In September, our good friends from Anthill Magazine will be hosting an event called Conquer the Web.
It's a one-day online marketing seminar workshop, being run by James Tuckerman, someone who I have personally learned from, who is really generous with his knowledge.
You might recognise the name because, in 2009, James transformed a successful print-based business magazine into one of Australia's Top 50 Business & Finance websites (according to Nielsen Online Ratings). He achieved this outcome in six months with a budget of less than $900. (That's right... $900.) He is now one of Australia's most successful independent digital publishers.
I've listened to his online marketing lessons and walked away with new insights and tools that my business was able to start implementing almost immediately. That's why I'm inviting connections from my network who I think would also benefit from attending.
Here are three reasons why I'm spreading the word: 1. I want my network to learn ways to use technology to claw back their time. James does that really well, using social media and other clever techniques. 2. James brings it all back to the fundamentals of business... using online marketing to attract and nurture leads, make sales and reduce business costs. 3. Online marketing is now an essential aspect of every business, yet most Australian companies still flounder. James makes learning simple and fun.
But here's why members of the BizSpark network, in particular, should attend: Because most startups are so fixated on the product or service or the problem that they intend to solve that they forget about the need to develop a database of prospects from the outset.
They take the field of dreams approach. But if you build it, will they automatically come?
What are you doing to build a marketplace of prospective customers?
If you'd like to attend the event, you can purchase tickets here: http://conquertheweb.com.au (URL: http://antmart1234.go2cloud.org/SH17) And if you use the code BIZSPARK a ticket will only cost you $47, instead of $97 per ticket.
It's a full day event and definitely worth the time and money. Hope you'll make it.
Bizspark Gold Coast Meet-Up
If you're a Gold Coast Start-Up or one planning to be on the Gold Coast next week, or attending Tech Ed & wanting to meet other startups, we would love you to join us for a coffee at Piccolo Espresso in Miami. The Bizspark Team will be down for Tech.Ed and we look forward to catching up with you!
Date: 13th September 2012
Venue: Piccolo Espresso, 2 Hythe Street, Miami QLD 4220
Here is the second guest post from the IP lawyer team at Wrays – we hope you are enjoying the series – please do let us know if you have any questions or feedback in the comments below:
The ongoing discussion around patent trolls and the patentability of software is now a much hyped issue in the IT industry. The well-publicised Apple-versus-Samsung patent war has re-awakened an old debate about patent trolls preventing legitimate users from utilising patented inventions.
Amongst all this debate, what has not been considered are Australia's provisions for compulsory licenses? This mechanism is already in place to balance a patentee's incentives to innovate with the public's interest in accessing patented new technology.
In line with recent changes to Australia's intellectual property laws, the Productivity Commission has been commissioned to inquire into whether our provisions for the compulsory licensing of patents should be changed. The Productivity Commission is the Australian Government's independent research and advisory body on economic, social, and environmental issues affecting the welfare of Australians. Many expect the Productivity Commission to use this opportunity to suggest a middle ground between incentives to innovate and the public's access to technology. The findings of the Commission could significantly increase the public's access to inventions currently protected by patents.
Only a patent holder has the right to legally produce and sell their patented invention, import it and/or licence it to a commercial partner. However, there is no requirement for a patent holder to use the invention. Even if they do not use the invention, they can still prevent anyone else from using it.
In situations where a patentee is not properly making use of the patented invention, Australian law provides the public with the option of a "compulsory license". Any person may apply to the Federal Court for a compulsory license after three years from the date when the patent was granted. However, in order to attain a compulsory license, a series of tests must be met. The manner in which the tests are currently framed means that it is very difficult in a practical sense to convince the court that a compulsory license should be granted.
Importantly, compulsory licenses are not free. A licensee must still pay a licence fee. The parties must come to an agreement on how much the patentee should be paid or the court will decide this for them. Often this will be either equal to the market rate, or slightly less than the market rate.
A compulsory license is granted for the "public good", and only in specific circumstances. Moreover, a court can revoke the compulsory license where the circumstances which justified it cease to exist. A compulsory license cannot be exclusive. This means that the courts can grant more than one compulsory license for the same patented invention.
To our knowledge, no compulsory licenses have ever been granted in Australia. While attempts have been made, they were not successful. The Productivity Commission inquiry will be looking into whether this situation should be changed.
How does this affect you?
We expect the Productivity Commission to recommend that our compulsory licensing provisions be simplified.
If the compulsory licensing provisions are simplified, it may become much easier for IT start-ups to access patented IT inventions for a reasonable licence fee. This would reduce the ability of patent trolls to threaten small IT start-ups based on patents for inventions that are not being used in Australia.
