Thursday, July 31, 2008

Ross Kilpatrick - Huntingdales

Ross steered the Gold Medallists to a big win!... thanks Ross for being an amazing part of the journey!

Steve Rosenbaum... an entrepreneur I met last year at ALways oN and again this year. Steve tells us about Magnify... helping your site access relevant videos ... building your content.... and helping you grow revenue. He gives us advice on where advertising is going over next 10 years... its about the web and mobile baby!!go digital

Simon Butler and Contivio at AlwaysOn 08

Simon Butler interviewed at AlwaysOn 08. Contivio is the world leading Tier One Call Centre management system, that is activated through a widget on your browzer, and links in with every CRM and telco and voip provider. World beating technology!!

Ivan Kaye and BSI at ALwaysOn

Ivan Kaye being interviewed at ALways ON 08. There is still money around for great innovation. Innovation will lead the world!!

Dean McCevoy and Booking Angel at Always on

Dean McCevoy of Booking Angel was a BSI Delegate at the BSI USA ALways ON COnference. Booking Angel is a Pay as You Book system, which assists service based companies get appointments.
Its current vertical is Restaurants... you book a restaurant on the netor mobile... the restaurant owner gets a call... "Ivan Kaye wants a booking at 8pm on Saturday Noght for 4 people... press 1 to accept - 2 to reject." As simple as that...

A perfect way for a service based business to achieve a point of difference!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

AlwaysOn, Aussie Style

Since the Australians live their whole lives a day ahead of us in the U.S., I suppose it stands to reason that a group of Australian entrepreneurial interactive companies would provide an informal tee-off to the AlwaysOn Stanford Innovation Summit. This is my third year at the show, and my fourth AlwaysOn conference, and I readily admit I can’t live without it. There’s something about the honesty born of greed (er, I mean being in fundraising mode), that fosters true collaborative innovation and the kind of truth-telling that doesn’t typically happen across the table from prospective publishing partners. But now that I’ve said the word Foster’s I guess I have to return to the Aussies.

The most interesting entrepreneurial observation made by one of the half dozen pitchmen brought in by the BSI USA Investor Forum, probably isn’t unique but it struck me as quite interesting in context. Director Damian Hickey said, “The YouTube generation has grown accustomed to using video in their daily lives; it stands to reason they would make it an integral part of their businesses” going forward. SmackBiz purports to have developed a standard document format for business video that is 10 times more efficient than YouTube.

Besides compressing/encoding this video at the client end (on the shooter’s desktop) to make it more efficient, the system also imparts meta-tagging and archiving in a way that makes business video more accessible and useful “behind the firewall.” Hickey says the system can be implemented in an hour, and can manage up to 1 million videos without the use of database software, making it substantially more economical to use than many video management platforms on the marketplace today. He’d like to target the legal biz where, for example, there are tens of thousands of video depositions taken every day, but not managed particularly well.

Whatever its target market, SmackBiz’s first major Australian client is a media company (the name of which Hickey said he must keep secret under NDA), that is using the software to enable user-generated local sports videos for 200 Web sites across the country. He’s not pursuing that strategy stateside because “there are probably 100 solutions” for managing video in a content management system. “Our business is about business generated content, not user generated video,” he insisted. Things like secure storage, library quality cataloguing, seamless integration into a Web site, extensible metadata (autoformatted archiving) and out-of-the-box “open source” streaming capabilities all make me hope he’s open to reconsider.

Does the world need another “Open Table”? Booking Angel thinks so, and claims to have already signed up five times the number of restaurants in California alone as Open Table has nationwide. The principle is the same – a consumer goes online to book a restaurant and gets a confirmation of that reservation. But with, the service is white labeled entirely to local search Web sites, as in the case of in sunny CA with 30,000 eateries and counting, and it doesn’t require the restaurant to invest in an expensive on-site terminal. Reservations are confirmed via phone with touch-tone options for the restaurant to confirm a requested time or suggest an alternate booking. When a slot is agreed, the diner receives an SMS, as well as a follow-up reminder. Restaurants only pay when the diner shows, which does AdWords one better, says CEO and Founder Dean McEvoy.

