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October 2015

launchgroup.com.au > Blog > 2015 > October
30 Oct

Steve Baxter on ‘Boosting High-Impact Entrepreneurship in Australia’

by launch-admin Oct 30, 2015 0 News


MEDIA RELEASE


Australia 30 October 2015: Queensland investor and entrepreneur, Steve Baxter, today recognised Spike Innovation’s strategic report titled ‘Boosting High-Impact Entrepreneurship in Australia,’ as an insightful look into the entrepreneurial scene in Australia’s university sector.

 

Mr Baxter, founder of Brisbane’s co-working community and startup hub, River City Labs, said he strongly agreed that it is vital that entrepreneurship forms part of the fabric of Australian universities.

 

“The report echoes my previous views on this topic; that what we really need from universities is for them to churn out a large number of graduates who possess sophisticated technical skills and who are entrepreneurially enthusiastic.

 

“It’s not good enough that we produce university students with remarkable tech minds. They need to be able to form and develop the right entrepreneurial skills and attitudes to put these tech abilities to good use and go out and build their own startup,” Mr Baxter said.

 

Mr Baxter said he believed a crucial component of the report is that it shines a light on the relationship between government funding and university research.

 

“My view on the topic of government funding and the research sector is no secret – it is well past time that we rethink or rejuvenate the current approach. I think the report testifies to this point by explaining that the process by which the government allocates funding to Australian universities fails to take into account the economic impact of that research. This mindset is nonsensical.”

 

Mr Baxter commented that while universities are the start of the funnel rather than being an end-game in their own right.

 

“As the report suggests, universities certainly have a role to play in the entrepreneurial space but they need to shake up their current models. This is a top-down approach, which begins with a shift in attitude at the board level.

 

We need to see universities incorporating valid entrepreneurship courses as part of their offering to all students, particularly those studying STEM-related degrees. These should be delivered by external, experienced entrepreneurs – people who have actually gone out and done it, and know the ropes,” Mr Baxter said.

 

“We also need to make sure that the government does not lose sight of the entire deal flow pipeline – immersing students into the combined tech and entrepreneurial space from the earliest stages of education is vital.

 

“Providing ongoing support for accelerators, co-working spaces and community programs that foster tech startups is also pivotal. This is the most effective and pragmatic way to ensure a consistent, national approach to entrepreneurship and boosting the startup ecosystem.”

 

-ENDS-

 

Media Contacts:

Laura Blue laurab@launchgroup.com.au 02 9492 1000 / 0416 699 925

 

About Steve Baxter

Steve Baxter is one of Australia’s most successful tech entrepreneurs, and an active investor and mentor to startups. Steve is an active supporter of Australia’s and Queensland’s startup eco-system, as a founding board member of advocacy group StartupAUS, the founder of Brisbane co-working community River City Labs, and the mission leader for Startup Catalyst. http://www.stevebaxter.com.au

23 Oct

MULTI CHANNEL NETWORK TO REPRESENT CNN INTERNATIONAL’S DIGITAL ASSSETS IN AUSTRALIA

by launch-admin Oct 23, 2015 0 News

New MCN sales representation agreement provides 

1.7 million monthly premium video starts for brands seeking affluent consumers

 

 

Monday, 12 October 2015:  CNN International has appointed Multi Channel Network (MCN) to represent its digital assets in Australia. The CNN digital portfolio includes CNN.com, CNN Money and associated mobile apps.

 

The representation agreement covers video, display, integrated partnerships and programmatic sales across all of CNN’s key verticals including sport, travel, technology, money, world, style and entertainment.

 

Sunita Rajan, Vice President, CNN Advertising Sales Asia Pacific: “When it comes to CNN’s global digital audience map, Australia is the second largest international market outside of the U.S. CNN’s continued investment in digital is clear through key verticals such as CNN Travel, CNN Money, and CNN Style and through content partnerships such as Snapchat and the new Apple News app. We are incredibly excited about delivering new opportunities to such a critical market.”

 

CNN digital is at the forefront of news delivery and meeting rising consumer demand for mobile and video news, resulting in 1.7 million video starts in Australia every month. This complements MCN’s growing focus on video and will ensure an enhanced advertising proposition for premium brands.  

 

Tori Benzie, Head of Multiply Integration Digital, MCN: “CNN delivers a premium audience which is constantly growing both online and across mobileThis means fresh and targeted opportunities for brands seeking to reach a high quality, affluent and professional audience. We are very excited about bringing this digital brand offering to our Australian advertising partners and clients.”

 

In Australia, CNN International currently works with clients such as Telstra, ANZ, Microsoft, Prada, Mercedes, and Maserati. 

