career in business and VC that spans 25 years and includes work with IBM, VeCommerce and Nanyang Ventures, now Kestrel Capital. Today he is a noted author with three books under his belt and a proponent of emotional intelligence.
The good news? Chris says Australia DOES have it’s own version of Silicon Valley and it’s in Perth. The bad news? It’s not in tech but in mining. But with both Perth and Silicon Valley, he says it’s not just the talent or mineral resource they have that make them what they are; It’s the infrastructure where at every level, from the lawyers to the accountant to the venture capitalists, everyone understands and plays the game and a successful, functioning team can be quickly put together.
In this audio interview he draws a lot on Australia’s history and offers some insight on what can be done to encourage entrepreneurialism in a country where it’s a black term.
By Rachel Youens on Monday, February 8th, 2010
Ranging in topics from animal behavior to mobile phones, TED talks have become legendary for getting inspired and innovative speakers to produce bite-sized speeches on their favorite topics. Some of the tech elite that have been featured in past TED talks include Clay Shirkey, Chris Anderson and Jeff Bezos.
In March a spin off of these famous live speaking sessions arrives in Melbourne in the form of TEDx, a privately organized event with speakers, video and discussions. This is the third time for the event, March 13 from 9:30 to 5 at the RMIT campus, and will include sessions from speakers education technology proponent Maurício Buchler and Metric system enthusiast Pat Naughtin.
TEDx also visits Sydney and will be held again May 22 at the Carriageworks. The speakers for the event have not yet been announced, but the organisers are still seeking sponsors and entertainment.
UPDATE: Forgot to mention TEDx is also happening in Perth this Sunday at the Scitech Discovery Centre
By Rachel Youens on Monday, February 8th, 2010
• Computershare founder Chris Morris has invested in Melbourne-based CRM and customer management SaaS company Qdos Technology. Computershare is the only global share registry, and a leading provider of financial market services and technology to the global securities industry.
• When the iPad finally dropped revealing a screen that was roughly the width of a steering wheel and the ability to run any app store game, the folks at FireMint had to be excited. In their blog, the creators of Real Racing have said they are building the next generation of games for higher definition, more powerful devices….
“Some developers have expressed concerns about longer development times for iPad games compared to iPhone. For us, it won’t substantially change anything. Our background in pre-iPhone mobile phone games has given us plenty of experience in squeezing every last drop of performance out of hardware. We pushed the iPhone OS to its limits with Real Racing, which runs like a dream even on a first generation iPod touch. We’re going to keep pushing the limits of whatever hardware we develop for, and to do that we make substantial investments in our games and technology.”
• The names of the companies receiving the December round of the dwindling COMET grant includes Melbourne favorite Photo Art Gallery. This company, which has made several local appearances in the past year at Melbourne’s The Hive gathering as well as at Sydney capital raising event Innovation Bay, has created a site which allows photographers to monetize their hobby by selling images in an online community. Other recipients include Imallestate, an internet knowledge engine, and BusinessHQ, a SaaS quality management solution.
• Last week popular New Zealand-based online accounting service XEROannounced four Aussie payroll providers that would now become compatible with XERO, including startups ePayroll, Paycycle, Webpayroll and ADP.
By Rachel Youens on Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010
Newly established tech site Delimiter just launched in the new year covering Australia’s tech scene. Founded by ZDNet writer Renai LeMay, he’s inviting some of his tech savvy friends and associated to contribute on the multimedia blog. On Monday the site debuted the first in a series of weekly focus articles they will be running on Australia’s startups and they chose a great one to begin with. You may have caught Matt Clarke at Tech23 as the face for the software application development company which promises to streamline .NET development with an assembly line process. Basically what Ford did for cars…that’s what Expanz wants to do with .NET development. In this great article Matt makes an interesting point about how being a small Australian company shooting for big league clients was a little tough because on top of being new, they were also a small company in Manly pitching against world-class businesses. If you haven’t heard of the company yet, chances are you will get a first-hand chance at using their product in the next state election if you live in New South Wales as Logica will be using their platform for the election’s core systems. In the article Matt outlines the company’s revenue streams, but point out that like many Aussies startups they have been self funded with some small investments from angel groups like Sydney’s Green Lane Digital.
By Rachel Youens on Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010
Thanks to all those who Victorian startups who entered to be part of the SXSW 2010 trade mission to Austin TX. The Victorian Government, along with help from QMCodes and Portable Content have selected Scott Handsaker with Melbourne startup Eventarc. The Eventarc site allows self-service event event registration and ticket sales, allowing groups to raise funds online. Thanks to all who submitted their company for consideration and keep posted for upcoming SXSW coverage on the other startups on this trade mission.