Sunday, October 29, 2006

Corporate Lesson 1

A man is getting into the shower just as his wife is finishing up her shower when the doorbell rings. After a few seconds of arguing over which one should go and answer the doorbell, the wife gives up, quickly wraps herself up in a towel and runs downstairs. When she opens the door, there stands Bob, the next door neighbour.

Before she says a word, Bob says, "I'll give you 800 dollars to drop that towel that you have on." After thinking for a moment, the woman drops her towel and stands naked in front of Bob. After a few seconds, Bob hands her 800 dollars and leaves.

Confused, but excited about her good fortune, the woman wraps back up in the towel and goes back upstairs. When she gets back to the bathroom, her husband asks from the shower "Who was that?" "It was Bob the next door neighbour," she replies. "Great," the husband says, "did he say anything about the 800 dollars he owes me?"

Moral of the story: If you share critical information pertaining to credit and risk in time with your stakeholders, you may be in a position to prevent avoidable exposure.

Mastering Technology with the help of Martin Hosking

Over 50 guests attended the inaugural Master Class Series with Martin Hosking of
Guests were not only given the opportunity to listen to Martin's very varied and inspirational business journey but interacted, discussed and networked a "real case study" in small groups culminating in a sharing of ideas and views.
"Just want to thank BSI and Martin Hosking very much for the Master Class yesterday. It was interesting and worthwhile to attend, Martin is an inspiration! Julia Anderson-Director- I-Sip
"Martin was very enlightening and was a great communicator and certainly engaged with the groups there..." David Craker- Director- INVENT Connect

Afterwards, everybody stayed back and enjoyed the networking and the food.
Here are some of the pictures from the night:

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

A TiE Event - The Thrills and Spills of Angel Investing

Are you an entrepreneur with a great idea? Private equity funds not interested? More likely than not you are going to get some angel investors to kick it off. TiE Delegates were treated to a panel who spoke about the Angel Landscape.

Alan Milwidsky of BSI (left) set the scene and discussed the Angel Landscape in Australia and the USA. Who are these Angels, how are they defined, where do you find them, what are they looking for (money - lots of it), what type of Angel do you want in your business, what are some succesful deals that angels have invested in, angel syndication. Alan talked about the GAP thst the Angels fill between the entrepeneur using credit cards, fools, family and friends and the Series A round that VC's look to invest in. It is important to build an Angel network and Angel Syndications who are prepared to invest between $100k and $2m. The BSI Investor Forum was identified as an important link to bring Angels and Entrepeneurs together.

Ramin Marzbani told the audience that Angel Investing was not for the faint hearted. In fact he said that you had to be "NUTS" to be an angel investor. He stressed that receiving money from an Investor was a huge responsibility and that taking money for a project was a serious business. Nobody likes to lose money no matter how much money one has, or where that money cam from.

TIE had the honour of having Adil Adi of Worldlink Incorporated, a texan based entrepeneur andpast president of TIE Texas speak to the audience on the entrepeneur's perspective of Angels. He reinforced the seriousness of looking after other peoples money and gave his experiences of his dealings with Angels.

Andrew Arnold of Deacons identified 10 pointers that Angels need to look for and that Entrepeneurs should provide to ensure a healthy relationship between the parties.
These included:- Validating the Intellectual Property, A comprehensive Information Memorandum and Business Plan, Valuation Issues, The Structure of the Deal, the problems with a large share registry where deals have been done by providing equity in lieu of cash, employee and contractors contracts and Employee SHare Option Plans to retain the key asset of the group - the People!!

If you would like presentations of the panel, please contact me on

BSI Hosts Grants Panel

BSI hosted a grants forum at Docklands on 13 September, and presented to 50 Innovative companies.
For pictures and details of the event click here

Russell Nesbit of Docklands opened the forum, and spoke about the vision and progress of Docklands.

Marcus Webb- R&D Tax Concession & Commercial ReadyR&D Tax Concession is a broad-based, market driven tax concession which allows companies to deduct up to 125% of qualifying expenditure incurred on R&D activities when lodging their corporate tax return. Commercial Ready is a competitive merit-based grant program supporting innovation and its commercialisation. It aims to stimulate greater innovation and productivity growth in the private sector

Zvi Brooks- COMET - The Australian Government introduced the COMET program in November 1999 to aid the commercialisation of innovative products, processes and services. COMET is a competitive, merit based program that supports early-growth stage and spin off companies to successfully commercialise their innovations.

