Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Peter Farrell Cup winning team Pluvision takes 2nd place at Idea2Product Global in Sweden!

This blogpost courtesy of Niklas Olsson, UNSW exchange student from Sweden and founder of The Entrepreneurial Chase.

As a finalist in the Idea to Product® Global Competitions (I2P), Pluvision is a truly international team – members are from China, France, Korea and Sweden. Eric Wei, inventor of a new generation of eye drop technology, and Niklas Olsson represented Pluvision in the I2P Global Competition in Sweden. 

Held for the first time outside of Texas, I2P is a competition in the commercialization of innovation aiming to fill the gap between university research and business plan competitions. This year, 18 teams competed in three parallel championships: ICT, Energy and Life Science. 

As the first Australian finalist ever, Pluvision represented UNSW and the Brien Holden Vision Institute. It was with great excitement that we accepted our spot, something that turned around quickly as we were told that the airfare would have to be funded by ourselves. All other teams had won intensive pre-round competitions like I2P Africa or I2P Europe and had been funded by their respective universities. With only two weeks to final acceptance this called for a serious hat round.  

As the University unfortunately did not have such a trip in their budget, we raised the money ourselves. Cold calling soon created quite a long list of “No, I am sorry” and we realized that something different had to be done. By creating media buzz and awareness around this recognition of Australian innovation we managed to get the Brien Holden Vision Institute interested enough to sponsor the trip. Excited as ever, we went to represent the institute, UNSW and Australia in a final competitor field that spread across five continents and nine countries.  

I2P is about remarkable innovation and how it is to be commercialised. So those 10 slides of financials were not really useful, but instead we focused on what is most important in any business: What is the market pain you are solving and how are you doing that better than anyone else? Something that is unfortunately forgotten nowadays in the “back-of-the-credit-card” era of trying to find problems for ideas.  

Stepping out of the airport, trading 33 degree Australia for 3 degree Sweden, turned the system on, almost like boxers smelling ammonium before the big fight. Competition in the Life Science track included a nano-mesh product for surgery, an herb-based soap, a psychology-based make-up treatment and an effects indicator used at the early stages of drug development. Two had working prototypes, all but one multiple patents and one even had four PCTs filed. How on earth, in terms of feasibility, did we stand a chance? Well, we had two things that we were sure of: We knew the pain we were solving and we knew that we were doing so in a fundamentally different way.  

The competition was divided in two rounds, the first giving you feedback and the second being the final you were judged upon. The first pitch was, despite well-rehearsed, not spot-on and some major changes kept us up very late. The judges seemed pleased with the revamped version and did not even use up the full Q&A time. Either a very very good sign or a very very bad sign, our fingers were crossed for the former. Something that didn’t make us less nervous, what a fail to travel all the way and come back empty handed! 

"Second place to another innovation involving the human physical properties, more in the eye area … PLUVISION!”   http://www.ideatoproduct.org/global/

Inner joy and pride straightened our spines. As inaugural ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurs Week in Australia we had put Australian innovation on the global map. A big Thank You to Brien Holden Vision Institute, the CIE, friends and the entrepreneurial community who made us compete with such confidence. We are proud to be a part of something big growing in Australia, something creative and something exciting.


We are pleased to confirm Ernst & Young and RosesOnly as sponsors of the CIE. We would like to thank the Farrell Family Foundation and Gary Zamel for their generous donations. We also acknowlege the continuing support of the Australian School of Business. All of our sponsors help provide the means to host networking events, award prizes, and reimburse our suppliers and service providers. In exchange, these donors receive good karma and public recognition as supporters of innovation and entrepreneurship. To become a sponsor of CIE and support our community engagement activity, please contact us at cie@unsw.edu.au.


Monday, November 7, 2011

Peter Farrell Cup Finals Night recap

Pluvision, developer of a unique eye-wetting solution, took first place at this year’s Peter Farrell Cup Entrepreneurship Competition, held Wednesday 26 October on the UNSW Kensington campus.

Team Pluvision, from L to R: Hye Won Lee, Eric Wei, Noellie Garand,
Dr Wallace Bridge (lecturer), Niklas Olsson, Maurice Chiarello (lecturer)

In addition to going on to compete in the John Heine Entrepreneurial Challenge in December, the Pluvision team is heading to Sweden to compete in the I2P Idea2Product® competition in November.

“We’re really excited about getting selected as one of the top 15 finalists,” says student Niklas Olsson of Pluvision. “But I can’t believe we just won the Peter Farrell Cup. When I first started at UNSW I heard about the Cup but I never dreamed we’d win it!”

Of the 17 business plans submitted, eight were selected to present on the finals night. Each finalist is invited to present their enterprise to NewSouth Innovations Concept Development Meeting.

“It’s great to see students across campus identifying and tackling real-world problems. Their energy and passion was clear to see in the final pitches they delivered,” says Dr Steve Brodie of NewSouth Innovations. “I have no doubt that some of these students will go on to become successful entrepreneurs.”

Further commercialisation services are offered to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners, and to the teams meriting Honourable Mention from the judges. 

RevoSen, developer of a myocardial ischaemic detection method, and Future Surgical Solutions, who have developed a novel bone-healing technology, won Honourable Mentions from the judging panel.

 
Judges, from L to R: Dr Kevin Cullen (NewSouth Innovations),
Anne-Marie Birkell (OneVentures), Peter Davison (Fishburners),
Simon Pinson (BSF), Bryce Summerell (Posse)
"It's clear to me there is no shortage of innovative research and enterprising individuals across a wide range of disciplines at UNSW,” says Peter Davison, one of the judges and a founder of co-working space and entrepreneur community Fisburners. “It’s tremendous to see students learning the basics of entrepreneurship within the university environment…the teamwork between postgraduates, undergraduates and academics to produce plausible business plans was a feature of the competition - innovative and promising in itself. I hope the University continues to make strides towards fostering student entrepreneurship."
This year’s competition featured a People’s Choice Award which was handily won by BioMark, who also placed 3rd overall.

