Thursday, May 17, 2007

BSI sponsors UCLA Andersen’s 22nd annual Entrepreneurship conference

ONE of Australia’s leading business advisory and consulting companies has set its sights on the United States, launching its international operation at the prestigious UCLA Anderson School of Management’s annual entrepreneurs conference.

Business Strategies International, which has helped hundreds of Australian exporters launch international campaigns, has spread its wings to Los Angeles.

BSI launched its USA Gateway program with its support of the UCLA Andersen’s 22nd annual Entrepreneurship conference that was held on 18 May 2007.

Keynote Speakers were Alan I. Rothenberg ,Founder of Major League Soccer and Founder & Chairman, 1st Century Bank and Jane D. Wurwand Founder, Dermalogica, Inc. and The International Dermal Institute.

The Conference included 16 Industry and topic specific panel discussions and workshops , a Networking lunch and cocktail reception

The UCLA Anderson School of Management is one of the top Business Schools in the world, supported by major corporations and industries in the USA.
It also has a landmark MBA program.
BSI is investigating tapping into the program as one of a range of initiatives for its clients.
BSI assists companies access a range of government grants to underpin their international ventures. Its focus will be on innovation.
The USA operation is run by Alexander Daniel, who has a focus on building sales forces for clients.
“We are looking to partner with companies, institutions or Individuals who are interested in assisting Innovative Australian Companies with commercialising their Innovations.” says Daniel.
“Australia is a great test market, but to get value, innovative companies need to have a presence in the USA. “
He pointed to BSI client IMCEDA – a compression software firm that had a turnover of $500,000 pa in Australia.
After establishing an office in the United States, they invested in a sales force and sold the business within 2 years for US $70 million.
“ Australia has great education, innovation , research and development, government support and great lifestyle - but has not got the population to enable ICT companies to get the scale that it needs,” Daniel said.
“As a result, companies need to be born global, and we need to be the bridge for taking these innovations to the USA.”
He said the Australian Government gives 50% of all marketing to assist Australian Companies access overseas markets through the Export Market Development Grant Scheme.
For more information contact
Alexander Daniel on


"Global innovation does not occur in one place anymore. It occurs through networks. Thomas Friedman said that "the world is flat". The world is not flat, it's a waffle. It's a bunch of peaks of excellence at different places that need to be connected through networks for innovation to grow." -- Dr. Bill Miller, Silicon Valley legend, as told to Australian Anthill, May 2007. Read more at

Sunday, May 06, 2007

BSI Hosts David Gold

Ivan Kaye, David Gold and Lisa Donath

On Tuesday, 20 March 07 David Gold the Founder of dstore explained what it takes to do business in the world of Technology today.

He said a major mistake was to have a large number of investors on the board making decisions based on vested interests.... Much time was spent on accomodating investors vs running the business.

David's skill in raising capital from investors is exceptional, starting from his success in his involvement in Looksmart, where he was involved with Business Development.

An interesting anecdote was when he was trying to get the rights of this amazing software in the USA... he set up a meeting with the CEO, and found the business run by this school kid running his business from the kitchen, with his mother ensuring that he was not being taken advantage of!

David has recently exited from Azure Wireless, creating great returns for himself and his Investors.

"In Melbourne's Chapel Street, wireless hot spots are being established it seems within sight of every coffee machine around. It's got a kind of Sex in the City groove about it, and David Gold, former wunderkind, is hoping its appeal will grow beyond the froth of the cappuccino and into more extensive hot zones.

DAVID GOLD, AZURE WIRELESS: I think we're going to see increasingly, more and more applications. Things like watching TV wirelessly. Things like, you know, movies - downloading movies in real time.

Gaming - there's a whole range of things that we just don't envisage necessarily today that people will be using wireless broadband networks for tomorrow.

GEOFF HUTCHISON: Give me a sort of cafe-scenario five years down the track. What will it look like and what will people be able to do there?

DAVID GOLD: I think it will become a commodity, just like anything else. You know, where can you get your water and you know, like public places and you can get electricity etc, etc. And wireless Internet will just be something that's standard in most places.