Ivan Kaye- EMDG The Export Market Development Grants (EMDG) scheme is the Australian Government's principal financial assistance program for aspiring and current exporters. To access the scheme for the first time, businesses need to have spent $15,000 over two years on eligible export marketing expenses. The scheme supports a wide range of industry sectors and products, including inbound tourism and the export of intellectual property and know-how outside Australia.

Mat McDonald- BSI Investor Forums and Capital RaisesBSI raise capital for technology and non- technology companies using their highly skilled Investor Forums and Victorian government initiatives. The Regional Business Investment Ready Program is a regionally focused Investor Forum Series which aims to assist regional Victorian companies access external funding that will stimulate growth, job creation and economic activity, particularly in regional areas. The Do's and Don'ts of Capital Raising will also be discussed

Robert Crompton- Mentre ProgramThe Mentre® program, supported by the Victorian Government's VicStart initiative, offers business mentoring/coaching support and programs for SMEs as well as larger businesses. A key feature of the Mentre® programs is personalised, one-on-one mentoring/coaching provided by members of the Mentre® network.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

The State of play in USA VC 2006

The SME and Early Stage marketplace is well placed in the Venture Capital Stakes according to Mark Heesen, President of the USA National Venture Capital Association, who spoke at the launch of DEMO 2006.

In the capital raising rounds of 1999 – 2001, $203 billion was raised. Funds on average were $1B +, and the focus was to invest large amounts of capital in each deal. After the ‘’ crash, this did not bode well for early stage companies.

Currently we are at the end of the latest capital raising cycle of the VC Industry, where an estimated $68b will be raised by the end of 2006. 2004 - $17b, 2005 $25b and 2006 $26b. The average fund is no longer $1b, but now $300m, which also bodes well for early stage companies. In 2005, there was a marked increase in 1st time funding to early stage companies.

VCs are investing in:
Telecommunication plays, which have been in the doldrums since the ‘’ crash, have shown life again, with 63% of investment being made in wireless companies, and mobile phone services looking up.

Internet dependent companies (companies that use the internet as a major source of their business) accounted for 13% of all VC Investment, with 1/3 of the investments being 1st time VC Backed Funds.

Many companies are not focusing on VC, but building their Companies with a view to vending their businesses into Ebay, Yahoo, Google, Quest and others who are looking at acquiring. This is excellent for early stage marketplace, as it creates serial entrepreneurs with capital to invest in their next venture.

The lifecycle of investment has been from Hardware to Software to Corporate IT, with the current trend being Consumer IT, such as social networking, blogs, creation of groups with similar interests and the simplification of ways to find items of interest.

There has been a convergence of IT and life sciences, with an increased activity in medical devices.

Corporate compliance and risk management is of interest because of the ‘Sarbannes Oxley Legislation’. Compliance and risk mitigation has been a major factor in companies not wanting to IPO, but rather stay private, which also gives them the advantage of stealth – acting under the radar of competitors.

Funds such as Sequoia Capital who invested in Google, Oracle, Cisco and others, often do not disclose who they are investing in, as they would rather the company develop under the radar of potential acquirers and competition. Funds such as these focus on building great companies as opposed to focusing on the best way to exit. Although they are a successful huge fund, it is not uncommon for them to invest $100k - $1m in a start
up. (If you are looking for funding in the USA , be prepared to move your head office and business to the town of the VC investing)

The aging population has been a focus with a view to “Simplification”. Making things easy to use. An interesting observation is that China is now the “oldest” it has ever been in respect to the age of population.

Generally, there is money being liberally invested in all areas.

Ivan Kaye from BSI said that Australia is coming onto the radar of VC in the USA, and if you have great technology that has a point of difference, you should seriously look at investigating the US market.

Blue Reef Pitches for Capital

Andrew Hall, Guy Luppo and ROb Smyth of Blue Reef

Rob Smyth, the founder of Blue Reef, found it harder to raise the $500k to get him to the next stage of Blue Reefs development than it took him to raise $5m for a previous company in the heady Dot Com Days.