In McEvoy’s opinion, the business of charging companies for local listings (known in our parlance as Internet Yellow Pages or IYP), “is dying.” He predicts the wholesale migration of local sites to a pay-per-lead model instead, and is looking for local partners willing to make the switch. McEvoy says the typical spend per booking is $3.50-$8.00, which businesses find vastly preferable to per-month spends for consumers who may never even see their local listing. One additional viral aspect of BookingAngel is that consumers who use the service are reminded to return to the partner site and write a review of their experience, which could help local sites validate their reviews. The reviews make for more bookings, and so the cycle, er, feeds on itself, if you’ll pardon the pun.

McEvoy says the model will scale to any appropriate local business (“What would a lawyer pay for an appointment?” he asks rhetorically), but only because businesses only pay when they see results. The company is working with the Australian University Research Center on ways to make available the inventory of many kinds of businesses. McEvoy promises partners, “Revenue, more bookings, and insights about your customers” unavailable from the competition.

Still to come, remember LookSmart? Ever wonder what they did with all that money???

Date: Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008 at 6:28 pm | Category: Innovation | RSS Feed: RSS 2.0 feed.
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Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Palo Alto, CA – July 22, 2008 – In a world first, an Australian company has tamed the video so it can be managed like a document which can be searched, filed, and archived online within a corporation – without the need for any special expertise.

The software application SMACKB!Z by ZacWare which enables any webmaster to seamlessly embed video footage into their existing internet or intranet site, incorporating valuable business meta data, will be launched in the USA at AlwaysOn & STVP Summit at Stanford, CA [July 22 – 24, 2008].

According to ZacWare’s chief executive officer, Damian Hickey, SMACKB!Z is a management solution or business information tool for corporate video.

He sites potential examples such as a legal firm with hundreds of video depositions that are typically filed in hard copy.

“Legal firms would have to be an idea customers for our software,” he said.

“For the first time they can file, search, play and archive their videos on their own secure YouTube style site saving time and money, while vastly improving the entire process.”

Other clients include insurance companies, real estate agents and any firm that sees the potential of video for their business, but has been deterred by the usability or integration factor.

“Video has to be the most powerful and compelling medium available to companies and now they can harness this information source and incorporate in their normal filing, search and archiving systems.”

SMACKB!Z is presenting at the AlwaysOn & STVP Summit at Stanford as part of the BSI USA program [] at 9.45am Fisher Hall on July 24, 2008.


SMACKB!Z is based in Brisbane, Autstralia.

SMACKB!Z is a leading technology firm at the forefront of corporate video. SMACKB!Z revolutionized how business uses video with an end to end solution. From upload to archive, our solution, help business use video as a standard document format. To contact SMACKB!Z, write to or visit


Palo Alto, CA – July 22, 2008 –’s virtual contact centre solution delivered as a toolbar inside Microsoft Internet Explorer and offering the advanced functionality found in million dollar CRM systems at SME pricing, will now be available in the USA it was announced today at AlwaysOn & STVP Summit at Stanford, CA [July 22 – 24, 2008].

Contivio is the creation of eOne Solutions Group, a leading software author with over 10,000 Microsoft Dynamics customers in the USA, which has been a primary contributor to the US$12 million in R&D funding developing the product.

Contivio clients include Xceed Telecoms and Icol in the Middle East, and Genero Property Group and Mint Financial globally.

eOne Founder and CEO Simon Butler said “Contivio is the only contact centre product delivered as a toolbar inside your browser with the ability to integrate into any on-demand or on-premise CRM system within minutes via our patented integration “Angels””.

“Customers can pay per user per month at a fraction of traditional costs and our technology talks to any VoIP backbone,” he said.

“Contivio is the only product designed and truly positioned to extend the core functionality of existing CRM solutions such as, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, SugarCRM, SalesLogix, SAP, Oracle, or any other, into a fully featured contact center.”

“Our Angels are an intelligent group of software “robots” that learn how humans use software applications such as CRM, ERP, or any other windows or web based product, and then extend the applications’ integration and automation capabilities. With the ability to compile web service wrappers for any application together with a “human driven” automation assistant to drive workflow and integration rules, Contivio has unparalleled integration capability,” Butler said.

“With Contivio, if you have a browser and a broadband connection you have a fully integrated virtual contact centre, it’s that simple.”

Contivio is presenting at the AlwaysOn & STVP Summit at Stanford as part of the BSI USA program [] at 11:30am Fisher Hall on July 24, 2008.

About Contivo

Contivio is a global provider of advanced contact center solutions and integration and automation applications. Our flagship contact center and patented Contivio Angels products have positioned us as a respected leader in our fields of expertise.

