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28 Aug

Blue Knot Day Morning Tea hosted in support of adult survivors of childhood trauma and abuse

by launch-admin Aug 28, 2015 0 News

 ASCA and members of the community come together over morning tea, encouraging all Aussies to host their very own community event

 

Australia, August 27 2015: Adults Surviving Child Abuse (ASCA), on Thursday hosted the first Blue Knot Day Morning Tea for 2015 to encourage every-day Australians to host similar events in their community in the lead up to their national awareness day Blue Knot Day (Monday October 26 2015).

 

ASCA is the leading national organisation working to support the estimated five million adult survivors of childhood trauma and abuse in Australia[1]. This year’s Blue Knot Day is focussed on highlighting the instrumental role of diverse groups and communities in helping survivors to recover. That’s why ASCA hosted their own community event – to urge Australians to do the same with friends, family, work colleagues and their own communities.

 

Recent research from ASCA’s 1300 professional support line showed the severe impact of childhood trauma and abuse on not only survivors but also those close to them. From 4,000 callers to the 1300 line in the prior year, 50 per cent of survivors reported that their relationships with their immediate families were affected, 35 per cent reported impacts on their relationships with their partners and 18 per cent on parenting.

 

Earlier this year ASCA released a ground-breaking report which showed that as a nation, Australia could save a minimum of $9.1 billion annually by addressing the impacts of unresolved childhood trauma and abuse in adults. The report presented the annual cost per those affected for four of the major challenges faced by adult survivors of childhood trauma: alcohol abuse, mental health issues, obesity and suicide/attempted suicide.

 

President of ASCA, Dr Cathy Kezelman AM, said the importance of the community in the recovery of the one in four adults living with the effects of childhood trauma and abuse in Australia couldn’t be underestimated.

 

“Our research details the immense impact of all forms of childhood trauma across the community, not only survivors themselves. This stresses the importance of Blue Knot Day, for survivors in the first instance but also for Australia as a whole.

 

“Our Blue Knot Day Morning Tea demonstrates the role of the community and of ASCA uniting towns and cities across Australia to make them safer and more supportive. From our research we know that recovery is possible; we want to provide everyone the opportunity to contribute. That’s why we have created plenty of other ways for people within the community to get involved,” Dr Kezelman said.

 

They include:

·       Host a blue event, such as a morning or afternoon tea

·       Purchase Blue Knot Day merchandise including friendship bracelets and pins

·        Engage in an activity to help raise funds through sponsorship and donations

·       Volunteer and join our generous supporters across the country to help raise awareness and support those adults living with the effects of childhood trauma and abuse

·       Donate and turn your dollars blue. Your donation will help!

·       Get involved on social media using the official Blue Knot Day hashtag #BKD2015

All public Blue Knot Day events will be registered online so people across Australia who want to attend an event can either access information about one or choose to host their own if no event is listed in their area. To register an event or activity, and/or to fundraise fill out the application form online or contact ASCA via email on events@asca.org.au.

All funds raised will support the primary prevention work of ASCA through workshops for survivors, 1300 counselling support and specialist training for professionals and services.

 

Help and support is available from the ASCA professional support line on 1300 657 380, 9am-5pm Monday-Sunday.

– ENDS –

 

Media Contact:

Louise Proctor louise@launchgroup.com.au 02 9492 1000 / 0452 574 244

About ASCA: 

www.asca.org.au

ASCA is the leading national organisation supporting the estimated five million Australian adults who are survivors of childhood trauma, including abuse, their families and communities. ASCA provides hope, optimism and pathways to recovery for those affected.

At the forefront of pioneering trauma informed policy, practice and research, ASCA has been instrumental in supporting the work of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and people engaging with it. This includes the training of key workers and practitioners.

In 2012 ASCA released Practice Guidelines for Treatment of Complex Trauma and Trauma Informed Care and Service Delivery, a global first in setting the standards for clinical and organisational practice. In 2015 ASCA released an Economic Report, The Cost of Unresolved Childhood Trauma and Abuse in Adults in Australia, leading the conversation around the economic imperative of providing the right services for adult survivors.

Formed in 1995, ASCA provides a range of services including professional phone support with trauma informed counsellors, a referral database, resources, advocacy, research, educational workshops for survivors and family members, partners and loved ones, along with training, professional development and other services for workers, organisations and professionals, including those from health and legal sectors.