 

-Ends-

 

Source: Adobe Reports & Analytics, May-Jul’15 monthly average

 

 

Further information: 

 

MULTI CHANNEL NETWORK

Fleur Brown, Launch Group 

Fleur@launchgroup.com.au

+ 61 2 9492 1000 / + 61 (0) 419 270 863

 

CNN

Penelope Heath

Penelope.heath@cnn.com

+852 3128 3538+852 6323 7674

 

About MCN: MCN is a joint venture between Foxtel and FOX SPORTS. MCN is responsible for the advertising interests of 15 capital-city free-to-air channels from Ten Network, 70 subscription television channel brands across Foxtel, 118 premium digital publishers and online catch-up and streaming TV service tenplay. Additionally MCN represent 3 IPTV services, 19 Digital-Out-Of-Home-TV screens within in major retail centres, plus advertising integration on Qantas’ domestic and international in-flight entertainment service. MCN delivers an extraordinary combination of a high value national subscription television audience, with the fastest-growing free-to-air network, plus the largest broadcast-quality digital video network in Australia. MCN brings life to ideas, creating insight-driven communication solutions, which not only reach, but create a dialogue with consumers. Our world class data and trading platforms will make your campaign more targeted, more accountable and more powerful than ever before. For more information: www.MCN.com.au

 

About CNN International: CNN’s portfolio of news and information services is available in six different languages across all major TV, internet and mobile platforms reaching more than 395 million households around the globe, including over 56 million across the Asia Pacific region. CNN International is the number one international TV news channel according to all major media surveys across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, the Asia Pacific region and Latin America and has an increased presence in the U.S. with its recent launch on CNNgo. Over the years it has won multiple prestigious awards around the world for its journalism, including most recently the Asian Television Award Cable & Satellite Network and Channel of the Year, and is a two-time winner of Royal Television Society News Channel of the Year. CNN Digital is a top network for online news, mobile news and social media. CNN has 41 editorial offices and more than 1,100 affiliates worldwide through CNN Newsource. CNN International is part of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company. Get the latest social media updates from CNN at: facebook.com/cnninternational @cnnasiapr

19 Oct

QLD’s highest profile startup investment event returns

by launch-admin Oct 19, 2015 0 News



MEDIA RELEASE

 

Australia, October 15 2015: Startup hub and co-working community, River City Labs, has today announced the five finalists selected to pitch their startups to a room full of investors at Queensland’s highest profile startup investment event, RiverPitch. Sponsored by Australia’s largest retail stockbroking network, Morgans, RiverPitch will take place on Wednesday 21 October.

 

The five startup teams underwent a rigorous, live pitching session at River City Labs as part of the selection process, and will receive the opportunity to pitch in front of some of Australia’s most reputable investors, including Black Sheep Capital and RiverPitch founder, Steve Baxter.

 

Daniel Gavel, Director of Black Sheep Capital, commented: “Black Sheep is always supportive of initiatives that help showcase startups as well as build the early stage investment ecosystem in Brisbane.

 

“The past few events have been well supported and attended, so it also provides the chance to network and build new relationships. Black Sheep invests in startups that stand out – and RiverPitch is the place to see them on show in Brisbane,” Mr Gavel said.

 

The five RiverPitch finalists are:

1.     YourGrocer | yourgrocer.com.au  | Home delivery from the local shops you love

2.     Way We Do | waywedo.com | A cloud based standard operating procedures software

3.     Fewzion | fewzion.com | Like Atlassian, but for blue collar workforces

4.     MOVUS | movus.com.au | The Fitbit for industrial equipment, called FitMachine

5.     CarHood | carhood.com.au | A market place for people to share and rent out their own vehicle to other members of the community

General Manager at River City Labs, Peta Ellis, said: “The interest shown by investors in the teams that pitched at June’s RiverPitch event should serve as incentive for the five startups to step up and really give it all they’ve got, and also for new investors to come along and network with this up and coming talent.”

 

Christ Titley, Senior Adviser at Morgans, said: “Morgans is delighted to continue our sponsorship of the RiverPitch event for a second time. Over the past six months we have continued to see further investment in the technology sector as well as broader based efforts to accelerate investment in this sector. As one of Australia’s largest full service stockbroking firms, with a head office based in Brisbane, we are delighted to provide assistance to these entrepreneurs on a local level and aid them on their journey to success.

 

“We believe Brisbane will continue to produce some truly successful companies within this sector and RiverPitch is an ideal platform for them to showcase their outstanding ideas. Steve Baxter and his team have done a fabulous job at River City Labs thus far, aiding and promoting innovation and we believe the resources and collaboration of ideas within a centralized hub is critical to continue to produce world-class businesses. We look forward to continual engagement.”