Contivio is focused on cementing our position as the global market leader in the virtual contact center and integration automation solution verticals via our patented technologies. Contivio’s product suites integrate seamlessly with a multitude of applications including Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Microsoft Office, Google, Oracle, SAP,, Siebel, Onyx, Sage SalesLogix, Goldmine and Maximiser and continues to forge closer working relationships with these vendors, their partners, call center providers, hosting & VoIP providers and systems integrators generally.

Direct all enquiries to


Palo Alto, CA – July 22, 2008 – RedBubble, which is at the forefront of the open art movement - art made accessible to creators and purchasers by the web , will be presenting its global rollout at AlwaysOn & STVP Summit at Stanford, CA [July 22 – 24, 2008].

Aspiring artists, designers, writers, and photographers can take their inspiration to the world - and be rewarded for their work - through an Australian web start-up that is attracting worldwide attention and strong growth.

RedBubble is an online art gallery and creative community where artists can upload and sell their art to a global audience of buyers. Almost as importantly, RedBubble also enables artists to receive comments and feedback on their work.

Lisa Webber of Orlando is a classic example of how artists can open their world and manage their day/work life while being a recognized artist through RedBubble .

RedBubble started out in Australia, but now attracts users from around the world. More than 120,000 items have been sold through the site to buyers in 71 countries over the past year.

RedBubble provides a platform for artists to monetize their work. An artist from a t-shirt designer to an illustrator, can sell his or her design to a customer who can have it printed on a t-shirt, framed etc using RedBubble’s global production and distribution network. The artist determines the price for their work beyond the base price charged by RedBubble to print, frame or reproduce the artwork.

“We help people realise their creative potential by taking care of the business that also helps reward their efforts,” said RedBubble CEO and founder Martin Hosking.

“RedBubble brings together the best of the web 2.0 world - content and community - while also delivering a strong business model.”

Hosking said RedBubble is to the creative arts what YouTube is to online video - with an important difference.

“RedBubble puts the monetary value of the content in the hands of its creators. They set their price, and for a base fee we turn into a product they can be delivered to the buyer who is inspired by the work, whether it is a framed piece of art, a design on a t-shirt, or a piece of writing.”

“Artists create and display their work on RedBubble to a global audience. We provide a way for them to sell their work, produce it and distribute the finished product to the buyer,” Hosking said.

“There are no barriers to entry for the artists. In fact, they can develop their skills and abilities by being part of a supportive and passionate community.

“Consumers can browse our extensive galleries of art, design and writing to find what inspires them. We then make it easy for them to buy the works they love

Hosking is using his magic touch that brought his last company success story LookSmart to market, to make RedBubble the next big thing for creative’s around the globe.

RedBubble is presenting at the AlwaysOn & STVP Summit at Stanford as part of the BSI USA program [] at 9am Fisher Hall on July 24, 2008.

About RedBubble: launched in February 2007. Since then it has grown to be the third most trafficked art site on the Web with 70,000 members and sales in its first year of over $1.2 million. The Company was founded by Martin Hosking, Peter Stules and Paul Vanzella and serves a global market with operations in Europe, the USA and Australia. It is headquartered in Melbourne Australia.


Palo Alto, CA – July 22, 2008 – Travel Messenger™, the latest breakthrough in travel information technology designed to build powerful bonds between travellers and their on and off-line travel agents domestically and around the world, is being launched at the AlwaysOn & STVP Summit at Stanford, CA [July 22 – 24, 2008].

The company, Loop9, is headed by leading travel evangelists including Steve Hibbard, Former CEO Lonely Planet and, Michael Baldwin, former VP Sabre Holdings.

The patent pending technology, which covers 200 countries and 3000 cities around the globe, enables travel agents to automatically provide up-to-the-minute personalised services delivered to customers’ mobile phones via proven SMS technology.

Mark McCormack, CEO of Loop9 said agents and airlines now have an opportunity to enhance their current offerings and develop an unprecedented level of client loyalty in the competitive and price sensitive travel space.

He said current clients included Flight Centre, Travel Scene-AMEX and Liberty Travel.

Loop9’s ‘Travel Messenger™ keeps travellers informed every step of the way by providing regularly updated personal travel information by SMS/Text.

“Flight times, departure gates, hotel reservations, exchange rates, weather and even travel warnings are all constantly updated by SMS. The traveller just needs to check their text messages to see where they are going next and the information they need to get there,” said McCormack.