 



[1] Estimated from a range of key resources


18 Aug

ingogo launches Pay RIGHT AWAY mobile payment platform for SMEs

by launch-admin Aug 18, 2015 1 News


 
MEDIA RELEASE
 
ingogo launches Pay RIGHT AWAY mobile payment platform for SMEs
 
Australia; 13 August, 2015: Australian taxi app and mobile payment provider, ingogo, today announced that its highly anticipated wireless payment platform – Pay RIGHT AWAY – is now live as a fully viable commercial product for small-medium sized enterprises (SMEs).
 
Today’s launch fortifies ingogo’s expansion beyond the taxi industry and follows on from the initial pilot testing, which started in February 2015. The payment solution has now completed its beta trials and is ready to transform the way SMEs – such as tradesmen and small business owners – operate their business transactions by providing a fair and seamless mobile payment solution that improves cash flow while integrating with Xero’s global accounting platform. The system is available on iOS and Android.
 
The Pay RIGHT AWAY solution is the next stage in ingogo’s mission to revolutionise how businesses and consumers conduct payments, having already launched the world’s first app-based payment platform in October 2013, providing wireless terminals in taxis. To date, ingogo terminals have processed over $200 million and over five-million taxi transactions.
 
With on-the-spot payment processing and next day settlements, business owners will receive their money faster than ever before, as Pay RIGHT AWAY offers a flexible, time-effective way to improve business cash flow and reduce admin.
 
Payments from major credit and debit cards will be accepted, using contactless technology such as Tap&Go and PayWave, along with full EFTPOS chip & PIN or magstripe. Pay RIGHT AWAY’s integration with Xero minimises time-consuming administration by auto-reconciling settlements, managing payments transacted on-the-go and creating and sending automated and itemised invoices and receipts, all while integrating with Xero’s inventory management system.
 
Hamish Petrie, founder and CEO of ingogo, said: “We’re excited to announce that our Pay RIGHT AWAY platform is now live as a commercial model. The feedback from the initial integration and beta testing proved that this payment solution is long overdue in the SME market, as busy business owners don’t have the time or resources to manage their day-to-day invoicing and account collections.
 
“The partnership with Xero and integration of both our market leading mobile payment and accounting software creates a seamless blend of flexible, accessible technology that will streamline the payments process from start to finish.
 
“The service will provide owners with a tool to free themselves from unnecessary admin and spend less time chasing outstanding payments, and with no monthly terminal rental fees, the solution is completely cost-effective,” said Mr Petrie.
 
Chris Ridd, Managing Director of Xero Australia, said: “ingogo’s mobile point of sale system is another example of best-in-class technology providers choosing to launch fully integrated platforms with Xero. We’re excited to see a number of providers in each region building solutions to help Xero’s subscribers reduce the time it takes to get paid, and reconcile their transactions quickly through their accounting software.”
 
-Ends-
 
Media Contacts:
Sarah Bond sarahbond@launchgroup.com.au 02 9492 1041 or 0449 543 181
Laura Douglas laura@launchgroup.com.au 0452 505 859
 
About ingogo:
ingogo is an integrated mobile payments company, currently in the Taxi and SME markets in Australia. Its mobile app assists private and corporate customers to easily book and pay for taxis through their mobile phones. It allows passengers to communicate directly with registered taxi drivers in their local area, see where their driver is and their estimated arrival time, with the option to pay using ingogo’s secure in-taxi payment terminals or virtual mobile accounts. It currently operates in Sydney and Melbourne, and has recently launched in Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide. 
 
ingogo has extended its payment platform into other industries beyond taxis, for business owners and SMEs, via a partnership with Xero, the leading cloud accounting platform.
 
About Xero:                                                                                                  
Xero is beautiful, easy-to-use online accounting software for small businesses and their advisors. The company has 540,000 subscribers in more than 180 countries. Xero seamlessly integrates with over 400 third-party tools, and was ranked No. 1 by Forbes as the World’s Most Innovative Growth Company in 2014 and 2015.
 
About Pay RIGHT AWAY:
Pay RIGHT AWAY is a mobile payment solution ideal for SMEs, enabling small business owners to improve business cash flow as well as save on time and money. Available as a mobile application on iOS and Android, the system provides secure on-the-spot payment processing using contactless and EFTPOS technology, with users able to receive next day payment settlements as well as create and send receipts and invoices. Pay RIGHT AWAY is a Xero Add-on partner integrating with Xero’s inventory management system. 
 
 
18 Aug

Sydney houses achieve record annual growth as other markets retract

by launch-admin Aug 18, 2015 0 News


MEDIA RELEASE

Sydney houses achieve record annual growth as other markets retract 

Onthehouse.com.au Market Analyst Eliza Owen says Sydney and Melbourne markets continue to drive growth as other states fall behind

Australia, 3 August 2015: New research released today by Onthehouse.com.au revealed that Sydney’s housing market has documented a record high annual growth rate for the current housing boom, growing 20.36 per cent in the 12-month period to June 2015. This is the median rate of growth for all houses in the Sydney region, which stretches all the way from the Eastern Suburbs to the suburbs just before the Blue Mountains.