 

RiverPitch is a bi-yearly event that brings together investment-ready teams with actual investors in order to help get the ideas funded. The event aims to provide a different approach to capital funding by bringing together pre-screened investors and pre-screened entrepreneurs in a social environment.

 

Investors who are looking to invest in tech startups are encouraged to purchase their tickets to join the Morgans Sponsored RiverPitch event at: http://riverpitch.com/investors/

 

– Ends –

 

 

Media Contacts

Laura Blue, Launch Group                                                                                                                                

E: laurab@launchgroup.com.au | M: + 61 416 699 925| T: +612 9492 1000.

 

About RiverPitch

RiverPitch is a bi-yearly event that brings together pre-screened investors and pre-screened entrepreneurs in a social environment where developed ideas can be pitched. This invite only event brings together investment-ready ideas (and teams) with actual investors in order to help get the ideas funded. RiverPitch is supported by a community of investors formed to help the early stage and startup sector access funding. RiverPitch aims to provide a different approach to capital funding and de-formalise the search for the next investment.

 

About Morgans

Morgans is Australia’s largest national full-service retail stockbroking and wealth management network with over 300,000 clients, 500 authorised representatives and 850 staff operating from more than 60 offices in all states and territories. They have an award-winning research team, providing research on a wide range of ASX listed companies and regular market updates.

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14 Oct

River City Labs announces winner of Startup Weekend Brisbane Women event

by launch-admin Oct 14, 2015 0 News


MEDIA RELEASE

 

Brisbane, 13 October 2015: Startup hub and co-working community River City Labs has announced that car wash service startup, airSponge, has taken out RCL’s inaugural Startup Weekend Brisbane Women event.

 

Launched in just 54 hours by business partners, Areej Alsheikh and Amin Bazzaz, airSponge connects people wanting to get their car washed for a set price with people in the vicinity willing to come and wash it for them. 

 

Areej Alsheikh, Co-Founder of airSponge, said: “Startup Weekend Brisbane Women was one of the most enriching experiences for my business partner, Amin and I. It was a bit intimidating at first not knowing what to expect, however as soon as we dove into the project, the adrenaline started pumping and we were able to complete one milestone after the other. The weekend was so much fun, incredibly useful, and very well organised.”

 

For winning Startup Weekend Brisbane Women, airSponge took away a $4000 business package from accounting firm, Hanrick Curran.

 

Ms Alsheikh added: “The next major step for airSponge involves redeeming the prize by getting consultancy on our business structure – we plan to register our business in the near future and will potentially be joining a startup accelerator program.”

 

Peta Ellis, General Manager of River City Labs, said: “We saw a promising turn out at our first Startup Weekend Brisbane event for women. It was so great to see these ladies in an environment where they felt comfortable enough to just go for it – the airSponge team is certainly testament to that.”

 

“On a personal level, it was incredibly reassuring to see how much support the wider startup community threw behind the organisation and running of the event. My hat goes off to all those who came down to be part of it and assist in getting these startup teams’ ideas off the ground.”

 

CUA General Manager of Business Transformation and Technology, Sue Coulter, was a panel judge at Startup Weekend Brisbane Women and said there were some strong ideas pitched by participants.

Ms Coulter commented: “While it is good to have a dedicated platform for women to pitch their ideas, the message is very much to keep going. Now they have experience at this kind of event, we want to see them take part in other startup events involving both men and women.

 

“CUA also gained valuable insight into the agile and fast-moving mentality adopted by startups, and how it might be possible to apply the same principles in a larger organisation.”

 

Startup Weekend Brisbane Women is an event focused on empowering, fostering and mentoring female startup companies and inspiring them to take risks and develop innovative thinking.

 

 

-ENDS-

 

Media Contact:

Laura Blue laurab@launchgroup.com.au 02 9492 1000 / 0416 699 925

 

 

About River City Labs:

River City Labs is Brisbane’s premier co-working community and central clubhouse for tech startups. They are a not-for-profit organisation aimed at fostering Queensland’s startup ecosystem.

 

Current membership sits at over 100 members ranging from early stage startups and founders to established startups and entrepreneurs who have successfully raised capital in the last 18 months.

 

River City Labs focuses on providing the right environment for entrepreneurs to make valuable contacts while learning from peers, mentors and industry experts helping them to connect, work and grow. 

 

About Startup Weekend Brisbane:

Startup Weekend Brisbane is an intense 54 hour event where a community of local entrepreneurs, business startup enthusiasts, web and software developers, designers and marketing gurus collaboratively participate in all stages of the startup process, including pitching, business model creation, coding, designing and market validation.