Matt Mcdonald, Director of ADI said that to raise capital, you need to pass the VC Gatekeeper as a first step, and with that you will need a business plan that will enable the "generalist" to understand the business opportunity and the ability for the business to scale. The message has to be simple, outline the competitive advantages of the technology and the team, the IP that is in place and the global growth potential. The financials must be sound and you must be aware of your competitiors says Mcdonald.

Smyth says you need to make a good impression, and emphasise the strength of the management team, and that your technology solution solves a "pain" of the customer rather than provide the customer with a Vitamin!!

The money raised from ADI and M Capital in September 2005 was to be used to fund an entry strategy into the USA market, with a view to then raise a series A to commercialise the technology in the USA. The pitch had credibility said Kaye, as the Cisco's and HPs were identifying that the solution that Bluereef had was the sooftware and hardware solution for the future.

ROb Smyth took part in the USA Gateway Forium held in August 2006.

Digislide receives World Technology Award nomination

July 13, 2006 San Francisco, CA, USA: July 13, 2006. Digislide’s Digismart technology has been nominated today for a World Technology Award in San Francisco. Kathryn Whitlow, Program Director of the 2006 World Technology Summit & Awards with The World Technology Network (WTN), said “On behalf of the extraordinary global membership of the World Technology Network and James P. Clark, our chairman, we are pleased to formally notify you of your nomination for the 2006 World Technology Award in the category of IT Hardware.”

Since ADI assisted with funding Digislide to enable them to exhibi at DEMO 06 and Innovate! Europe this year, Digislide’s Digismart Miniature Projection Technologies have been earning considerable attention from global brands, investors, manufacturers, potential alliance partners, and the world press.

Digismart is essentially a miniature projector that can be integrated with a range of electronic hand held devices, or supplied as a stand alone peripheral. The enhanced functionality that Digismart provides will eliminate the current constraints of viewing an image on a small screen display, allowing the user to project up to an 11 by 17 inch image from a mobile phone, PDA, MP4 player, GPS, hand held gaming device, digital camera or a laptop.

Luceille Outhred, CEO of Digislide said, “Digislide is excited at the attainment of such a prestigious nomination. The World Technology Award nomination is a product of the hard work on behalf of the Digislide team. It both validates the shareholders’ investment, being a testament to their support for this Top 100 Global Innovator Company, and also serves to highlight the reason for the global interest Digislide is now receiving”

Despite the accolades and global attention, Digislide remains focused on its commercial imperatives and are currently speaking with Venture Capital firms, global brands and manufacturers regarding the implementation of their patented Digismart technologies.
About The World Technology NetworkThe World Technology Network (WTN) in association with the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and Dow, TIME magazine, and Science magazine
combines a global meeting ground, a virtual think tank, and an elite club whose members are all focused on the business or science of bringing important emerging technologies of all types (from biotech to new materials, from IT to new energy sources) into reality. The WTN's membership is comprised of nearly 1000 individuals and organizations from over 60 countries nominated and judged by their peers to be the most innovative in the technology world.
The World Technology Awards have been presented annually since 2000 to the outstanding innovators from each sector within the technology arena for innovative work of the greatest likely long-term significance. The Awards are announced each year in a gala ceremony at the close of the annual World Technology Summit. The 2006 World Technology Summit & Awards will take place again in San Francisco, November 2nd and 3rd. Sponsors are

Digislide is an Australian founded innovation company, responsible for research and development, manufacturing, and marketing of audiovisual and communications products for the consumer and professional markets. Headquartered in Adelaide, South Australia, Digislide is bringing to market proprietary technology encompassing Digital Convergence, Video Projection and Telecommunications merged solutions.