However, while growth in Sydney as a whole continues to excel, there are suburbs across the region that are outperforming the city’s median.

The following table demonstrates the top five growth suburbs in the year to June:

Sydney Houses

Suburb

Postcode

Median Value

Growth

June 2014 – June 2015

Last Quarter

Last Month

CHERRYBROOK

2126

$1,318,000

33.71%

9.56%

2.13%

EPPING

2121

$1,670,500

32.80%

8.47%

2.25%

HOMEBUSH

2140

$1,525,000

31.83%

7.39%

4.25%

CANLEY VALE

2166

$740,500

31.02%

9.18%

3.45%

DENISTONE

2114

$1,518,500

30.31%

11.82%

3.54%

Source: Onthehouse.com.au

In stark contrast, Perth recorded the worst performance across all Australian housing markets during the same annual period, falling by -1.05 per cent. However, the state’s unit market recorded a growth rate of 0.16 per cent, making it one of four areas where unit market annual growth rates exceeded their respective housing markets. 

Brisbane, Hobart and TAS Country made up the three other regions that recorded a stronger annual performance in their unit markets than their housing markets, documenting unit growth rates of 3.10 per cent, 5.93 per cent and 3.48 per cent, respectively. Darwin suffered the worst contraction in the unit market for the year, falling by -5.31 per cent.  

An Australia wide aggregation of the property market displayed strong annual growth overall, with 6.28 per cent for houses and 6.06 per cent for units, however, it is clear from the data that the Sydney market is the clear driver, with the current median house price of $993,500 falling just shy of the $1 million benchmark.

The following graph demonstrates the housing and unit market performance of each capital city in the 12 months to June 2015:




Source: Onthehouse.com.au

Market Analyst at Onthehouse.com.au, Eliza Owen, said: “Australia’s resource markets – Perth and Darwin – have both suffered a contraction in growth as the decline in volumes and values of iron ore are taking their toll. The impact of iron ore exports on these property markets is clear from available trading data, and unless the resource businesses based in Perth and the Northern Territory can sustain low prices for exports, I doubt there will be an improvement in these markets over the next few months. 

“Unlike the resource states, it is harder to identify the source of change in the Sydney and Melbourne markets. There are plenty of anecdotal reports claiming that foreign investment and baby boomer investors are driving up values – and while these factors may or may not be the cause of the current boom – there is currently no data available to prove this is the case,” continued Ms. Owen.

The following table demonstrates the June market performance for houses across Australia:

Houses

Area

Median Value

Growth

June 2014 – June 2015

Last Quarter

Last Month

Sydney

$993,500

20.36%

6.94%

3.37%

Melbourne

$682,000

8.11%

1.41%

0.48%

NSW Country

$407,000

7.95%

2.37%

0.84%

Australia

$498,500

6.28%

1.93%

1.46%

Hobart

$384,000

4.73%

2.48%

-0.05%

ACT

$554,000

4.33%

1.43%

1.10%

VIC Country

$352,000

3.65%

0.96%

0.71%

QLD Country

$391,000

3.39%

1.21%

0.48%

Brisbane

$480,500

2.82%

0.61%

-0.86%

Adelaide

$419,500

2.70%

-0.14%

-0.64%

TAS Country

$269,000

2.06%

1.65%

2.41%

SA Country

$255,500

0.72%

-3.02%

-1.07%

WA Country

$356,500

0.23%

1.94%

1.65%

Darwin

$562,500

-0.73%

-0.87%

1.46%

Northern Territory

$527,500

-0.95%

-1.94%

-0.21%

Perth

$525,500

-1.05%

0.26%

-0.69%

Source: Onthehouse.com.au

The following table demonstrates the June market performance for units across Australia:

Units

Area

Median Value

Growth

June 2014 – June 2015

Last Quarter

Last Month

Sydney

$656,000

15.44%

5.84%

3.24%

NSW Country

$340,500

7.34%

2.63%

1.36%

Australia

$462,000

6.06%

2.77%

2.10%

Hobart

$276,500

5.93%

1.61%

3.77%

TAS Country

$202,500

3.48%

1.77%

0.49%

Melbourne

$477,000

3.18%

1.55%

0.78%

Brisbane

$374,500

3.10%

1.06%

-0.52%

VIC Country

$265,000

2.36%

0.28%

0.21%

QLD Country

$322,500

1.83%

0.26%

-0.06%

Adelaide

$316,000

1.42%

0.38%

1.75%

ACT

$408,500

1.10%

2.12%

1.82%

Perth

$462,500

0.16%

3.66%

0.99%

SA Country

$229,500

-0.45%

-3.81%

2.77%

WA Country

$307,000

-2.65%

-3.42%

-2.52%

Northern Territory

$393,000

-3.66%

-1.66%

-2.34%

Darwin

$407,000

-5.31%

-2.32%

-2.33%

Source: Onthehouse.com.au

To learn more about Onthehouse.com.au’s State Market Reports head to www.Onthehouse.com.au

-ENDS-

Media contacts

Sarah Bond: E: sarah@launchgroup.com.au / T 02 9492 1041 / M 0449 543 181

Laura Blue: E laurab@launchgroup.com.au / T 02 9492 1000/ M 0416 699 925

About onthousehouse.com.au

www.Onthehouse.com.au is Australia’s most transparent and comprehensive real estate portal, empowering consumers to make informed property decisions by providing them with free access to information. Over 1.8 million unique visitors search for listings and view in-depth property data a month, making it Australia’s third most popular real estate platform. 

Onthehouse.com.au is the flagship consumer offering of Onthehouse Holdings (ASX:OTH), the 360-degree property market services group that provides comprehensive real estate agency solutions, information and analytics services. Onthehouse Holdings businesses together help over half of Australia’s real estate agencies, as well as being used by financial institutions and other property-related professionals. 

18 Aug

Eat healthy in the workplace with reality star Ash Pollard

by launch-admin Aug 18, 2015 2 News


MEDIA RELEASE 

Eat healthy in the workplace with reality star Ash Pollard

Melbourne, 4 August 2015: This year’s My Kitchen Rules (MKR) star and current Dancing With the Stars contestant, Ash Pollard, will be instilling healthy workplace eating habits into Melburnian professionals at Regus’ inaugural Workplace Wellness event on Wednesday, August 5.

Hosted by Regus, the flexible workplace provider, reality star Pollard will demonstrate a variety of quick healthy lunch fixes using grab-and-go ingredients. Guests of Regus will have the opportunity to watch, learn and then taste the prepared dishes during their lunch break.

Recent Regus research revealed that unhealthy eating habits and a lack of exercise are the leading causes of workplace stress for Melburnians, with 19 per cent of local respondents placing these factors above understaffing (17 per cent) and technology issues (16 per cent).

The survey revealed that, as a whole, Melburnian respondents are more than twice as stressed compared to five years ago (53 per cent) – a significant and concerning jump.

Market Director of Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia, Georgia Mitchell, said: “We are continuing to see overwhelming evidence that stress levels are mounting due to a combination of factors including poor dietary regimes and not having adequate time to exercise and recalibrate. 

“We’re thrilled to invite our Regus customers to spend their lunch break with Ash, where we’re sure her tips and tricks will help our guests adopt healthy workplace eating habits, and also show how this can have a significant impact on workplace health and happiness,” said Mitchell.

Pollard hopes to spread the message of healthy eating in the workplace and highlight the long-term benefits it can have on people’s overall health and wellbeing.

“You must give your body the respect it deserves, after all, it’s going to carry you a long way in life. Fuel it with all the ingredients it needs to survive those long days at work by eating smart, healthy choices that will help elevate your mood, self-esteem and energy, which in turn will reduce anxiety and stress,” Pollard said.

ENDS

For more information contact:

Sarah Bond sarahbond@launchgroup.com.au 02 9492 1041 / 0449 543 181

Louise Proctor louise@launchgroup.com.au 02 9492 1003 / 0452 474 244

About:

Regus is the global workplace provider.

Its network of more than 2,000 business centres in 104 countries provides convenient, high-quality, fully serviced spaces for people to work, whether for a few minutes or a few years. Companies like Google, Toshiba and GlaxoSmithKline choose Regus so that they can work flexibly and make their businesses more successful.

The key to flexible working is convenience and so Regus is opening wherever its 1.8 million members want support – city centres, suburban districts, shopping centres and retail outlets, railway stations, motorway service stations and even community centres.

Founded in Brussels, Belgium, in 1989, Regus is based in Luxembourg and listed on the London Stock Exchange. For more information, please visit: www.regus.com.au


17 Aug

Tax time: 7 deadly excuses for delaying your personal tax return, from MoneyBrilliant

by launch-admin Aug 17, 2015 25 News

MoneyBrilliant


MEDIA RELEASE

Personal tax deadline is 31 October

Sydney, 4th August, 2015: Thousands of Australians delay the inevitable by waiting to the last minute to file their personal tax return. Perhaps we love living on the edge or perhaps it is due to fear of the unknown. Either way, the consequences can be devastating – from unnecessary stress, to accruing tax office penalties. More insidious, says MoneyBrilliant, is the impact of this issue on your broader financial health and security.

