Our local Mobile MVP & BizSpark Network Partner James McCutcheon of foundry 38 recently interviewed Mark Pickering from Performance Design (www.performancedesign.com.au), which is a local BizSpark company that builds performance tools for RX-8.
EP2: Getting to Know ... Performance Design from James McCutcheon on Vimeo.
If you are a Marketing person who can give advice to Mark – and in turn other BizSpark partners – let either myself or James know!
With several successful Microsoft BizSpark Incubation Weeks under our belt (Azure Atlanta, Win7 Boston, Win7 Reston, CRM Reston, CRM Boston, Win 7 Irvine, Mobility Mountain View,), we are pleased to announce Microsoft BizSpark Camp for Windows Azure in Sydney! We hope you’re tapping into the growing global BizSpark community & Local one as well.
The current economic downturn is putting many entrepreneurs under increasing pressure, making it critical to find new resources and ways to reduce costs and inefficiencies. Microsoft BizSparkCamp for Windows Azure is designed to offer following assistance to entrepreneurs.
We are inviting nominations from BizSpark Startups interested in Windows Azure Platform that target one or more of the following:
The Microsoft BizSparkCamp for Windows Azure will be held in Sydney on Saturday the 10th of April ending on Sunday the 11th. This event consists of ½ day of training, 1 day of active prototype/development time, and ½ day for packaging/finishing and reporting out to a panel of judges for various prizes.
This event is a no-fee event (plan your own travel expenses) and each team can bring 3 participants (1 business and 1 – 2 developer). It is required to have at least 1 developer as part of your team. To nominate your team, please submit the following details to Catherine Eibner (preferably via your BizSaprk Sponsor) no later than Thursday the 1st April 2010. Nominations will be judged according to the strength of the founding team, originality and creativity of the idea, and ability to leverage Windows Azure Scenarios.
As part of your BizSpark program, you receive access to many great tools & resources, including access to the Developer suite of tools. Knowing how to best use these tools can help to make your Application Development Cycle more efficient & your application far more robust.
Learning how to best use these to manage your Application Lifecycle & Development tools with sessions featuring some of Australia’s best known presenters on topics around Agile development processes, using Sketchflow, working with SharePoint Projects, Testing, Project Management, Mobile development and much more…
Even more exciting is that the event kicks off with the official Australian Launch of Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4.0. This is the premier Keynote event and should not be missed.
So, don't miss out! Click here to Register now for the Australian ALM Conference, being held at Luna Park in Sydney on the 13-14th of April!
Our local Mobile MVP & BizSpark Network Partner James McCutcheon of foundry 38 recently interviewed Dale Cameron from Designerholic, a local start up business & BizSpark member. He has posted the VidCast on Vimeo here: http://vimeo.com/9723541
Getting to know ... Designerholic Episode 1 from James McCutcheon on Vimeo.
Michelle Williams and Mick Liubinskas from Pollenizer have been lucky enough to convince Eric Ries to stop over in Sydney on his return from WebStock so that he can share some of his valuable insight on Start Ups & help kick off the Lean Startup Circle.
Eric has some great experience and advice for people building startups and web businesses on how to build them lean and mean. He writes a lot about customer development, and his experience of applying it (and NOT applying it) at real startups he was a part of.
So if you are in Sydney on the 1st of March, then I strongly suggest you book yourself a ticket & get along to hear the stories & met other locals in the start up/web space.
Today I caught up with Jayantha Ekenayake, President of Australian based technology company Cerebiz to talk about his company’s Cloud Solution that provides Business intelligence & collaboration for Small to Medium Enterprises (SME), “cerebiz on-demand” www.cerebiz.com.
It all started with a conversation Jayantha had with well known IT industry figure Peter Kazacos in which Peter said, ‘if someone can come up with a low cost simple to use BI in the Cloud it would really suit the SME market’. And so the idea for Cerebiz was born. By drawing on the background of its founders in the Business Intelligence (BI) Industry with products such as ProClarity, Microsoft Performance Point and their own Business Intelligence application the company was able to quickly identify the need for a strong, but easy to use BI offering to support the many MYOB users in Australia.