BioMark team members, from L to R: Hayley Cullen, Arjanna Chitranjan,
Dr Wallace Bridge (lecturer), Timothy Couttas,
Maurice Chiarello (lecturer), Sasa Mitric.

Professor Greg Whitwell, Deputy Dean of Programs and Students at the Australian School of Business, remarked on the high levels of collaboration evident in presentations.

“And it’s collaboration of different sorts, between disciplines certainly, but also, remarkably, between undergraduate and postgraduate students, which is extremely rare,” he says. “I commend all the teams who made it to the finals and presented some really quality and high-level ideas.”

NMT (Novel Muscle Technologies), presented their business plan for an enterprise utilizing a unique synthetic gel that, when inserted into the body, can temporarily replace muscle tissue and provide a framework for new cells and muscle fibres to grow on.


Novel Muscle Technologies (NMT) team members, from L to R: Shruthi Hariharan,
Dr Wallace Bridge (lecturer), Scott Jamieson, Maurice Chiarello (lecturer), Anishka Tewari
Based on research done by Scott Jamieson, their business plan and presentation impressed the judges enough to award them second place, with remarks about the sophistication of both the idea and its development into a business. Judge Simon Pinson says,“It really is impressive what we’ve seen here this evening!”










We are pleased to confirm Ernst & Young and RosesOnly as sponsors of the CIE. We would like to thank the Farrell Family Foundation and Gary Zamel for their generous donations. We also acknowlege the continuing support of the Australian School of Business. All of our sponsors help provide the means to host networking events, award prizes, and reimburse our suppliers and service providers. In exchange, these donors receive good karma and public recognition as supporters of innovation and entrepreneurship. To become a sponsor of CIE and support our community engagement activity, please contact us at cie@unsw.edu.au.

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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Fear of failure vs failure to start (part 2)

My apologies on announcing the winners of last week's Peter Farrell Cup. Official press release or announcement coming soon. In the meanwhile, I couldn't help building on the earlier blog post about fear of failure vs failure to start. It was nagging me to create this bubble chart based on the same GEM data with a few changes:

  • Fear of failure and entrepreneurial intentions in the same chart as different axes
  • Bubble area according to additional population data (since the GEM data is based at the individual level, not firm level) 
  • Color coded by GEM's classification (Factor-driven economy: RED, Efficiency-driven economy: BLUE, Innovation-driven economy: YELLOW)



So, if one were to draw a linear regression line through the whole data set, then Australia would probably be middle of the road for the overall data. If you look at only the yellow bubbles (innovation-driven economies), then Australia tends to be towards the upper right, i.e., greater intentions to start (not bad), but higher fear of failure (not good). Does that mean that relative to the other innovation-driven economies, Australia is a country of "intentrepreneurs" or "wantrepreneurs"?

Blog posts coming up:

  • Winners of the Peter Farrell Cup
  • UNSW vs Australia in graduate exit surveys: Who is creating jobs (not just filling them)?

Don't forget, tonight (Wed 2 Nov) is our semi-annual Meet the Entrepreneur event, co-sponsored by E&Y. This event's theme will be State of Play - What are the myths and realities about the VC industry in Australia, how does it compare to the rest of the world, and does the quality of entrepreneurship and innovation in Australia "stack up"?

We are pleased to confirm Ernst & Young and RosesOnly as sponsors of the CIE. We would like to thank the Farrell Family Foundation and Gary Zamel for their generous donations. We also acknowlege the continuing support of the Australian School of Business. All of our sponsors help provide the means to host networking events, award prizes, and reimburse our suppliers and service providers. In exchange, these donors receive good karma and public recognition as supporters of innovation and entrepreneurship. To become a sponsor of CIE and support our community engagement activity, please contact us at cie@unsw.edu.au.

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Monday, October 24, 2011

How do Entrepreneurs find opportunity? They take a look in the trash can

This blogpost courtesy of Niklas Olsson, UNSW exchange student from Sweden and founder of The Entreprenuerial Chase - Sydney.

Passing security leaving all but pen, notepad and business card in security and finally taking a seat at the U.S. Consulate General felt like preparing for an Obama speech. America is known for high security and just moments after sitting down another notorious reputation was confirmed: they foster high-calibre entrepreneurs. The way I look at trash cans will never be the same after meeting Jim Poss, CTO and Founder at BigBelly Solar.


Jim describes innovators and entrepreneurs as people who connect two, for others, totally unrelated things. There are no new inventions, just new ways of combining the already existing. BigBelly Solar uses solar power to run a smart grid for waste and recycling. The grid is made up of trash cans with a five times greater capacity compared to today’s everyday collectors. But the compacting system isn’t the only innovation that underpins this game changer. The “BigBellies” communicate wirelessly with a command centre enabling the waste collectors to measure the exact level of each and every trash can in real time. The city of Philadelphia has for example utilized this information to get the number of weekly collections down to 2.5 as compared to 17 when it introduced the system.

Entrepreneurs are curious by nature and opportunities often spring from their own experiences. If Jim got his revelation when falling on banana peel remains a rumour, but when you are to see an opportunity, make sure to go for the lowest hanging fruit and one that benefits the most people by using your product/service. The reason is simple; as a far-from-complete start-up, you want to give early adopters a benefit big enough that they will stay with yout through the inevitable mistakes along the way. All are however not as forgiving. Prepare to have your idea struck down by a lot of people, as Jim puts it: “One must almost be a bit delusional to make it through.”