CEO of online personal finance hub, MoneyBrilliant, Jemma Enright said: “Putting off filing a tax return is an all too common issue. More often than not, it comes down to that feeling of dread when you’re not on top of your finances. The only way to get back in control is to take the bull by the horns and get organised. Otherwise you can face some hefty risks, including late lodgement fees.”

Here are some of the top excuses Aussies use to justify their tax time procrastination, and why they need to change their perspective.

1.      If I ignore my tax it will go away.

This isn’t true. Tax is one thing that never goes away. Procrastinating will only leave it looming over you for longer. The only way to turn the issue around is to take action.

2.      I’m going to get a huge penalty for being late.

You may incur a late fee just like back in the old days when you got library fines for returning books late. However the Australian Tax Office (ATO) can be pretty understanding. Have a chat to them and see what you can work out.

ATO Assistant Commissioner, Graham Whyte, recommends letting the ATO know about any struggles: “If you’re worried that you might not be able to meet the deadline, it’s important to that you give us a call on 13 28 61 and let us know about your circumstances,” he said.

3.      I probably owe the tax man a lot of money.

Mr Whyte said it is “important to remember to lodge on time, even if you can’t pay by the due date”.

If you’re on the correct tax code, things should work out fairly correctly for you. In fact, 77 per cent of Australians get a tax refund.[i]

If you’re really scared about this, have a chat to your employer or the ATO to see how this can be best worked out to minimise the hit to your wallet. The ATO have a handy calculator to help with this.

4.      I can’t afford to pay my tax right now, so I will delay my return.

This will unfortunately only make things worse and you’re likely to rake up fines the longer you leave things. Mr Whyte advises to call the ATO office to discuss your circumstances or enter a payment plan online. “While most people do pay on time, we understand that sometimes people run into short term difficulties and may not always be able to pay their tax in full by the due date. If you ever find yourself in this position, we encourage you to contact us as early as possible to work something out,” he said.

5.      I can’t handle the stress of completing my tax returns right now.

It’s much more stressful leaving this uncompleted. Your finances – and therefore your tax return – need to be a priority. The longer you leave it, the worse it will get. Set aside some time to action this and you’ll feel all the better afterwards.

6.      I can’t do my own tax returns.

It’s easier than you think doing it online and the ATO can help you out.

Mr Whyte had some good advice for this, he said: “Our big tip is that if you wait until mid-August, almost all your information will be pre-filled for you so if you’re lodging online, this will help you avoid any potential errors. If you’re using myTax, all you have to do is double-check that your pre-filled information is correct, input any deductions and submit.”

7.      I’m already two years late, it doesn’t matter if I miss the October deadline.

Getting your tax in on time does make a big difference to how the tax department views you, to fines and penalties and to refund payments. The ATO has a lot of information on you – don’t you want to have a nice clean record?

Ms Enright commented, “The only time to put your tax sins behind you, and turn over a new financial leaf, is now. I liken it a little to going to the dentist. You put it off thinking it will be painful but you always walk out feel sparkly and wondering what you were worried about. Diarise time to do it, make a plan for dealing with your expected outcome and seek help from the experts should you need it.”

For more information on the virtual financial assistant, MoneyBrilliant, head to: https://www.moneybrilliant.com.au/

-ENDS-

Media Contact
Laura Douglas laura@launchgroup.com.au / 02 9492 1002 / 0452 505 859

About MoneyBrilliant https://www.moneybrilliant.com.au/
Designed with women in mind, MoneyBrilliant understand and really care about the financial wellbeing of the women (and men). They are dedicated to helping you get on top of your finances so you can grow and live well, without sacrificing all the things that make life great.

MoneyBrilliant's founder, Peter Lord started MoneyBrilliant to help women like his mum, nan and sister who experienced real financial hardship. He was joined by Jemma Enright, now CEO, and an ever growing team of passionate individuals that are devoted to making a difference by helping Australians get ahead with their finances and feel confident in the future.

MoneyBrilliant looks for ways to support Australians financial wellbeing. They want to give you what you need to clearly see where your money is going and get to know your spending style, so you can make smarter financial decisions.