If you are a patent holder, such changes could mean that you may need to ensure that you are commercialising and/or using the invention that you have patented in Australia.
If you feel strongly about this issue, you have an opportunity to provide your submissions to the Productivity Commission. Submissions can be made at any time up to 28 September 2012 (http://www.pc.gov.au/projects/inquiry/patents/make-submission). If you are interested in making submissions and would like to discuss this area of law further, please feel free to contact Joe Seisdedos (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Vicky Longshaw (email@example.com).
This is your chance to find out how Jane Lu of Show Pony Fashion, Catherine Eibner of Microsoft (yep that's me!) and Fiona Anson of Hire Me Up are each using social media to grow their businesses and profiles and how startups can make best use of Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms.
Event better, as a speaker I get to offer you a discount!!! To get your 25% off the ticket discount, don't forget to use the promotional code: mb09shoe
Each panelist will discuss how they are using social media and answer your questions directly.
Our panel moderator, Mat Beech of Shoe String, will facilitate the Q&A.
If you're starting out in business and want to make it work this is the perfect seminar for you to learn from serial entrepreneurs, have your questions answered and network with likeminded business owners.
So expect to learn:
What you get for your ticket:
Don't miss out, tickets are limited, book your tickets now.
This event is being hosted by She Inspires at The Rocks Pop-Up in the charming and inspiring Pop-Up shop located at:
Shop 4, 27 Nurses Walk, The Rocks - behind Appetito Italian Restaurant and access from George St via the heritage walkway.
Starting at 5.30pm for 6.00pm for registration and networking
Panel discussion is 6.30pm - 7.30pm with audience questions
Finishing by 8.30pm
Thursday 27th September
Tickets are $45 per person Early Bird tickets $36 – but don't forget! Get your 25% off the ticket discount, don't forget to use the promotional code: mb09shoe
Tickets are transferable to events later in the calendar if you find you suddenly can't make it.
Payment is via PayPal and Stella Online Media (parent of She Inspires).
Twitter and Facebook
The Twitter hashtag is #sheinspiresbiz
Twitter handle is @she_inspires
She Inspires on Facebook www.facebook.com/sheinspires.com.au
About Our Panel
Mat Beeche of Shoe String
Mat Beeche is the Founder of The Shoe String Media Group and the Publisher of ShoeString.com.au - He is a Commentator and Blogger on the Aussie startup scene, penning monthly columns for MYOB and Kochie's Business Builders at Yahoo!7. You can follow Mat on twitter @shoestringmedia
Catherine Eibner of Microsoft
Catherine is a Technical Evangelist at Microsoft Australia looking after helping companies understand and adopt Azure, Microsoft's Cloud Computing platform. She is also currently the Australian Advocate for the Microsoft BizSpark program. BizSpark is designed to fast track the success of early stage technology companies by offering software, support & opportunities to increase visibility. Having successfully built and sold her own business prior to joining Microsoft, Catherine continues to actively contribute to the Australian Startup Ecosystem outside of her role at Microsoft.
Fiona Anson of Hire Me Up
Always looking for opportunity, in 2011 Fiona started her current business, HireMeUp, a national job website, specialising in the global growing market for part time work and to fill an existing empty market niche. In less than a year, she has driven it to becoming the fastest growing job board in Australia and, in May 2012, she took out a national pitching award which saw her and her business partner sent to Silicon Valley to showcase her business to the largest investor forum in the world with a view of taking this business global.
Now being re-invented as a world first mobile platform for the part time market, HireMeUp is poised to turn the online job search world on it's head with a release planned in late 2012. In just twelve short months, HireMeUp and its work experience community initiative, 1000 Jobs in 1000 Hours, has been featured on a continuous basis nationally in the media, on the internet and on the Kyle and Jackie O show on the Austereo network.
Jane Lu of Show Pony Fashion
Jane Lu is the Chief Executive Pony at Show Pony Fashion. With a sincere passion for women's fashion online and entrepreneurship, Jane started her own online retail store in September 2010. Since then, Jane Lu's Show Pony Fashion has revolutionized the women's fashion online scene, by creating an online destination with a core emphasis on the individuality and uniqueness of every woman.
Since September 2010, Jane Lu has gone onto opening up Show Pony's flagship store in the Sydney Westfield. Jane has also been a Sydney Business Award Finalist in 2011, and was awarded The Australian Small Business Championship in 2012.
More information about our presenters is online at She Inspires Seminar Presenters.