BSI gives start-ups a real head start in Queensland

Article published by Queensland Business Acumen, August 2006
BUSINESS STRATEGIES INTERNATIONAL (BSI) is making a name for itself as an effective pathfinder for start-up companies Australia-wide.
BSI’s mantra is that it looks for and evaluates companies “that have real prospects” according to BSI Services associate director in Queensland, Paul Johnston.
Then BSI accelerates their progress by bringing in whatever elements are vital to that specific company’s success. That can range from key strategists to capital to technology.
“It’s the go-to strategy,” said Mr Johnston, who opened the Brisbane arm of BSI in February. “Right from the get-go, we look at where and how technology can be placed. For example, is it radical and innovative, or should it go with an OEM (original equipment manufacturer)?”
In the case of BSI’s Queensland thrust, which is led by Mr Johnston and Greg Beaver who is also the founder of the allied and well-regarded ‘pooled development fund’ the Pioneer Development Fund, it is all about adding ‘smarts’ and resources.
“It’s hard for start-up companies that usually have no sales and no real business plan,” Mr Johnston said.
BSI’s speciality is engineering and auto product technologies, although there is an increasing focus on information communication technology and clean technologies.
BSI Services is well equipped to bring engineering innovations and automotive products through – and they have experience in doing so with the US Army, Ford and General Motors in the US. One project BSI is working with right now is an ethanol fuel technology in alliance with the US.
“BSI is one of the few one-stop shops,” Mr Johnston said. “We often arrange grants such as COMET and QIDS and the raising of capital and R&D tax concession work.” BSI also has access to angel investors and business specialists to help guide start-up companies.
BSI Services ‘bets’ on these companies in many ways, taking a success fee rather than impacting on a company’s cashflow in the critical early stages. BSI organises collaborative arrangements and assistance from groups like AusIndustry and it packages the client company at its own cost.
VARIETY CHALLENGE The variety of activity BSI gets involved with, to help start-up companies through to success, is astounding. The national BSI operation keeps a resource of grants and deals for start-ups and the regional offices can utilise this data. There is also a regular series of showcases such as ‘Gateways’ to the US, India and China.
“BSI has a central resource we can tap into,” said Mr Johnston. “But in the main we find we are doing most of it ourselves and passing on what we have learned for others in the BSI network to utilise.”
Mr Beaver said, “You’ve got to pull all these things together. I can’t believe how many companiesare not aware of R&D and EMDG grants.
“Every company is different,” said Mr Beaver. “They might be great technically, but not commercially, for example.”
BSI evaluates if companies are ready for market and is brutally honest with the clients they work with.
“It’s a treacherous road,” said Mr Beaver, “and it’s hard to find your way through it. There are really very few people who know the space. For instance, how to raise the capital – it’s a game. It’s different for everybody. But there is money out there. It’s a matter of marrying up the opportunity with what investors want.”
Angel investors are interested in a wide variety of possibilities, said Mr Johnston. “There is such an innovation boom going on in Queensland.”
A great example at the moment is a company BSI is working with that has created a form of liquid fibreglass and they are doing precommercial trials in alliance with luxury boat company, Riviera. That company has been able to lower its development costs dramatically by working on a collaborative basis with a company that will become a key client once the technology is proven.
For another company, mobile commerce developer Startcorp, BSI helped raise $1million then $5million and then earned a Commercial Ready grant to drive progress.
In choosing to work with companies, Mr Johnston explained that a lot of the decision making came down to the personalities involved and the relationships built, as much as the technology being developed.
“A lot of it comes down to the entrepreneur. They need to have a blend of confidence, but not arrogance,” said Mr Johnston.
When they take on a client, BSI analyses the business and they analyse the management.
“We give them governance or whatever they need,” Mr Johnston said. “Between us all, we’vegot a terrific skill set.
“We have to bring in resources and we have to have a leap of faith. A lot of people get burned and there can be a lot of ill feeling as a result. That’s what we aim to avoid.”
Possessive inventors are a problem. “You have got to excite the market and create demand for it,” he said. “The company cannot be shy.
“You put the processes in place and try to lessen the risk and failure rate. Remove what you know doesn’t work.”
Mr Beaver’s Pioneer Development Fund has proved a saviour to some great ideas that would have otherwise faltered. He raised the first $5million from ‘mum and dad’ investors. Now the ‘big end of town’ is taking an interest in subsequent funds.
“I really get angry about it, when companies go down,” Mr Beaver said. “Drip feeding through companies in Australia is a mistake.”
Insufficient funding supplied too slowly can be a disaster in itself, he said, especially when technology needs to be timely, such as in the auto area.
“The guys in Detroit are searching for auto technologies – and they really take Australian companies seriously in this area.” He said Australia had a long line of successful technologies adopted by the US auto industry.
BSI organises Investor Forums for potential investors and new products, featuring their clients and potential investors.
Soon they will do a US mission which they call the US Auto Gateway. BSI Services’ approach is entirely practical for, even though they have good inroads to the major manufacturers, that may not prove to be the best path. For some Australian auto technology companies it is best to find a company that supplies the big manufacturers, Mr Beaver said.
“Tier ones or OEMs are not excited until they find customers,” he said.
There were strong emerging opportunities in clean technology out of Australia. “Even if you can’t raise the money, you can get to market by JVs etc,” said Mr Beaver.
“But venture capital companies are coming to us now and saying we want cleantech,” Mr Johnston said.
“The rule is, there are no rules. Even raising too much money can often be a burden on your exit strategy.”
BSI in Queensland has put on two staff since its February start-up and is looking at researchers for its own next phase.