17 Aug

Queensland Government leads the way with Investment in local startup ecosystem

by launch-admin Aug 17, 2015 2 News

Australia, 14 July 2015: Startup advocacy body, StartupAUS, said the funding priority given to startups in the Queensland budget will help create thousands of local jobs and contribute billions of dollars to the Queensland economy.

 

CEO of StartupAUS, Peter Bradd, said high-growth tech startups could account for $US109 billion in growth and 540,000 new Australian jobs in the next two decades, creating enormous opportunity for state governments to capitalise on.

 

“It’s a well known fact that high-growth startups generate 70-90 per cent of new jobs. The Queensland government is setting the agenda for other states and territories today with their Advance Queensland policy initiatives aimed at stimulating jobs growth via the local startup community,” said Mr Bradd. 

 

StartupAUS said the $24 million Startup Queensland program is a significant boost to startup formation and attraction in Queensland.

 

“We’re pleased to hear Queensland Premier, the Hon Ms Annastacia Palaszczuk MP, is planning to provide an integrated suite of seed funding, co-working space, mentoring, and connection to customers and markets for startups, as well as expanding STEM in Queensland schools.”

 

Mr Bradd said StartupAUS is keen to see other states and territories echo the Queensland government’s leadership.

 

“Giving focus and profile to growing our startup ecosystem and entrepreneurial community will help secure the next generation of Australian jobs and boost our economic future. This has to be a priority for all levels of government.

 

“We need to encourage more students and young people to think about becoming tech entrepreneurs, and contributing to that high-growth tech economy. Australia won’t be the lucky country forever, and we can no longer rely on traditional sectors such as mining or agriculture to prop us up on a fiscal level. 

 

“Australian political and business leaders need to take a cold, hard look at our economic future and more aggressively back the growth potential within our home-grown startup community,” he said.

 

The 2015 StartupAUS Crossroads Report identified that Australia records some of the lowest rates of startup formation, and one of the lowest rates of venture capital investment for a developed nation.[1]

 

Key economic growth recommendations in the Report for Australian governments, business and education sectors include:

o   Grow our pipeline of Australian entrepreneurs

o   Improve entrepreneurship education 

o   Increase the number of ICT professionals

o   Increase availability of early stage capital to startups

o   Address legal and regulatory impediments

o   Increase collaboration and international connectedness

o   Create a national innovation agency

 

 

-ENDS-

 

Media Contacts:

Louise Proctor louise@launchgroup.com.au 02 9492 1003 / 0452 574 244

 

About StartupAUS

StartupAUS is a not-for-profit entity with a mission to transform Australia through technology entrepreneurship. StartupAUS believes a strong home-grown tech sector is vital to future Australian jobs and wealth. But getting there will require a national imperative to create the right environment, with a supportive culture and more entrepreneurs with the right skills.

For more information: www.startupaus.org  

 

 


17 Aug

2015 QUEENSLAND ELECTION – PRIORITIES FOR A STRONGER DIGITAL ECONOMY

by launch-admin Aug 17, 2015 17 News

The Australian Computer Society (ACS) urges the political parties to make digital economy issues an important part of the debate and discussion in the current election campaign. 

We live in a digital world where information and communications technology (ICT) sits at the heart of most of the products and services we now consume, and digital technologies are critical drivers of productivity growth, innovation, and higher standards of living.  Successful economies therefore need Governments that place a high priority on developing and sustaining a digital eco-system that ensures an adequate supply of ICT skills, a digitally-literate workforce, and ongoing collaboration between academia, industry, government and the community. 

For Queensland, a focus on digital economy issues is critical.  With the economy undergoing significant change, particularly as the resources sector moves from the construction phase to the production phase, we need to create new industries, new competitive advantage, and new opportunities for employment and growth. Digital technologies provide the essential foundation stone on which this growth will be delivered.   

ACS urges the next Queensland Government to have as its goal to make Queensland the leading digital economy in our nation.

To achieve this, the ACS recommends a focus on four key issues.

1                 Digital Economy Ministry & Digital Ministerial Advisory Council
 

To help build a world-leading digital economy, ACS calls on the incoming Queensland Government to establish a dedicated Digital Economy Ministry headed by a Cabinet Minister.  Further, to assist that Minister in this role, the Government should establish a Digital Ministerial Advisory Council.   The Council would provide the Minister with access to the relevant expertise, experience and insights from those in industry, academia, the education and training sector and the community sector.

 

ACS suggests the remit of the Council be to provide advice on issues and initiatives related to:

·       the demand and supply for appropriate ICT skills;
·       digital literacy of the workforce generally, but particularly Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and Not-for-Profits (NFPs); and
·       workforce development planning with a particular focus on researching the ICT skills and qualifications Queensland is likely to need in the next 5-10 years given the “disruption” being created by rapidly-advancing technologies.  
·       assisting key Queensland industries to become more competitive in a digital economy.
 