An entrepreneur is someone that challenges the status quo, someone who, unlike companies, are not there to protect their revenues. The difference is quite obvious to Jim. “While Toyota develops a hybrid car, the entrepreneur invents a ride sharing service. Frankly they wouldn’t launch it even if they could. It is against the profitable status quo.” But when they start to notice you, when you start turning things upside down, that is when you know you are on to something.

I have been struck by the same enthusiasm in every true entrepreneur I have met. They are game changers, they are in it for the vision and they all dare to take the risk. So how do they find opportunity? Take a look at something you don’t like, form a vision and answer the following question: “Are you afraid to look stupid?” Did people laugh at Jim Poss when he was to introduce a solar powered, digitalized, multi-compressing trash can? I am not sure, and Jim says he’s looked stupid many a time. But I am sure that it wouldn’t have stopped him from trying again. It is better to have a fair intellect that is well-used than a powerful one that is idle.


We are pleased to confirm Ernst & Young and RosesOnly as sponsors of the CIE. We would like to thank the Farrell Family Foundation and Gary Zamel for their generous donations. We also acknowlege the continuing support of the Australian School of Business. All of our sponsors help provide the means to host networking events, award prizes, and reimburse our suppliers and service providers. In exchange, these donors receive good karma and public recognition as supporters of innovation and entrepreneurship. To become a sponsor of CIE and support our community engagement activity, please contact us at cie@unsw.edu.au.

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Friday, October 14, 2011

Announcing the Peter Farrell Cup competition FINALISTS!!

 After a (ahem) slight delay, we are pleased to announced the finalists in the Peter Farrell Cup Entrepreneurship Competition. 

Of the 17 entrants, EVERY team was picked by at least one judge as a being worthy of further interest.  However, the following eight had the highest and most scores, earning them the right to pitch LIVE to the judging team.

These eight teams will be presenting their ideas and enterprises to our five judges on Wednesday evening, 26 October, in the Ritchie Theatre (Scientia Bldg) on the UNSW Kensington campus, beginning at 6 PM.

Come along to hear the newest and best of UNSW innovation and entrepreneurship!  (If you haven't already done so, please register here so we can get the catering numbers right.)

Abracadaver
BetaMed
Biomark
Future Surgical Solutions
Munchable
NMT
Pluvision
RevoSen

Many thanks to our judges for their hard work in reading, evaluating and scoring the business plans.  We look forward to your assessment and feedback on the live pitches!

Bryce Summerell - CEO at The Entourage, founder of DateRate.com.au, founder at Meet Bryce, and president at ACESUTS
Anne-Marie Birkell - General Partner in OneVentures and non-executive director for RedFlow Technologies Ltd
Simon Pinson – co-founder of BSF Group
Kevin Cullen - CEO NewSouth Innovations Pty Limited
Paul Levins - President Australia and New Zealand, Intellectual Ventures
Peter Davison - founder, Fishburners

For more information, please don't hesitate to contact the CIE (cie@unsw.edu.au)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
We are pleased to confirm Ernst & Young and RosesOnly as sponsors of the CIE. We would like to thank the Farrell Family Foundation and Gary Zamel for their generous donations. We also acknowlege the continuing support of the Australian School of Business. All of our sponsors help provide the means to host networking events, award prizes, and reimburse our suppliers and service providers. In exchange, these donors receive good karma and public recognition as supporters of innovation and entrepreneurship. To become a sponsor of CIE and support our community engagement activity, please contact us at cie@unsw.edu.au.
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Thursday, October 13, 2011

TiEcon Sydney - Pitch Event

The TiEcon Pitching contest was a fast-paced event with over 15 contestants vying for the chance to pitch to Sydney Angels to win funding for their endeavour.

The event was MC'ed by talented young industrial designer and winner last year's TiEcon Pitching event, Eric Chau. Judging was conducted by an impressive panel featuring Dilip Rao, President & Director of Mentoring at TiE Sydney, Mathias Kopp, Co-Founder of Sydney Angels and Simon Raik-Allen CTO at MYOB.

Due to the overwhelming number of entrants, the planned 2-minute question time following the pitch had to be cut out. Additionally, pitchers were not allowed to read from notes, nor were they allowed any presentation materials. Death by Powerpoint avoided!

There was a really interesting array of pitches including Waterline Foundation (nationwide fitness charity event), Shop2 (social recommendation engine for clothes), CEO hire business,  3d games animation company, Teebii (textbook rentals) and Locongo (community marketplace where people can buy and sell local experiences).

The event attracted entrants from a range of backgrounds, ages and industries. It was interesting to see the energy and passion in these entrepreneurs and how they responded to questions from a discerning panel of judges. The fact that they only had three minutes challenged contestants to be concise and connect with the audience quickly. After 15 rapid-fire pitches, the judges were sent out to deliberate while the audience voted for the people’s choice winner.

Entrants were judged on clarity, the size of the problem, the compelling nature of the pitch and the judge’s belief in the team. Before the winners were announced, the judges gave their thoughts on the pitches and how they chose the winners.

Mathias Kopp from Sydney Angels mentioned that angel investors not only back the idea but the person and team behind the idea. They were looking for a start-up with high growth potential and a strong team.  Similarly, Simon Raik-Allen said that investors don’t just invest in the business, they invest in the person. As such he was looking for passion and drive along with business viability.

The winner of the people’s choice award were UNSW students Zhiyi Tan and Eric Hercog from Teebi.com, student textbook rentals. They also went on to win second prize, two hours of Mentoring by Bill Bartee of Southern Cross Venture Partners.