 

About Startup Weekend:

Startup Weekend is a global network of passionate leaders and entrepreneurs on a mission to inspire, educate, and empower individuals, teams and communities.

 

6 Oct

River City Labs launches Startup Weekend Brisbane Women

by launch-admin Oct 6, 2015 0 News

MEDIA RELEASE 

River City Labs urges women to get amongst it and launch their startup in 54 hours

 

Brisbane, 23 September 2015: Startup hub and co-working community River City Labs has announced that registrations to partake in their first ever Startup Weekend Women event (9-11 October) are now open, with female techs, disruptors, marketers and innovators encouraged to join the expansive cohort of entrepreneurs participating in the global brand movement, Startup Weekend.

 

Following on from the success of River City Lab’s Startup Weekend Brisbane in June, which saw a record-number of 200 people attend the opening night, this female-focused event is aimed at empowering, fostering and mentoring female startup companies in a collaborative environment and inspiring them to take risks and develop innovative thinking.


Marina Paronetto, Founder and CEO of Powerhousehq, commented: “Startup Weekend Brisbane Women is a win-win opportunity for all parties involved. Not only does it help in building a bridge for those women who might not ordinarily feel comfortable partaking in a startup event, the startup community itself benefits as its been found that having women and men working together on a startup actually yields better results and higher chances of success.”

 

Startup Weekend Brisbane Women offers participants the opportunity to engage in all stages of the startup experience, from pre-pitching their own startup, to collaboratively working in teams to design and launch a final product, to evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of their startup with local entrepreneurial leaders.

 

Peta Ellis, General Manager of River City Labs, said: “We are really excited to be launching our first startup event tailored to women. We are certainly not discouraging men’s involvement by any means – The overarching goal however is to empower women to have a go and to unleash their skills and ideas around design, development and creation in order to better facilitate their startup growth.”

 

An expert panel of entrepreneurial leaders will judge the final pitches, with prize packages being awarded to the standout startups. Live tweets across the weekend can be found by following the official @swbne account and the #SWBNEwomen hashtag.

 

To access the Startup Weekend Brisbane Women schedule, head to:

http://www.up.co/communities/australia/queensland/startup-weekend/7123

 

-ENDS-

 

Media Contact:

 

Laura Blue laurab@launchgroup.com.au” class=”” >laurab@launchgroup.com.au 02 9492 1000 / 0416 699 925

 

 

About River City Labs:

River City Labs is Brisbane’s premier co-working community and central clubhouse for tech startups. They are a not-for-profit organisation aimed at fostering Queensland’s startup ecosystem.

 

Current membership sits at over 100 members ranging from early stage startups and founders to established startups and entrepreneurs who have successfully raised capital in the last 18 months.

 

River City Labs focuses on providing the right environment for entrepreneurs to make valuable contacts while learning from peers, mentors and industry experts helping them to connect, work and grow. 

 

About Startup Weekend Brisbane:

Startup Weekend Brisbane is an intense 54 hour event where a community of local entrepreneurs, business startup enthusiasts, web and software developers, designers and marketing gurus collaboratively participate in all stages of the startup process, including pitching, business model creation, coding, designing and market validation.

 

About Startup Weekend:

Startup Weekend is a global network of passionate leaders and entrepreneurs on a mission to inspire, educate, and empower individuals, teams and communities.

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6 Oct

River City Labs raises investment fund for its inaugural accelerator program, powered by muru-D

by launch-admin Oct 6, 2015 0 News


MEDIA RELEASE


Brisbane, 1 October, 2015: Startup hub and coworking community River City Labs has today announced it has successfully raised and closed an investment fund totalling $150K, to sit behind its inaugural, three-month ‘River City Labs Accelerator’ program, powered by muru-D.

 

Twelve local investors have contributed to the fund, including several mentors and advisors from the Accelerator program, as well as angel investors and investment fund managers, Black Sheep Capital and Blue Sky Venture Capital.

 

Entrepreneur In Residence for the program, Aaron Birkby, said: The interest shown in the investment fund was incredible, with new investors wanting to come on board even after the funding round had closed. It has allowed us to activate new, invaluable relationships with angel investors and will give us the opportunity to further collaborate with Blue Sky Funds as they’ve now volunteered their services to manage the fund.

 

“I have no doubt that incentivising investment for future programs will be even easier as the Brisbane ecosystem continues to grow from strength to strength,” Mr Birkby added.

