Monday, December 7, 2009

Conference Board of Canada Report on Cities, Clusters, Labour Mobility and Innovation

Picked up from Brian's blog (with thanks)
The Conference Board of Canada today released the report:
21st Century Cities in Canada: The Geography of Innovation by David A. Wolfe who is the principal investigator of the Innovation Systems Research Network.

One of the key ideas I noticed in this report is the distinction between information and knowledge. Information wants to be free, shared and spread around. Knowledge (and creativity), is a little sticky and moves with brains in people. Since innovation is largely a social activity, getting people with diverse perspectives to interact in-person plays a large role. Logically, this needs to be balanced that too much interaction leads to enclaves of homogeneity, but I doubt we run the risk of that.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Media release: Peter Farrell Cup winners 2009

Student entrepreneurs get a chance to take their ideas to the marketplace

'Ad-a-Bottle',a business concept that provides advertising directly on bottled water distributed exclusively to office building food courts, has won first place in an Australian School of Business competition to encourage student entrepreneurism.

The Peter Farrell Challenge Cup entrepreneurship competition offers students the opportunity to bring innovative business ideas to life.

“The Peter Farrell Cup was a catalyst for me to write a business plan and now I'm poised to implement it, and hopefully people will be drinking Ad-a-Bottle by next April,” said winning team member Iris Qi.

Some of the enterprising ideas in this year's Finals included a Wi-Fi based paperless receipt system, an online rental service where parents can order equipment and toys for their children when on holidays, and an electronic display system to eliminate changing price tags.

More than 45 teams from the University of New South Wales and other participating universities entered the competition, hosted by the Innovation, Commercialisation and Entrepreneurship (ICE) Club at the Australian School of Business, with eight teams participating in the Finals held on November19, 2009.

The finalists presented their business plans to a panel of four judges including high profile business founders and venture capitalists.

Teams were judged on criteria including sound risk analysis, financial attractiveness to potential investors and a clear identification of current market need. The written business plan, oral presentation and responses to judge’s questions helped determine the overall winners.

Christopher Witt, Director of the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE)at the Australian School of Business, said the aim of the Peter Farrell Cup is to foster entrepreneurship and instill a passion for research and innovation. More than $40,000 in prizes and scholarships was on offer to the finalists to pursue their business ideas.

“The Peter Farrell Cup strives to link research projects and businesses with student teams to produce credible business plans that help all parties. It frames the time period and requirements, and rewards excellence through prizes and scholarships," said Mr Witt.

“Amongst the partners of the CIE is the NSW Enterprise Workshop. This outstanding organisation offers finalists a scholarship to continue in to the Enterprise Workshop three month long business planning program, enabling students to take their business ideas to the next level,” he said.

Ramanan Krishnamoorthy, President of the ICE Club, said the Peter Farrell Cup promoted the reality of business innovation as a real option for graduating MBA students.

“The life of an entrepreneur can be extremely rewarding; you are working for yourself on something that you are passionate about, and there is the opportunity to excel to your fullest potential,” said Mr Krishnamoorthy.

For more information please contact CIE Director, Christopher Witt on 02.9385.5654.