As for first place, the judges said that the winner had spotted a significant and easily understandable problem, and announced that first prize went to Kevin Truong, also a UNSW student, from Locongo. Locongo is a website where real people can offer local experiences direct to travellers and other locals.

Kevin stated “This is a great way to bring authentic experiences to the masses and is going to solve the problem of what to do when you arrive in a new city and how to truly engage with the local culture.”  Kevin now has just over a month to prepare a pitch to Sydney Angels for funding.  Kevin is also looking for anyone that could provide experiences that others enjoy, anything from small bar crawls to lessons in for just about anything. Check out locongo.com for more information.

We are pleased to confirm Ernst & Young and RosesOnly as sponsors of the CIE. We would like to thank the Farrell Family Foundation and Gary Zamel for their generous donations. We also acknowlege the continuing support of the Australian School of Business. All of our sponsors help provide the means to host networking events, award prizes, and reimburse our suppliers and service providers. In exchange, these donors receive good karma and public recognition as supporters of innovation and entrepreneurship. To become a sponsor of CIE and support our community engagement activity, please contact us at cie@unsw.edu.au.


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Fear of failure or failure to start?

There have been recent critiques about What's Killing Australian Innovation (see our commentary on a recent talk by ASB Dean Alec Cameron, and related ABC radio interview). At this week's TiECon Australia, TiE Sydney chapter president Dilip Rao commented that Australia is ranked 18th globally for having a 'fear of failure' (first being worst). Based on the GEM Global Report 2010, Australia actually shows up worse, ranked 16th out of 59 countries.While that sounds quite bad, the spread of the scores shows that Australia is nonetheless close to the average, and not that much different to, say, Germany (see figure below). The classic benchmark is the US, which is ranked 47, and still not close to being statistically significantly away from average (assuming a normal distribution).

Fear of Failure: Percentage of 18–64 age group with positive perceived opportunities who indicate that fear of failure would prevent them from setting up a business

Wait a second, but what's this other variable, called "Entrepreneurial Intention"? Well, it's defined as the "percentage of 18–64 age group (individuals involved in any stage of entrepreneurial activity excluded) who intend to start a business within three years" (p. 63 in the 2010 GEM report). Australia ranks poorly on this one as well (39/59) if you take the rankings at face value. Interestingly, the US ranks even lower than Australia here (44/59).


What the heck is going on?

My best guess, is that in some countries, entrepreneurship is not a choice, but a way of life. Almost everyone there has to hustle and bustle to feed their family. Meanwhile in the "Innovation-Driven Economies" it's an optional career choice. So, focusing on the latter, what do we see?

Well, Australia ranks 6/23 on the fear of failure measure, but still very close to average for the group (US ranks 20/23 in this group). Australia also ranks 7/23 on the entrepreneurial intention measure, again still very close to average for the group (US ranks 11 in this group, worse than Australia!).

=> Claims that Australia has a fear of failure are NOT supported by THIS data

So, what IS killing Australian Innovation? Come join the debate at the next Meet the Entrepreneur to find out!

Meet the Entrepreneur is our semi-annual speaker series which is co-sponsored and hosted by Ernst & Young at their Sydney CBD office. This professional networking event features a moderated panel discussion between industry experts on a chosen topic.  After the discussion, a Q&A session winds up the formal part of the evening. Hosted networking occurs both before and after the discussion.
This event's theme will be State of Play - What are the myths and realities about the VC industry in Australia, how does it compare to the rest of the world, and does the quality of entrepreneurship and innovation in Australia "stack up"? 
Does Australia have enough critical mass to be a world leader in innovation? Are we creative enough, do we have a big enough appetite for risk, or are we just gamblers? Come hear our panel of venture capitalists, innovators, and entrepreneurs discuss this topic guided by the expert moderation of noted journalist Valerie Khoo.

Yours truly,
The Centre for Innovation & Entrepreneurship


We are pleased to confirm Ernst & Young and RosesOnly as sponsors of the CIE. We would like to thank the Farrell Family Foundation and Gary Zamel for their generous donations. We also acknowlege the continuing support of the Australian School of Business. Their continued support helps provide the means to host networking events, award prizes, and reimburse our suppliers and service providers. In exchange, our sponsors receive good karma and public recognition as supporters of innovation and entrepreneurship. To become a sponsor of CIE and support our community engagement activity, please contact us at cie@unsw.edu.au.

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Thursday, October 6, 2011

What's Killing Australian Innovation?

(Post courtesy of Niklas Olsson. Olsson is a study-abroad study at UNSW, hailing from Sweden and bringing The Entrepreneurial Chase to Sydney.  Olsson placed in the CIE's annual PitchFe$t competition, winning tickets to The Festival of Dangerous Ideas.  He has generously contributed this blogpost from his attendance at the "What's Killing Australian Innovation?" session held on October 1 at the Sydney Opera House. 

In addition to his participation as a panellist at this session, the Dean of the Australian School of Business, Professor Alec Cameron, was interviewed on ABC's Saturday Extra radio program: listen, download, or read the transcript here.)


One hour of dangerous ideas; conclusion? It’s all about people

In the auditorium the buzz amongst the spectators was energetic. Innovation is a most current topic amongst Australians especially considering the increasing prosperity of the Australian economy. It was evident that attendees of the sold-out event were curious to find out how innovation, as such a critical part of the economy, would be able to sustain the future.

A varied set of panellists representing the academic, biomedical and IT sectors unanimously stated the number one killer of innovation in Australia is market size.