DVD Trivia Launches AFL Trivia Game

Sep 06:- 9 Months after ADI coinvested in DVD Trivia, AFL Trivia has been succesfully launched by Aussie Distributeor Funtastic to Department Stores around the country. The response has been terriffic, says Tom Parkinson, CEO of DVD Trivia.

The Game includes a boxed board Trivia Game that you play using a DVD (rather than cards) to answer the questions. The Game assimilates the subject matter and creates a storyline using the Board. The DVD questions are visual and by mixing that with the simulated storyline or Game Play, make for a great interactive experience producing a fun challenge for families and friends

As a result, 2 new games are due to be launched by Christmas 2006.... World War 2 Trivia and Cricket Trivia.

bcode launches bcode drinks

SYDNEY, Australia (7 SEP 2006).
18 months after ADI invested seed capital of $250k and 1 year after CM Capital and Innovation Capital Invseted a series A round of $5m into BCOde, to commercialise its patent-pending bCODETM mobile ticketing and mobile identification technology. the first application has arrived - BCOde Drinks.

A consumer social networking drinks portal - Users of this web portal are able to shout “wireless drinks” for friends and colleagues - which are sent as encoded SMS messages - as well as being able to create and customise multimedia messages appearing on the video screens at bar venues upon scanning and redemption. No cash needed. No bar tabs. Just scan your mobile phone at the bar to get a round of drinks. A “bCODE-Drink” is a pre-purchased drink voucher that can be stored as a normal SMS message. It can be freely forwarded from the buyer to anyone he/she wishes, thereby shouting them “wireless drinks”. Upon scanning of this bCODE-Drink at the bar, a personalised message created by the buyer of the bCODE-Drink will be displayed on the video screen at the venue.

The bCODE Drinks website allows users to choose different themes and graphics for the animated message sent to the bCODE Drink recipient. The themes include set themes such as birthdays and congratulations, as well as user-created messages and graphics. The image upload feature allows for plenty of flexibility, and could include photos, humour, cartoons, or
corporate logos for business-related occasions. The bCODE Readers present at the venues are connected to the Internet via wireless broadband.

This service is initially offered at 15 Sydney metropolitan bar venues. These are Roof Bar
Skygardens, Lenin Bar, Minus 5, Verandah Bar, The Vault Hotel, The Vault Lounge, Bar Cleveland, The Royal Oak Double Bay, Bayview Tavern, Charlie Chan’s, The World Bar, Epping Hotel, Hillside Tavern, Beverley Hills Hotel and Kogarah Tavern.

“The bCODE-Drinks application offers a fun way for people to buy friends and colleagues the first rounds of drinks on a Friday afternoon. We are utilising the latest in wireless technologies to add humour and entertainment to Friday social activities,” said Michael Mak, CEO of bCODE.