 

Founder of River City Labs, and one of the fund’s investors, Steve Baxter, said: “What an encouraging sign for both the community here at River City Labs and the wider Brisbane startup scene. The success of this capital raise over such a short period of time is testament to the quality of the five startups – I have high expectations for all the teams involved in the Accelerator program and am looking forward to seeing what level they are at following the completion of the program.”

 

The five startups participating in the ‘River City Labs Accelerator’ program are:

 

·       ProcessPA – Software­as­a­service that takes all the anxiety and time out of your minutes, motions and meetings for School Parent Bodies and Incorporated Associations.

·       GreenSocks – The easiest way to get your lawn mowed by people who want to make money, mowing lawns.

·       Outbound – Provides a simple, efficient and safe social network for travellers to connect.

·       ParkFit – The mobile app that helps you discover nearby crowd-sourced and publicly available workout structures, making it easy to workout outdoors for free.

·       Puntaa – A peer-to-peer social betting platform, allowing custom bets between friends on anything, social sharing of those bets, and bets to be paid out, all on mobile.

 

Each startup began their 14-week residency at River City Labs earlier in September, receiving $20,000 of seed investment funding upon their commencement ($10,000 each from River City Labs fund and muru-D). Those teams that meet their traction targets following the completion of their residency will receive a further $20,000 in funding from the River City Labs fund.

 

For more information head to: http://accelerator.rivercitylabs.net/

 

– END –

 

Media Contact

Laura Blue, Launch Group                                                                                                                                

E: laurab@launchgroup.com.au | M: + 61 416 699 925| T: +612 9492 1000.

 

 

About River City Labs

River City Labs is Brisbane’s premier co-working community and central clubhouse for tech startups. They are a not-for-profit organisation aimed at fostering Queensland’s startup ecosystem.

 

Current membership sits at over 100 members ranging from early stage startups and founders to established startups and entrepreneurs who have successfully raised capital in the last 18 months.

 

River City Labs focuses on providing the right environment for entrepreneurs to make valuable contacts while learning from peers, mentors and industry experts helping them to connect, work and grow. 

 

About muru-D

muru-D is a startup accelerator backed by Telstra that provides support for the best tech entrepreneurial talent in the Asian Pacific region. By providing mentoring, tailored acceleration services and investment to early stage startups, muru-D’s goal is to help Australia and South East Asia become a centre of digital business.

 

6 Oct

International students drawn to big savings with Cohortpay

by launch-admin Oct 6, 2015 0 News


MEDIA RELEASE

 

Australia, 29 September 2015: Holistic education services provider, Cohort Solutions, continues to expand global networks, announcing that its payment platform Cohortpay now offers local payment options in 60 countries across Europe, Africa, Asia and North and South America. Additionally, Cohort Solution’s 15,000 strong user base is set to accelerate with the newly added capability of servicing students studying in New Zealand.

 

Cohortpay offers significant savings to some 600,000 international students enrolled in Australia each year by converting their Australian dollar tuition fees at a low foreign exchange rate while eliminating extra fees and charges.

 

Mark Fletcher, CEO of Cohort Solutions, said: “Cohortpay offers significantly lower foreign exchange rates on tuition fee payments for the many international students studying in Australia. Cohortpay’s services allow students to make tuition payments in their local currency, and remove international money transfer fees from the equation.

 

“Some of our students studying medicine in Melbourne for example, are paying over AUD$75,000 per annum for a four-year course. When compared to costs charged by their banks at home, some of these students are saving over AUD$11,000 using Cohortpay. With these sorts of savings in mind, we expect a successful expansion into the New Zealand market will bring exciting growth, with payments already being enabled and future deals in the making.”

 

Cohortpay is secure and easy for international students to use, allowing tracking of their payments in real-time via a personalised dashboard.

 

“With growing confidence and awareness of the brand, Cohort Solutions envisions users will adopt multiple complimentary products tailored to international students, including health insurance, short-term accommodation, transportation, and a mobile sim card, to maximise their savings and ease their transition into a student’s life in Australia and New Zealand,” Mr Fletcher added.   

 

For a detailed breakdown of Cohortpay’s services and features, visit: https://cohortpay.com or to learn more about Cohort Solution’s complimentary products visit: http://cohortsolutions.com

 

Media Contacts

 

Laura Blue, Launch Group                                                                                              

E: laurab@launchgroup.com.au | M: + 61 416 699 925| T: +612 9492 1000.

 

About Cohort Solutions

Cohort Solution’s innovative vision is to reduce the cost of international education by decreasing the cost of tuition for international students; and to provide value-enhancing products for service providers in the international education industry. Cohort Solutions currently services customers in 135 countries worldwide. For more information: http://cohortsolutions.com

 

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