“There is not as much room for a narrow market,” as Alec Cameron, Dean of the Australian School of Business at UNSW, described it. A niche is often the start of any innovation and to have a set of customers the size to keep an early cash flow going might be the difference of failure and success.

The moderator opened up the floor with asking: “Can Australia breed the next Mark Zuckerberg?” Alan Noble, serial entrepreneur and current Engineering Director at Google Australia, was quick to point out that the factor of distance is essentially gone. In IT and tech Australia has produced several successes such as Google Maps and most recently Atlassian. It has seen and will see a steady growth, it is just a matter of getting the ecosystem right. What’s killing Australian innovation right now is that there are too few Australian successes willing to send the elevator back down, a system that is driving high-calibre Australian people away to America and Silicon Valley.

As they say, a jack-of-all-trades is a master of none. Martin Rogers, CEO at Prima Biomed, further emphasized how specialisation breeds quality and recognition. For example, in the field of biotech Germany has pursued and reached their ambition to be number one in manufacturing. Rogers also answered the question: Is regulation a hinder of innovation? Regulation in biotechnology is essential, providing a safety net and assuring the market need for any new drug. However at the same time it is the reason why Gardasil sells at more than 240 times its manufacturing cost. Ultimately cost has to be carried by the consumer and we have to ask ourselves, is that a trade-off we are willing to make? Government can regulate all prospects of failure but is that a reasonable burden for society?

But what’s really killing innovation in Australia is not market size, scarcity of mentors or even regulations. It is the Australian culture. Failure is not a good thing; in fact it is not even acceptable. I fully agree with Alan Noble, who said, “Failure is a good thing. You cannot truly innovate without taking risks and you cannot take risks without the prospect of failure.” Australia has great human capital and a set of entrepreneurial people that have the ambition, but why would they bother trying if a failure carries such massive social and professional risk? The panellists described it as almost being tainted, and the agility needed to meet today’s complex and ever-changing market needs comes from failing, and failing quickly.

As much as the panellists talked about the Australian context, the discussion very early on failed to set the frame for innovation. Personally, I believe that in the 21st century it is no longer a game of capital gain; too little was discussed around the importance of a three-folded innovation model. Social and environmental gain is as important, and a more multifaceted discussion including innovation in media (Murdoch), information transparency (Assange), and embracing the aboriginal culture could have created a richer conversation.

So can Australia produce the next Zuckerberg? What’s killing that possibility is nothing but ourselves - embrace failure and let that next Zuckerberg try a couple of times before getting it right.

Failure is neither permanent nor fatal; and Australia: “Failure is an event, not a person”.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We are pleased to confirm Ernst & Young and RosesOnly as sponsors of the CIE. We would like to thank the Farrell Family Foundation and Gary Zamel for their generous donations. We also acknowlege the continuing support of the Australian School of Business.  Their continued support helps provide the means to host networking events, award prizes, and reimburse our suppliers and service providers. In exchange, our sponsors receive good karma and public recognition as supporters of innovation and entrepreneurship.  To become a sponsor of CIE and support our community engagement activity, please contact us at cie@unsw.edu.au.

Twitter: @cieunsw (headlines)
Google Calendar: https://www.google.com/calendar/embed?src=cie@unsw.edu.au (events)
RSS feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/all_cie_unsw?format=xml (headlines and events)
Daily email digest: http://feedburner.google.com/fb/a/mailverify?uri=all_cie_unsw (daily email digest of headlines and events, sent ~noon)
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/pages/Centre-for-Innovation-Entrepreneurship/187722841299461 (our RSS feed in facebook)

Thanks to our Sponsors

We are pleased to confirm Ernst & Young and RosesOnly as sponsors of the CIE.  We would like to thank the Farrell Family Foundation and Gary Zamel for their generous donations.  We also acknowlege the continuing support of the Australian School of Business.

Their continued support helps provide the means to host networking events, award prizes, and reimburse our suppliers and service providers. In exchange, our sponsors receive good karma and public recognition as supporters of innovation and entrepreneurship.

To become a sponsor of CIE and support our community engagement activity, please contact us at cie@unsw.edu.au.

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

CIE's social media feeds

As mentioned in a recent blog post, we have updated our social media feeds. The aggregated RSS feed (incl twitter, blog, constant contact and google calendar) is now also available via facebook. That means you can follow us using any (combination) of the following:
We had a LinkedIn group, but the interface was clunky, so we shut it down in favor of maintaining the above.

.. And, yes, we will still be sending out invitations to CIE events and newletters via our Constant Contact email list. Subscribe here

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Overview of UNSW and surrounding innovation system

In conversation with a few people around UNSW and Sydney, it's great to see a lot of interest in boosting the level of innovation and entrepreneurship around here. To help people who are a little newer to this eco-system understand who's doing what, we summarized a sample of the players here: http://bit.ly/oVG2JS


For omissions, editorial suggestions, etc, please contact us at cie@unsw.edu.au


Enjoy,
CIE

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Too busy to tell you about what we're busy with

Oh, the irony. We are so busy organizing and coordinating events, that we're too busy to stop for a minute, invite the larger community to upcoming events or draft summaries and press releases about what just happened. by and large our online communication falls into 4 categories:

  • Events sponsored by the CIE (handled using constant contact & our email lists)
  • News of CIE related initiatives (handled using this blog)
  • Events by associated organizations (handled using google calendar)
  • News from associated organizations (handled by twitter) 

Each of these channels produces it's own RSS feed, each of which can by 'burned' to daily email digests using Google's feedburner too.

For the last couple months, we have been providing the links to these tools separately (i.e. follow us on twitter, but not google calendar or constant contact; or follow the blog, but not the other channels).