The bCODE-Drinks website additionally offers a number of fun and related applications. “Friday Drinks Countdown” is an event planner for urban activities around the 15 bar venues at launch. “BeerChallenge” allows users to challenge each other on sporting results and current affairs over a couple of beers. “Celebrity Networking” utilises the bCODE Shout-Drink functionality to let users socialise with accomplished and notable professionals from the worlds of entertainment, media and business at the bar venues.

bCODE has plans to extend this wireless application beyond beverages into other types of services such as retailers, café, restaurants, theatre, events, festivities and other attractions in metropolitan Sydney and later throughout major urban centres across Australia.
bCODE technology is Australian developed and world-leading. It is the only technology in the world today that supports automatic scanning for more than 99% of the 2.5 billion mobile devices in the market, including PDAs, RIM Blackberry, Palm Treo and even portable music players like the Apple iPOD.

“Beside retail services like bCODE-Drinks, bCODE technology has the potential to replace a substantial part of the 1 billion paper tickets printed per year in Australia alone. We are rolling
out a number of mobile ticketing services with our partners in the coming months, and bCODE-Drinks is a great way for us to generate consumer awareness, and bring an element of fun and excitement in the process of replacing paper,” said Mak.

Perfect pitch: how Entrepeneurs Succeed in Raising Capital

Identifying a need of Innovative Companies who were being under-supported and underprepared, and not getting the right advice in raising capital was the catch cry of ANZAtech chief executive Viki Forrest.

Alan Milwidsky of BSI developed the BSI Investment Ready Process, which culminated in those Companies pitching at the BSI Investor Forum. Milwidsky says the BSI Investor Forum gives the entrepeneur an opportunity to pitch to all the key investors in Australia within a number of presentations.

“It is important to realise what may lie ahead …. You have a number of goes at presenting your opportunity – in Sydney, Melbourne and Queensland possibly overseas at events such as the Anzatec Gateway to the USA Conference Program, and the soon to be launched BSI Asia Investor Forum.” Says Milwidsky

The Perfect Pitch

The first couple of minutes of any presentation are vital.

You have to make an impression and to do that you have to focus the presentation on the crystal clear idea that will excite the audience and win the business.

You need to have in one sentence what your business does…

Cisco “networking for networks” ,
BSI “help your business grow”,
Google - "Internet is about finding places and things and connecting people”,
Seqoui Capital – “ We are the entrepeneurs that help entrepeneurs”

People have to get in one sentence what you are about – “they need to get it”. If it is too confusing in the beginning – they lose interest.

The target audience needs to feel excited and inspired. "You have to get people's attention and be compelling," says Kaye

It usually takes many pitches to get a nibble. There is discipline involved in making the perfect pitch and deciding what should go in and what should be left out.

It is important to get across the quality of the entrepeneur and team. It is the people in the Company that will make the business succesful.

Powerpoint presentations need to be succinct and to the point. There should be only 8 slides for a 12-minute presentation and each slide should have no more than six lines of text and six words to the line.

A demonstration of the product can also be helpful to show how it works and how it can make a difference. The presentation should be interesting and even entertaining, but being too entertaining can affect your credibility.

Enthusiasm should be tempered along with commercial ability.
Having the whole team present can help show that the company has the ability to execute and deliver.

If there is interest, you will need to do 1 on 1 presentations, and be prepared to adjust and improve your presentation as you go. You will need to have detailed documentation and substance backing your presentation.

Examples of succesful Company pitches that come to mind include – B Code, Emailcash, IMCEDA, Netreturn and Looksmart.

Ivan Kaye a Director of BSI and early-stage technology Fund Australian Distributed Incubator says that too often, people will spend ages talking about technology. People are not interested in the technology – they want the solution. What does the technology do to solve a customer’s pain or need? Why will your customers buy from you? Have you got what it takes to build a great company, or have you got what a great company will be looking for ( a potential exit?) "We are specialists in investing, not in individual technologies. Technology is important but it is only one of the relevant criterias," he says.

“I have heard hundreds of pitches, many of those that have left me dissappointed by the lack of preparation and planning. A good pitch is the first hurdle to jump through to be in the running for a potential investment ," he says. "It amazes me how often a potentially great opportunity gets knocked back as a result of a poor pitch. It can be extremely frustrating. A bad presentation will not give the potential investor confidence.”
Kaye says the result of poor preparation often shows up during question time when the entrepeneur reacts negatively to questions. If the target audience is asking the wrong questions, it's because the pitch wasn't clear.