“For the sake of getting to a meeting on time to close a deal, or simply to keep your valued staff feeling valued on the road Travel Messenger™, will pay for its self on the first SMS.”

Gap year students and young travellers, through to mature and seasoned travellers can also all benefit from services like 24/7 country security alerts, delay advisories, and even translation and entertainment advice at the tap of a phone.

McCormack said SMS services were cheap, reliable, widely available globally, and easy to use.

“Travellers can just check their cellphone for the information they need. No software is required. They don’t need to call back to the office or go online. Their travel itinerary is in their pocket - and being constantly updated as they work through their trip.”

McCormack says Travel Messenger was an ideal solution for corporate business travel units, providing a simple and easily deployed travel information service that could be used throughout a company to keep road warriors in touch and most importantly safe.

“Travel Messenger- Don’t take off without it” ™

Loop9 is presenting at the AlwaysOn & STVP Summit at Stanford as part of the BSI USA program [] at 11:45am Fisher Hall on July 23, 2008.

For more information contact your local travel agent.

About loop9

Travel Messenger™ is the flagship SMS 'concierge' service for travellers available from travel agents. It provides up-to-the-minute travel information, tips and advice that travellers could require regarding flights, travel warnings, accommodation, currency exchange, weather, news, events and a translation option in 15 languages. Travel Messenger™ is the latest in travel information technology covering 200 countries and 3000 cities around the globe by Loop9 Pty Ltd.

BSI USA secures record numbers at Investor Forum


Palo Alto, CA – July 22, 2008 – BSI USA, Australia’s leading private business export development company in the USA, has secured record numbers at the Investor Forum for the six of Australian tech companies it has brought over to Silicon Valley this week.

According to BSI USA CEO David Brown investor RSVPs were now above 80 for today’s Australian BSI USA Investor Forum session, which is held prior to the prestigious AlwaysOn & STVP Summit at Stanford, CA [July 22 – 24, 2008]. BSI USA is an AlwaysOn partner.

BSI USA supports innovative Australian companies that want to enter the USA market in the right way – often with VC finding, partners, clients, and new board members.

Coaching, high-level introductions, and messaging and presentation delivery is all part of the BSI USA package which is unique to the USA.

Brown says BSI USA offers similar programs for USA companies wanting access to the Australian market with tax, partnering, and strategic advice and connections usually only available to large companies.

AlwaysOn VP and Director Noah Gellman said BSI USA had demonstrated its powerful reach into the core of innovative technologies from Australia. “This calibre of innovation is highly sought after by the AlwaysOn community of investors, and leading technology business partners,” he said.

He said BSI USA should be “congratulated for offering a powerful US business program for companies and expanding the global Silicon Valley to Australia”.

BSI USA CEO David Brown said this years’ team from Australia was particularly impressive and he was keen to see the investor response to the hand picked executives.

“BSI USA works closely with the executives in the weeks prior to make sure they are absolutely prepared for the presentations and networking sessions that could literally catapult them into the USA with funding and powerful partners,” said Brown.

The three day pre-conference preparation program developed by BSI USA includes a one on one presentation by AlwaysOn Founder [and former founder of RedHerring] Tony Perkins], and a private session with lead venture capital firm Southern Cross Ventures.

The six companies have also heard first hand from Valley-based Australian success stories such as Gower Smith from Zoom Systems about how they secured capital and established their companies in this highly competitive market.

The companies include:

RedBubble is at the forefront of the open art movement - art made accessible to creators and purchasers by the web.

Loop 9
Travel Messenger™ is the latest breakthrough in travel information technology designed to build powerful bonds between travellers and their on and off-line travel agents domestically and around the world.

Contivio is a virtual contact centre solution, delivered as a toolbar inside Microsoft Internet Explorer, offering the advanced functionality found in million dollar CRM systems at SME pricing.

Greatest Asset
Greatest Asset offers state-of-the-science workplace health and productivity programs tailored to suit industry, including quality resources and links for personal health and fitness management.

SMACKB!Z has tamed the video so it can be managed like a document which can be searched, filed, and archived online within a corporation – without the need for any special expertise.

Booking Angel
Booking Angel allows clients to book reservations and appointments online without requiring the small business to implement any web system

“BSI’s award-winning success in Australia is well documented, and now we are replicating this in the US - only on a much larger scale,” Brown said.