This is just plain confusing. As a result, we aggregated the four RSS feeds into one (using google reader), and burned it to a daily email digest (using feedburner).

To receive an individual RSS update of everything that we (re-)broadcast, please use this link:

To receive a daily digest email between 1200-1300 of everything that we (re-)broadcast, please use this link:

(If you are on our constant contact email list you will continue to receive personal invitations for events sponsored by the CIE)

Here is a screenshot example of one of our recent daily email digests:

Monday, August 15, 2011

UNSW Inventor of the Year Awards

NewSouth Innovations presents the UNSW Inventor of the Year Awards on Thursday 1 September at 6:30 PM in the Tyree Room of the John Niland Scientia Building (G19).

The UNSW Inventor of the Year Awards celebrate and reward UNSW researchers that are making a positive difference to the world.


Special guests at the UNSW Inventor of the Year Awards include:
  • Professor Fred Hilmer AO, UNSW President and Vice-Chancellor,
  • Professor Les Field AM, UNSW Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research)
  • Dr Kevin Cullen, CEO, NewSouth Innovations Pty Limited (NSi)
Please take a few moments to view some extraordinary achievements from last year's winners and finalists. Click here to view a YouTube video of last year's winner - Thorsten Trupke and here for our Student Inventor of the Year - Henner Kampwerth.

Enquiries please contact Michelle Evans on (02) 9385 4374 or email: events@nsinnovations.com.au

 

Friday, July 29, 2011

2011 Mix’n'Match night off to a great start

(cross-posted from www.pfcup.com.au)
Yesterday evening’s mix’n'match event kicked off the season for the Peter Farrell Cup challenge (run by the CIE) and the Social Entrepreneurship Competition (in partnership with the CSI). Peter Kazacos, CIE Board member and generous sponsor of the Social Entrepreneurship Competition, attended the event and was delighted to hear about all the exciting ideas students were preparing to submit to both competitions.
The event began with a welcoming introduction by Dr. Martin Bliemel, who outlined the series of workshops leading up to the finals (26 Oct for the PFCup, and 27 Oct for the SEComp) and what factors judges would focus on for the PFCup competition. This was followed by an explanation from Cheryl Kernot of the CSI about the evaluation criteria for SEComp entries, and some wise words of inspiration by Peter Kazacos. After these addresses, the audience of over 40 students and even some faculty broke into networking mode to discuss ideas and crystallize team composition.
Last year, this very event catalyzed the TaxiApps team to work on their idea and submit it to the competition. They ended up winning the 2010 Peter Farrell Cup, and went on to win 2nd place at the John Heine Challenge in Adelaide. Since then, they have used the prizes from the competitions to fund the development of goCatch, which is now available for free via the iTunes store, and are actively pitching their business to the angel community. They attended last night’s event and helped inspire the next generation of participants to pursue their dream.
Based on some of the ideas we overheard floating through noise of the networking event, this is going to be a great season of entrepreneurship competitions!

Friday, July 8, 2011

CIE Competition Season - Kick-Off July 28th

As you may have guessed from the previous blog post, the competition season is upon us.

This year in addition to the long-running Peter Farrell Cup Entrepreneurship Competition, the CIE is working in partnership with the Centre for Social Impact to present the Social Entrepreneurship Prize.

The Social Entrepreneurship Prize competition, sponsored by Peter Kazacos, provides university students with the opportunity to bring their social entrepreneurship idea to life by pitching to a panel of experts from the Sydney social entrepreneurship community.

Both competitions are open to all currently-enrolled students at UNSW or other Australian universities, at either the undergraduate or post-graduate level. 

While each competition has a distinct "flavour" and orientation, the CIE assists students to prepare by offering a series of workshops to build contestants' key foundational skills. 

Teams submit a business plan and finalists are selected to pitch their ideas “live” to the judging panel. Finalists will be ranked on the idea and its market viability and also presentation and skill at answering the judges’ questions.

Students entering any of the competitions are encouraged to attend the workshops and learn in a relaxed and encouraging atmosphere.

The first workshop is the Mix n' Match evening, held from 6-9 PM on July 28 in the ASB Lounge.  Food and drink will be served and registration is required.  Click here to register.

Check out the Events page on the CIE website; we'll be posting upates, information, and FAQs as the workshops come up.

Looking foward to an exciting competition season, and we'll see you on the 28th!

Social Innovation Competition

(from our colleagues at the UNSW Co-op Students Charitable Society)

Want to put your skills and creative knowledge to the test and make a real-life impact on the community? Then the Social Innovation Competition is the project for you!

What is the Social Innovation Competition?
The Social Innovation Competition (SIC) aims to connect university students to a variety of charities and not-for-profit organisations with the purpose of creating awareness of the challenges faced by these organisations and to help generate innovative solutions to these challenges. The competition will allow students to gain first hand contact with charity representatives as well as empowering them through specialized CIE workshops to create unique and “outside the box” ideas.

How can you benefit from participating in this competition? 
  • Put your skills and knowledge to the test to come up with creative ways of addressing challenges faced by charities;
  • Make a meaningful impact on the community that goes far beyond making a simple donation;
  • Learn how to develop and structure a business proposal through a range of CIE workshops;
  • Win casg prizes for your allocated charity as well as prizes for yourselves;
  • Potentially assist your charity to implement your idea if the charity deems it feasible;
  • Develop teamwork, leadership, communication, presentation, problem-solving and analytical skills, which all look great on your resume!

How does the competition work?
The competition will run for 6 weeks. Students compete in teams of 4 for the chance to win prize money for their charity. 
 
Student teams will register their team and outline why they should be chosen to participate in the competition. Selected teams will participate in the information night where charities and students will be given the opportunity to meet and brainstorm with their host charity. 6 weeks later all teams will present their ideas to a panel of judges who will select the prizewinners. 
 