The following points that need to be addressed include:

what your offering is;
does the company have the ability to deliver on the proposed business opportunity.
what are the benefits of realising the opportunity?
how much money you want and what you are going to do with it,
how much is the investor going to make
what are the risks.

The perfect pitch, Kaye says, must address all of these succinctly but be supported by detail.


BSI in conjunction with Regional Development Victoria held it's first Investor Forum 'Unlocking Hidden Treasures' on Thursday 31 August 06 in the elegant 'Drawing Room' in Crown Towers.

Over 50 Investors, Advisors and Entrepreneurs attended this Forum which has been designed to support regional development in Victoria.

8 exciting companies presented their opportunities, which rangedfrom mechanical engineering to web-based content management solutions.

The Australlian Turntable Company - Paul Chapman explained that over the past 20 years The Australlian Turntable Company has become the leader in supplying turntables and rotational movenent systems in Australia, South East Asia and Middle East. Paul is looking to further develop the business development capabilities worldwide to take advantage of the opportunities that have presented in Dubai and Overseas.

Peter Edwards enthusiastically presented '', a virtual shopping mall and classifieds that facilitates on-line marketing, selling and purchasing of new and used goods and services by retailers, home-based businesses and private individuals.

Craig Frank from SWAP International gave a presentation on Sunnywipes, -- "from smear to clear in seconds"a patented, non-chemical, environmentally friendly hospital-grade disinfectant solution for the cleaning of a range of surfaces.SunnyWipes solution has Anti Bacterial germ killing properties, and recently was tested to TGA 54 and passed as a hospital grade disinfectant. The products removes surface grime, and then shines the surface. This product is a proven cleaner on such items as eyewear lenses, visors and masks, screens, mirrors, and even stainless steel!

Xavier Corray presented his software-based Contract Value Management Solution called Procure-IT, that allows ICT Contract Managers to better negotiate/manage, match requirements and maximise commercial value from a buying organisation's portfolio of ICT licenses.

John Brunner presenting Global Polymer Technologies - Ureflute - a revolutionary, proprietary technology for producing a range of urethane filled fluted products.

Michael Toll from Yield Enhancement Services presenting its range of organic fertilizers that significantly increase yield size, nutrient uptake, water content and threat resistance.

Dan Egan presented The Remediation Group, a specialist in the design, construction, installation and maintenance of remediation systems for the treatment of industrial sites that have contaminated soil and/or water.

Ivan Kaye and Snadra Klibansky enjoying rthe breakfast

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Taking Your Business To China

Pathways to Market – China
China’s phenomenal growth has generated an increased demand for Australian products and services. A successful entrance into this market could help your company to increase sales, achieve economies of scale and improve profitability.
Entering foreign markets can prove costly in terms of time, money and resources and it is easy to make expensive mistakes. Therefore, thorough preparation is essential. This is especially the case when entering the China export market.

Businesses should examine their export readiness from an external and internal viewpoint by answering the following questions:
Is Your Business Ready?
Product: Have you test marketed in Australia and what have been the results?
Process: Can you scale your business to support expansion?
Promotion: Who can promote your company? (testimonials?)
Customer knowledge: Who are your customers and what do they want?
Perspective: Who are you competing against? Is there a Market for My Business? Is there Demand for Your Product or Service?

Understanding of the current market status and demand will help you position yourproduct or service correctly in the market place.

Who are the major competitors?Identifying the competition is important to determining your sales and pricing strategy.Decide which methods of selling and distribution to use.

How to enter the China Market? Should your business: Sell through a distributor? Establish its own foreign office?Form a joint venture? This is an important consideration because it determines the risks you take and the amount of investment you expose yourself to.
Duties and Regulations Are you aware of: - Import duties on the product; - Other barriers to importing: local taxes, freight costs between Australia and China, foreign market regulations, (i.e. quarantine and labeling standards), Consumer protection rules, Product standards?How do I Avoid the Pitfalls? Due Diligence testing and product sampling is essential in the establishment of a partnership. Leaking of IP occurs more with contract orders and is one of the reasons why when entering the Chinese market you need to link your entry strategy with your long term objectives and choose a partner based on your future goals rather than cost alone. Full commitment to the project is required, both time wise and financially. This is imperative to a successful strategy being developed.