Start-up champion

Article in Smart Company
Tuesday, 20 February 2007 By Amanda Gome

Ivan Kaye is a rare breed in Australia. The former accountant runs advisory company BSI and two venture capital firms, ADI and Information City. He chooses to invest small amounts of money in high-risk start-ups in hot new industries, a space ignored by most venture capitalists in Australia.

He tells SmartCompany how … and why he invests in emerging technologies.

“I am into innovation. All the fun is investing in early-stage companies because after that it becomes different – full of managers, accountants and lawyers. I am also an entrepreneur. And you can’t invest in start-ups with five people unless you are an entrepreneur and have run a start-up with five people.

“At present we invest between $50,000 and $300,000 in a start-up. We specialise in web 2.0, wireless, software, ASPs, new media and mobile applications. Very few people invest in Australia at such an early stage so many people come to me and ask for money.

“Often they’ll say, ‘I have this great technology and I need $3 million’. But they don’t need $3 million. They need relationships, grants, programs to help them commercialise and get to the next step like COMET (the Federal Government’s Commercialising Emerging Technologies program) and Export Market Development Grants. We get the companies ready for a fee (usually between $1000 and $100,000.)

“If the guy is right and the chemistry is right, we invest. Initially it might be $50,000 but if the company needs more – like $700,000 – we will get co-investors. Of the $3 million we have invested since we started in 2000, we have raised $35 million in co-investment.
“Often entrepreneurs just need ideas. I just had a great session with Rex Hunt. He asked me, ‘How do I take my brand worldwide? Why not go fishing with a star like John Travolta and get him to tell you his life story and put that on primetime TV?’

“My biggest tip to entrepreneurs? Avoid indecision. If you can’t make a decision you are in limbo. So it’s better to make a decision even if it’s the wrong one. At least you learn by that.

Don’t sack the entrepreneur
When the business is so small, it will not survive without the entrepreneur. Once the business starts making decent sales, of $5–7 million, that’s when you start to think about replacing the entrepreneur with a management team because the business needs new skills at that stage.
“If we invest in 15 companies, we’ll get seven to the stage of needing $1–3 million and then four of those to the stage of needing $3–6 million. When they need $12 million we’ve made our money.
“Our biggest success was investing in digital company Quickcut, which was worth about $750,000 10 years ago and recently sold for $50 million.

Is it a world-first innovation?
“When someone comes to see us with technology they often claim it is a world-first. What do I know? I am an accountant. But I know all the experts. If it’s wireless, I ring Walter and I say what do you think? There is always something similar being developed somewhere so being first to market isn’t everything. It’s usually innovations that are second or third to market that make all the money.

“So many venture capitalists take the attitude in Australia that they love the technology but to take the company forward, they want to sack the entrepreneur. But if the entrepreneur is committed to making it work, mostly it will work. And I have rarely seen a business work where they have sacked the entrepreneur.

“The biggest danger is the entrepreneur saying, ‘I am off to do something else’. The big question is: will the entrepreneur stick around until the business is sold? But there is no way to be certain about this before you invest; it is just one of the risks you take.

Best time to invest
“At present we have a $7 million fund and we are raising money for a $40 million fund.
I feel this is our time. We started after the dotcom crash and have done the hard yards.

"This is also the time to invest in Australian companies. You can get in at very low prices and if you take them to the US, you get 20 times the return. We are approaching another bubble and people should come along for the ride!

“There is lots of money available and it is so much easier to get three or four rounds of funding than it used to be so you don’t need to take companies to IPO.

“The biggest change we will see in the next few years is the superannuation funds investing their money in start-up emerging technologies. New growth businesses around the internet will be hot. Everyone is communicating by VoIP, on their mobiles, by internet. That all has to be monetised. And so there are going to be people who are going to make a lot of money.
“At the moment superannuation funds are all focused on buyouts but soon there will not be the deal flow for all that money. Once a few investors make millions investing in early stage, they will follow and then we’ll really have a bubble.”