Interested?
Then stay tuned for further updates! For more information, email us on SIC.Project2011@gmail.com

 

The Innovator's Challenge!

Student Entrepreneurs: Agents of Change are launching The Innovators Challenge on August, to be run simultaneously in Melbourne and at UNSW.

The event is based on Stanford's competition of the same name, and it's had great success for a number of years as part of Entrepreneurs Week (http://www.eweek.org.au/).

There will be a launch event on the 11th of August with a keynote speaker and the announcement of a bunch of in-kind and experiential prizes for which students will compete.

The finals and judging takes place on the 19th of August. Both the launch and the finals will occur simultaneously in Melbourne and Sydney.

More information and website coming soon!!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Mentoring (update and guidelines)

Just a quick update today that we're looking at the next generation of mentoring opportunities at UNSW. We have two programs in the works: mentoring for coursework, and mentoring for competitions.

For STRE2010 and STRE5607, one semester I manually paired students up with mentors, the next I coached them to network and find their own (see mentoring blog post). This coming session, I’m inclined to do both. Start them off with finding their own, and then invite additional mentors. Students then learn to not sole-source their feedback, and mentors get to know other mentors. As a result, we now have an updated set of Mentor Guidelines.

For the Peter Farrell Cup (update coming soon), where teams compete for prizes, we’re planning on pairing participating teams in the Peter Farrell Cup with mentors.

If you are interested in mentoring teams for coursework, or for the competition, please contact us at cie@unsw.edu.au.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Meet the Entrepreneur - Open Innovation*

A fusion of great minds, great intentions and great atmosphere took place during ‘Meet the Entrepreneur’- a professional networking event run by the Centre for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, hosted by Ernst & Young at their Sydney office last Thursday evening.

Guests welcomed complementary catering and time for hosted networking before each of the three panelists gave brief presentations of their organizations prior to a moderated panel discussion.

Loosely defined, open innovation is the free exchange of resources, knowledge and skills across industries, national and international borders. As the evening progressed, the panellists explained how this concept can be interpreted and put into practice in very different ways.

Valerie Khoo, noted journalist, small business commentator, and founder and managing director of the Sydney Writers’ Centre, moderated the panel discussion.

Valerie Khoo

Paul Levins, president of Intellectual Ventures, spoke about his organization's goal to “make invention a profitable activity that attracts much more private investment so that the number of inventions soars.”

By building and buying inventions, and partnering with inventors, Intellectual Ventures is able to provide inventors with a share of the profits made from the licensing of their inventions. This also enables the organization to “match” solutions with problems brought to their attention, and to increase the availability of access to markets for inventors, and the access to inventors by the markets.
Levins pointed out that “the internet has turned a lot of people who were consumers into producers. A lot of people are liberated from being just a consumer.”

Darren Williams, founding CTO and a Director of Freelancer.com, agreed with this idea, and described his Freelancer.com as “e-Bay for services.” Williams elaborated, “We are able to deliver these jobs to emerging economies where they desperately need the jobs, and at the same time we also deliver advantages to the West where they see these jobs as very low-priced work that they can get done by true experts...this isn't seen as exploitation by people in the developing world; we get hundreds of letters saying, ‘You've changed my life.’”

While Williams acknowledged that Freelancer.com was part of a series of structural shifts in a number of markets, he also pointed out that this also created opportunities for people in developed countries who are contracting work, in that they have access to personal relationships and local market knowledge in ways contractors in developing countries did not. This, he asserted, increased the contractor's capability to expand their reach and opportunities.

L to R: Darren Williams (Freelancer.com), Paul Levins (Intellectual Ventures), and Darren Comber (Innovation Xchange)
Darren Coomber, CEO of Innovation Xchange Australia, defined open innovation as “the understanding that you can’t do everything inside your own company, and that you use whatever resources that you need from outside your company to help you achieve value.”

To this end, Innovation Xchange created a unique platform and process that allows “IXC intermediaries...[to] work with clients to understand intentions, technology, gaps and needs...[and to] work together to identify and facilitate collaborations quickly with no risk of IP disclosure.”

Williams summed up that Innovation Xchange's goal was to “help businesses find solutions to their issues and problems by bringing them together with the right innovators within their network.”

The concept of open innovation is rapidly gaining recognition, undoubtedly because the value to be gained (on a number of levels) from active network utilisation and “outside the box” thinking, is clearly worth pursuing.

* (Blogpost courtesy Irina Belsky, online journalism major in UNSW's Master of Journalism and Communication program, 2011. Read more of Ms Belsky's work at http://digitalnavigation.wordpress.com/)

* (All photos courtesy of Matt Barnett, AGSM MBA 2013. See more of Mr Barnett's work at www.lessconstrained.com)

Friday, May 27, 2011

Final pitches for STRE2010/5607 this Tuesday

Come one, come all. This Tuesday we are having the final pitches for the students of STRE2010 and STRE5607. Earlier versions of many of the pitches can be seen on youtube, by searching for the course code:  http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=stre2010&aq=f

Last minute changes may apply. With 28 teams, there is only enough time for 3-minute pitches and 2 minutes of Q&A.