What Support is there for My Business?Government: State, local, Austrade, grants. (Export Market Development Grant, New Exporter Development Grant, Export Finance and Insurance Corporation).
Network: chambers, associations, ExpatConnect, repast, mentorsPartners & market makers: suppliers, distributors, JVs, channel partnersThe opportunities that China offers Australian companies are undoubtedly growing, howevera comprehensive understanding of the market and the development of relationships with key industry and government contacts is critical. While this knowledge and contact network canbe developed in-house, a more time and cost effective way to achieve this is to employassistance from China specialists.

If you have any further enquiries, do not hesitate to contact Vanessa Xing on: 02 92125505 or 0404482539 Or meet her in our BSI Sydney Office: Level 3, 51-57 Holt St, Surry Hills NSW 2010

"The market research report was thorough, well researched and left me with a thoroughunderstanding of the local industry. The road show was informative, but more importantly delivered concrete results. My company is now successfully operating in China with the help of a local partner. It is these results, which I believe differentiate BSI’s services from other companies."
Felix La Spina – CEO Webit Technology (Software Provider)

"I have no hesitation in recommending Vanessa Xing for any company considering entering the China market. Not only can Vanessa undertake and deliver a professional, practical and topical market assessment report through her network of contacts here and in China but she can also assist the company by getting them started in China – key introductions, assisting with contract negotiations and compliance with regulatory and licensing requirement and facilitating on-going communications…"
John Beale - Export Director of Sweet William (Food Manufacturer)

"Vanessa’s contribution in research and forming well-considered contacts and then organising and scheduling meetings in the China market for possible venture partners,has enabled Marvel Glass to set up a partnership in Beijing with confidence.Her on-going association and helpful advise means that if there is any problem associated with our Chinese partners, she is able to rapidly sort things out before mistakes are made. She is also very skilled in piloting one trough the pitfalls of the Chinese establishment, Government red tape and advising on local customs."
Doug Tweed - Founder of Marvel Glass (Engineered Product)

Extracts of 'The Financial Review' Article by Damien Lynch

BSI Investor Forum showcases 7 innovative companies ready for exponential growth

7 Innovative Companies showcased their technologies and opportunities to 150+ High Net Worth Individuals and Funds at the 13th BSI Investor Forum, held last week in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.

Fiona Pak Poy of Innovation Capital opening the Sydney Autumn 2006 Investor Forum. Fiona emphasised that VC investing is not for the faint hearted, however savvy VCs should make an annualised IRR of +20%. One of Innovation Capital's star performers is B Code which presented at the BSI Investor Forum in February 05, of which ADI was a seed investor.

Viki Forrest, CEO of Anzatech to open the Melbourne BSI Investor Forum. Both BSI/ADI and Anzatech are pert of John Brumby's innovative Vicstart Programme, which helps Victorian Companies access capital, finance and gain entry and relationships to the USA market. BSI and Anzatech will work closely together to assist Innovative Companies access the USA market place.

Paul Johnston and Greg Beaver opened the Brisbane's Investor Forum, welcoming this innovative Forum to the Queensland Investment and VC Community.

For details and pictures of the event click here

Sunday, June 04, 2006

USA Gateway held last Thursday in Melbourne

left to right:- Lisa Donath (Event Manager BSI), Rob Hosking (CEO and founder of Bluereef) Martin Hosking ( founder of Looksmart and Chairman of Ivor Frischknecht (Investment Director of Starfish Ventures) Ivan Kaye (Director BSI and ADI)

50 SMEs looking to export to USA heard war stories from Martin Hosking - founder of looksmart, Rob Smyth of Bluereef and Ivor Frischknecht of Starfish Ventures. The USA Gateway Panel was facilitated by Ivan Kaye, a Director of BSI.

What came out of the panel discussions and questions, were the importance of networking, developing relationships and adapting to the culture of the USA.

Do not be scared to say how wonderful you, your company and your product is says Martin Hosking.

The USA Gateway was sponsored by Vicstart, (an initiative launched by Victorian Minister John Brumby), BSI, ADI and Digital Harbour.