The result is Cerebiz-on-Demand, which is built on Microsoft Windows Server environment, using SharePoint, SQL Server, .Net 3.5 and Silverlight technologies to provide customers a quick, powerful, low cost and easy to use solution. Cerebiz-on-Demand empowers SME companies to gain low cost subscription based access to Business Intelligence & Collaboration tools via the Cloud.
As per the screenshots, you can see key features of the solution which includes:
But none of this would have happened if the BizSpark program was not available. As with many start-ups, there was limited cash flow & a barrier of cost of entry to gain access to the tooling required to build both the infrastructure required to house such a solution, as well as the developer tools to build the application. For Cerebiz, the BizSpark Program was their key enabler. By signing up to BizSpark, Cerebiz received access to their MSDN Premium subscription, which was the enabler, but as Jayantha pointed out, “having access to the Help Desk team when we hit a problem, has proven to be invaluable!”.
So as Cerebiz-On-Demand continues to grow and extend the solution to cover other Accounting packages such as Microsoft Dynamics GP as well as custom SME applications it is great to know that they will continue to utilise the BizSpark program
BizSpark is a great program to get you access to the tools to build you application – but what if you need to get extra funding to take it to the next level?
The great news is that its not just Microsoft that sees the potential in this space. The Australian Government also sees great opportunities in the Australian Start Up Community & so have put together a program to help nurture and grow it.
The Australian Government Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research have announced their $196.1 million initiative called Commercialisation Australia. They are now taking applications to provide funding and support to convert ideas into successful commercial realities and create high-skill, high-wage jobs.
The idea is that by providing funding & support, great ideas will flourish into growing businesses. This support could mean that our great entrepreneur community here in Australia, could really be the driver of successful commercialisation for Australia in the years to come.
The program combines hands-on assistance around specialist advice and services, proof of concept and early stage commercialisation activities. Successful applicants work with a case manager & also gain access to business mentors.
Commercialisation Australia is a merit based, competitive assistance program that offers:
So if you want to get the ball rolling, Apply NOW! Complete a Pre-Application Form as the first step in applying for assistance.
Download a Pre-Application Form
After the great success of both Start Up camp 1 & 2, its now time to get ready for Silicon Beach, Start Up Camp Number 3!
The event is on 19-21 Feb and will be once again held in Sydney.
Start Up Camp is an intensive 2 days (well 2 and a bit as it kicks off Friday Night) that covers creating a business idea, building a team, building a proof of concept & business plan, then even gives you the opportunity to pitch your idea to Venture Capital funders!
The main goal is to learn from each others experience and to get a chance to work with a new group of people and of course to have a lot of fun.
I have been fortunate enough to visit on the previous Start Up Camps & the pure energy, ideas & team work that i have seen is in itself inspiring.
Currently There is a requirement for people who have skills in the following areas:
Places are limited – so be quick & sign up here: http://sucs3.eventbrite.com/
Upcoming National Growth Summit is on In Sydney on the 17th & 18th of February.
The entire conference looks interesting, but I am inspired by the Workshops. The technology Workshop looks particularly interesting.
The PDF for the summit describes it as:
Technology to Drive Growth and Profitability In this highly interactive one-day workshop you will hear from leading experts who will help you build an IT framework and invest in the next stage of technology and systems for your business.