Session 1: 1200-1330 in Biomedical Theatre D (just to the right of the entrance off Botany St)
Starting time Randomized Team Order   
12:10 Intro
12:15 Team 8 - Fill N Go    
12:18 Q&A    
12:20 Team 9 - Schmextbooks (Teebii)    
12:23 Q&A    
12:25 Team 11 - Ignite Health    
12:28 Q&A    
12:30 Team 1 - Batter Up!    
12:33 Q&A    
12:35 Team 21 - Etext    
12:38 Q&A    
12:40 Team 7 - Fit Buddy    
12:43 Q&A    
12:45 Team 5 - Social Scene (Easy Shopper)    
12:48 Q&A    
12:50 Team 26 - Q-Hop    
12:53 Q&A    
12:55 Team 20 - Prestige Worldwide    
12:58 Q&A    
13:00 Team 14 - HD    
13:03 Q&A    
13:05 Team 15 - Tramble    
13:08 Q&A    
13:10 Team 27 - SydneyCycle    
13:13 Q&A    
13:15 Team 12 - Headfirst (Smartmouth)    
13:18 Q&A    
13:20 Team 28 - Togethr    
13:23 Q&A    
13:25 Wrap-up Session 1  

Session 2: 1700-1830 in Biomedical Theatre D (just to the right of the entrance off Botany St)
Starting time Randomized Team Order   
17:10 Intro    
17:15 Team 3 - Gamma (Maptic)    
17:18 Q&A    
17:20 Team 18 - Paradigm Breakers    
17:23 Q&A    
17:25 Team 22 - Influx    
17:28 Q&A    
17:30 Team 6 - Blitz Solutions    
17:33 Q&A    
17:35 Team 23 - SocialEyes    
17:37 Q&A    
17:39 Team 25 - Designerama    
17:41 Q&A    
17:43 Team 2 - UniBoard    
17:45 Q&A    
17:47 Team 4 - RayAura    
17:49 Q&A    
17:51 Team 17 - Easy Translator    
17:53 Q&A    
17:55 Team 24 - BarFly    
17:57 Q&A    
17:59 Team 19 - SuperParkTeamWinners    
18:01 Q&A    
18:03 Team 13 - Sleepod    
18:05 Q&A    
18:07 Team 16 - Infinite Loyality Solutions    
18:09 Q&A    
18:11 Team 10 - Glu10 Free    
18:13 Q&A    
18:11 Wrap-up  


Disclaimer:
Most of these students are working on ideas that are only for course credit. However, that shouldn't stop anyone from providing solid business advice that they can learn from to apply to whichever idea they are working on.

Actual projects include:

Other notable outcomes:


Coming soon: an update on mentoring and an update on innovative work placements (internships) for Diploma in Innovation Management students

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Entrepreneurial Internship Program wrap-up and poster session

Last Wednesday the Design @ Eng exhibition space (5th floor, Mechanical Engineering Bldg on UNSW Kensington campus) saw the Poster Presentation and wrap-up of the CIE’s Entrepreneurial Internship Program, the culmination of an exciting half-year for both interns and sponsors.


14 students exchanged their summer holidays for work experience at some of Australia’s leading innovative companies. 

Here’s a sampling of the projects on which the interns worked (check reports)
  • Disaster response procedures, which unexpectedly got a field-test  during the Queensland floods
  • Voice-based psychometric analysis technology
  • Video analytics for retail applications
  • Software product management
  • CRM system development
  • Comprehensive communication strategy development for internal and external stakeholders
For the event, students prepared posters detailing the company and the project(s) with which they were involved.
 

After their stint in the world of work, interns also submitted a written report and an evaluation of their experience at the sponsoring organization.  Companies submitted an evaluation of the student and their project, all of which were highly complementary.

“Much higher calibre than expected of one so young,” raved one company representative.

“This is the second intern I have had in 3 years and I continue to derive value for our business [with] this program,” declared another.

Company reviewers were asked for an dollar estimate for the value of the work performed by the intern.  Amounts ranged from $5,000 to $20,000; one interned performed so well that their sponsoring company estimated the value of their work at over $50,000!

During the evening, students presented their poster to their fellow cohort members and to company representatives.  All were impressed at the scope of the students' achievements.



Other comments from the representatives of the sponsoring organizations:

“A great experience overall.  A fresh mind willing to commit to challenging business problems always gives us some surprises, positive ones…the flexibility and commitment demonstrated by the intern greatly helped the team to address some of the burning business challenges in a relatively short time frame.”

“[We] enjoyed working with the 2 interns from the CIE Internship Program and found their contributions to be very helpful and positive for us and the interns.”

The CIE's Director, Dr Martin Bliemel was on hand to present both the students and the company representatives with their certificates of achievement and recognition.

Students were also enthusiastic about their experiences:

“The internship with [company] was an eye opener in terms of learning how professionals in the [industry] think and act.  Its considerably different from any university experience I’ve had previously and it is well worth the experience.”

“Invaluable – an opportunity to be placed in a business [that] is really excited to have you and teach as much as possible.  Gives you an opportunity to work somewhere a student would usually have difficulty finding themselves.”

“It has been the best place I’ve ever worked.  Honestly, I didn’t know that such workplaces even existed…the organisational culture here is brilliant, and it’s a very exciting industry to be in at present.”

All the interns will receive recognition of their successful completion of the program with a statement on their testamur acknowledging their achievement.

Although the CIE is reluctantly discontinuing this highly successful program, a new internship program will be offered in Semester 2 to students and sponsoring companies.  Under the new scheme, students enrolled in the elective INOV4101 class will receive course credit for their work.  We are grateful to the University for supporting valuable experiential learning opportunities for these ambitious students.

We would also like to thank the UNSW Co-op Office for their generous assistance and support.

Finally, many thanks to our industry partners; we very much appreciate your continuing involvement and support, and look forward future opportunities for both students and sponsoring companies.
 
-          Atlassian
-          Homestar Finance
-          Petbarn
-          Medical Australia
-          IP Scape
-          Telcoinabox
-          NICTA
-          ResMed