Membership of the Council should include representatives from the ICT industry, the ACS, broader employer representative groups, the education sector and relevant community groups.

2                 Digital Skills 
 

The help ensure Queensland has an adequate supply of the skilled ICT professionals, an incoming Government needs to ensure there is a stronger emphasis on learning and using digital technologies in the education system. 

 

Specifically ACS recommends:

·       Including a Digital Technologies subject as a mandatory element of primary and secondary school curriculum;
·       working with VET providers to encourage a greater focus on preparing students for a rapidly-changing job market disrupted by digital technologies. This, in part, means ensuring all students are required to attain some minimum level of ICT skills and competencies; and
·       establishing a process for Government, industry, employer and education stakeholders to work more collaboratively to help ensure ICT students (tertiary and VET) have greater exposure to work-integrated learning opportunities (eg internships).  The objective is to make graduates more work-ready by ensuring they possess the important ‘soft skills’ like project management, problem solving, stakeholder management, and strategic and creative thinking.
 
3                 Digital Literacy of Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs)
 

Queensland has approximately 410,000 small businesses, representing over 96% of businesses State-wide, and employing approximately 50% of all private sector workers.  Given SMEs represent the vast majority of businesses in the economy, driving higher growth requires Governments to create an environment where these businesses can thrive.  In today’s world that means they must have certain minimum levels of digital competence and literacy.

 

However the findings of a PayPal Research project in 2013 on small business digital literacy indicates 3 in 5 SMEs claim low levels of digital literacy are preventing them from running their business more efficiently, and 4 in 5 suggest there should be more help and guidance to assist them embrace the digital economy[1].

To address this issue, the ACS recommends an incoming Queensland Government move beyond the usual education and awareness type campaigns Governments have typically pursued.  ACS instead suggests a more “hands on” program which firstly works with individual businesses to benchmark their digital literacy and identify their specific areas of weakness and then, based on the benchmarking results, help broker relationships between the businesses and relevant “best in breed” ICT suppliers and ICT professionals.

 

4                 Digital Cities

ACS recommends that to help promote the emergence of a truly digital economy and to also create heightened interest and expectation in the community about the benefits of digital technologies, an incoming Queensland Government commit to building one or more digital cities in Queensland by 2020.  A digital city deploys ICT technology deeply and extensively to generate significant community benefit and amenity through for example:

·       using physical infrastructure (eg roads, built environment) more efficiently and to support stronger and healthier economic, social, cultural development;
·       improving learning, adaptability and innovation;
·       improving community ability to respond more effectively to changing circumstances;
·       allowing citizens to engage more effectively in governance and decision-making through open innovation processes and e-participation; and
·       promoting a higher concentration of the creative industries, supported by strong knowledge and social networks and voluntary organisations in a low-crime setting.  

 

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) – which is the world’s largest association of technical professionals with more than 400,000 members – defines Digital or Smart Cities as:

 

“A smart city brings together technology, government and society to enable the following characteristics: smart cities, a smart economy, smart mobility, a smart environment, smart people, smart living, smart governance[2].”

 

About the Australian Computer Society (ACS)

The Australian Computer Society (ACS) is Australia’s peak body for ICT professionals with around 22,000 members nationally.  A core function of the ACS is the assessment and accreditation of its members as Certified Technologists or Certified Professionals.  ACS also conducts research-based advocacy on behalf of members on public policy issues.

For more information about the ACS, please see www.acs.org.au.

 

Enquiries to Dr Nick Tate, Chair, Queensland Branch of ACS – 0412 674010


17 Aug

Startup Spring has officially sprung

by launch-admin Aug 17, 2015 0 News

Australia’s third annual startup festival aims to break record number of events nationally

 

Australia, Monday 27 July 2015 – StartupAUS today announced the return of Startup Spring for the third year running taking place across Australia from 10-30 September, with the aim to top last year’s record number of 160 events nationally.

 

Startup Spring is a three-week long, Australia-wide festival of events and activities to celebrate and promote the startup community and to encourage more Australians to get involved and excited about entrepreneurs and technology.

 

Newly appointed StartupAUS CEO, Peter Bradd, said: “Startup Spring is designed to encourage and inspire all young and passionate tech entrepreneurs at a grassroots level nationwide.

 

“It is imperative that we celebrate and promote the tech startup community and as the festival grows every year, we are confident that tech entrepreneurialism is key to Australia’s future.