The one-day seminar will comprise of: • Case studies and expert presentations of highly successful businesses designed to illustrate real-world examples of best practices in the use of technology and processes to achieve goals • Keynote presentations by thought leaders taking an overview approach on hot topics and issues of the day • Demonstrations – how to/practical application of the latest technology • Round table discussions – an opportunity to interact with other business owners on their experiences with technology and ask the experts questions relevant to your business
It is great seeing many of our great local speakers and some of our BizSpark Partners covering some fantastic looking sessions:
8:30 - 9:10 FUTURETAINMENT – The New Media Revolution Mike Walsh, CEO of innovation research agency Tomorrow and leading authority on the digital future
9:10 - 9:30 Your Business Online: Growth and Depth Mick Liubinskas, Founder, Pollenizer
9:30 - 9:50 Using mobile phone technology to help your business grow Phillip Wise, Sales Director, Small & Medium Business, Optus
9:50 - 10:10 Mobile Ubiquity and the Smartphone Revolution: Getting on the Front Foot for Growth Tim Parsons, Director of Product Development, Quickflix.com.au
10:10 - 10:30 Wherever Your Customers are - Stay Connected Ben Swanson, Director Small to Medium Enterprise Solutions, Avaya
11:00 - 11:20 Web Software: Avoiding the Integration Hangover Geoff Mcqueen, Managing Director, Hiive Systems
11:20 - 11:40 CRM – Strategies, Systems and Data for World Domination Stephen Belfer, Managing Director, YTEchnics
11:40 - 12:00 Understanding the Search Engine Sam Shetty, Online Business Advisor, Netregistry
12:00 - 12:20 Engagement Marketing Kate Carruthers, Digital Business Group Pty Ltd
12:20 - 12:40 How to ‘Webinar’ Your Way to Success Michael “MC” Carter, Co-founder, Business Fitness
12:40 - 1:00 An Insider’s Guide to Evaluating Technology Tim Molloy, General Manager, MYOB
1:45 - 2:05 Cluetrains, Conversations, Trust and Openness Stephen Collins, Founder, acidlabs
I am booking my seat there now!
I know how much we all love these intense weekend camps and when a week ago I met one of the organisers of the upcoming Australian Social Innovation Camp – I immediately thought it would be one that all the lovely BizSpark Partners should know about!
Its happening in 37 days and as the website describes, its going to be One intense weekend - Several society-changing projects - Technology based solutions.
Where: UNSW CBD Campus - Sydney When: March 5-7 2010 How can I be part of it?:
There is an Ideas Generation Meetup this afternoon at the Powerhouse Museum – also a great way to get involved & start contributing…
Not in Sydney & still want to be involved – Dont worry – you can submit your idea & if its selected, there is a limited budget to help the owners of the ideas selected with their travelling expenses. (Note: Participants of the camp from other cities will have to cover their travelling expenses.)
There are some great ideas online already – so have a look, submit your idea & contribute to building great society changing projects!
Members of the BizSpark Startup program, are invited to an upcoming event on the Gold Coast that could help you accelerate the success of your business.
BizSpark Innovation Academy – Gold Coast is a special training program that offers a fast, no-cost way to develop the expertise you need to:
· Gain competitive advantage
· Design and execute software products/services the market wants
· Plan for international marketing and channel promotion
The program’s key components are based on more than four years of specific business training delivered to ISVs and system integrators in 18 countries.
Learn how to plan for growth and better manage your business, with training including:
· Sales and marketing
· Channel development
· Business planning
· Financial management
Share best practice methodologies for managing and executing software development projects.
Provides access to product- and platform- specific training, online or delivered through the Microsoft Innovation Centres.
The program’s key components are based on more than four years of specific business training delivered to ISVs and system integrators in 18 countries in different economic and market maturity stages which have discovered that software companies struggle to keep up with the pace of technology change and could benefit from adopting a proactive business strategy to realize their full potential.
Most startups have the technical know-how to build applications and services, but many lack other skills necessary to gain the competitive advantage in their targeted value chain, to design and execute software products/services, and to plan for international marketing and channel promotion. A key mix of business, technology and operations knowledge is essential to grow these companies. Innovation Academy fills the need for a training program that is adaptable across countries, regardless of that country’s maturity in the software industry and overall economic development.
Places are limited, so register now.
Date: 3 & 4 February 2010 Venue: Southern Cross University, Tweed Head Campus - Riverside Register now
Innovation Academy starts in January 2010 in 24 countries and will be expanded later for all BizSpark markets offering online and instructor-led training in conjunction with BizSpark Network Partners. The program will be available at no cost, with a fast execution model supported by local experts.
For more information on this and other training program visit: www.microsoftstartupzone.com/training
We will be using this site to regularly showcase some of the amazing solutions that our BizSpark partners are busily working away on!
We will also make sure to let you know about any upcoming events we are running - or ones that may be of interest if you are a supporter or participant of our ever growing Start Up Community here in Australia.
Just in case you don't know what BizSpark is - here's a post that describes it. It’s written by Catherine Eibner, who is one of our Local BizSpark Champs.
So stay tuned! Much more to come soon! :)