“Our mission is to drive hundreds of millions of dollars in US investment and deals for our Australian BSI USA Investor Forum companies and bring some of the best in Australian tech to American shores.

About BSI
BSI assists innovative companies access capital, grants and international gateways. The BSI Investor Forum, which has become synonymous with early stage capital-raising in Australia has launched in the USA. BSI manages 2 Incubation Funds, ADI and Information City, which currently has 30 Investments.

Monday, July 21, 2008

BSI Always On 08 Tour

Companies Include:- Booking Angel, Contivio, Redbubble, Alpha One, Huntingdales, , Loop 9 and SmackBiz. for more details of the event and the companies go to the BSI USA Website.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Secret by Rhonda Byrne - read on plane from Sydney to San Francisco

This book really hit a chord with me.... and if not already a best seller.. will be - every person should read this...
Rhonda has used excerpts and learnings from a number of "masters"

My take from it.... I look forward to meeting Rhonda one day..

• Law of Attraction” is a fundamental law as powerful as the Law of Gravity. Your Universe is centred around You

• Power of positive thought and they will be answered by the Universe....

• Think +ve and +ve will come - -ve messages do not serve you

• Your thoughts control your feelings – change your thoughts and your feelings will change accordingly – if you are feeling happy and in control – this eminates to other people.

• What you resist, you attract – because you are powerfully focussed on it with emotion.

• Ability to change your thoughts from –ve into +ve -. Ie you can master your thoughts.

• Perception IS Reality

• Aladdin – and Genie – “your wish is my command” – Genie is the Universe answering that wish

• “Build and it will come”

• 3 easy steps – Ask, Believe , Feel
• Ask – right down your goals – they innevitably get completed; place your order with the universe!
• Believe – act and think as if you already have it- “Universe will move to achieve your goal.” (If you order a car – you will be certain it will arrive.... and you can picture yourself in it... you have ordered it – it is as good as yours.)

• Religion – Pray (Ask) , Faith (Believe) , Feel as if it has been delivered; Gratitude (Thank)

Random takings from the book
• An object is a mass of energy vibrating – harness that energy in where you want it to go... all in the mind.
• The Universe is just 1 energy field.
• There are no competitors only potential partners . focus on your dreams and your visions and take competition out of the equation.
• You design your destiny – it is your pen, you are the author. Your outcome is YOUR CHOICE. You can write into your life , whatever you want.
• Enjoy life , because life is phenomenal.. is a magnificent trip.•

Friday, July 04, 2008

Can VCs Help Catch Lightning?

Article by David Aronoff at Jul 02, 08 01:32 PM
The premise is pretty simple:

1. Identify an unmet need in some identifiable consumer segment

2. Create a compelling web application that is simple and straightforward

3. Utilize a viral go-to-market strategy possessing low cost of customer acquisition

4. Build a big consumer base

5. And monetize them

The best examples are the stuff of legends: MySpace, Facebook, Google, Bebo.

What do they all have in common? (Other than being tremendous successes?)

I’d argue that they really built their appeal without (much) help from venture capitalists. Sure Google, Facebook and MySpace all raised VC money, but it was after steps 1-4 were well underway.

If you look at the VC-lemming effect, these three companies have led to hundreds of millions of dollars chasing scores of web-mobile-social-networking-video-location based-mashup startups.

Of these phalanx of companies, there are several potential candidates in the on-deck-winners-circle like Digg, Linked-In, Twitter - that all followed similar patterns to the aforementioned.

And in the anti-winners’ circle, companies like Akimbo, and a host of others I’d rather not name for fear of VC reprisal, but look at these TechCrunch links (2007 Deadpool, 2008 Deadpool) for a long list. While not all these companies received VC funding as their first capital or any VC funding at all, many did. I struggle to find (m)any examples of companies that have used initial VC funding to create successfully viral models.

Why is this the case?

Obviously I don’t know for sure, but I think it has something to do with the type of discipline and inertia that comes with venture financing. I am not at all suggesting that VC funding is antithetical to exploration and entrepreneurship, but I am suggesting that in the case of consumer focused offerings, maybe startups need more “unsupervised” or “less-supervised” time to bake and test their value, without the implied or actual pressure that a formal financing by venture capitalists bring. Or maybe the model of a true seed by VCs that permits the same type of exploration would foot the bill.

I doubt my pondering will stop any VCs from continuing the blistering pace of investment in consumer Internet projects, but if I am right, the results of those investments will!

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