 

“We want to encourage and inspire the different parts of the Australian startup ecosystem, including entrepreneurs, corporates, universities and all levels of government, to develop and implement policies and programs so our vibrant technology sector can drive economic prosperity for generations to come,” Mr Bradd said.

 

Stand out events taking place this year include:

 

Following the positive reception of last year’s Learn to Code event, director of Coder Factory, Pete Argent, said: “It’s promising to see the Startup Spring initiative take root in Australia. This festival for tech innovation is an ideal way for anyone interested in the startup industry to get involved. I’m looking forward to being a part of Startup Spring again this year and do my part to grow the tech startup ecosystem in Australia.”

 

Head of Communications at Canva, Zach Kitschke, said: “We’ve been involved with Startup Spring in various ways over the past two years, through the Startup Walkabout and a number of other events. The Startup Spring festival is a fantastic celebration of all the exciting things that Australian startups are doing, and is a great way to get involved in the tech community.”

 

Mr Bradd added: “Whether you’re an experienced entrepreneur or the average Joe that has an interest in tech, we are welcoming everybody to participate. From coding sessions and bootcamps, to awards and networking drinks, Startup Spring has events that suit everyone.”

 

For a full list of events and to list new events: http://startupaus.org/startupSpring/

 

– Ends –

 

Media contacts:

  

Louise Proctor, Launch Group

E: louise@launchgroup.com.au | T: 02 9492 1003 | M: 0452 574 244

 

About Startup Spring

 

Startup Spring is a three-week long festival celebrating technology, startups and entrepreneurship. Launched by StartupAUS in 2013, Startup Spring features hundreds of events and activities from all around Australia – to celebrate and promote the tech startup ecosystem and to encourage more people to get involved and excited about entrepreneurship.

 

About StartupAUS

 

StartupAUS is a not-for-profit entity with a mission to transform Australia through technology entrepreneurship. 

 

StartupAUS believes a strong home-grown tech sector is vital to future Australian jobs and wealth. But getting there will require a national imperative to create the right environment, with a supportive culture and more entrepreneurs with the right skills.

 

For more informationwww.startupaus.org  


17 Aug

CITY OF SYDNEY’S PROPOSED ACTION PLAN FOR STARTUPS TIMELY, AS SYDNEY’S GLOBAL RANKING SLIPS

by launch-admin Aug 17, 2015 0 News

Australia, 30 July 2015: Startup advocacy body, StartupAUS, has welcomed the City of Sydney’s Draft Tech Startups Action Plan as an important and timely step towards realising Sydney’s potential as a vibrant startup destination.

 

The plan goes before Council Monday, 3rd August

 

However, CEO of StartupAUS, Peter Bradd, said he’s keen to see some of the action items accelerated in light of this week’s 2015 Global Startup Ecosystem Rankings which revealed Sydney and Melbourne have fallen sharply down the rankings as centres of startup innovation. Sydney is the only Australian city inside the top 20, at #16, and Melbourne has dropped outside of the top 20.

 

“This is a great conversation opener and it’s good to see growing recognition amongst our political leaders that startups hold the key to Australia’s economic future. They have the potential to contribute up to $US109 billion in growth to the economy, and 540,000 new jobs over the next two decades and Sydney’s local economy stands to gain enormously from this growth.

 

“However these outcomes are by no means guaranteed. We urgently need to do more to develop our ecosystem within cities and within the broader state economies to ensure we don’t fall further behind our counterparts in the global startup ecosystem. This means acting now and it means far greater collaboration between governments and the private sector,” he said.

 

Mr Bradd acknowledged Brisbane City’s agenda setting 2022 plan as a valuable example of successful local government driven startup initiatives.

 

“Brisbane Marketing’s 2022 plan has been quite successful and provides a good example of what focused effort at a local government level can achieve. It would be powerful to see collaboration between cities and states and all levels of government to strengthen our startup ecosystem. When it comes to attracting and retaining entrepreneurs and investment capital, the real competition is not between Australian cities or states, but rather on the global stage.”

 

The City of Sydney’s draft plan outlines a focus on building a strong entrepreneurial culture and community, creating skilled and connected entrepreneurs, increasing the startup ecosystem density, supporting entrepreneurs’ access to funding, and develop technology entrepreneurs’ access to markets.

 

Mr Bradd said the City of Sydney plan aligns with the recommendations of StartupAUS’ Crossroads 2015 report, which recommended that Australia’s political organisations look to:

o   Grow our pipeline of Australian entrepreneurs

o   Improve entrepreneurship education 

o   Increase the number of ICT professionals

o   Increase availability of early stage capital to startups

o   Address legal and regulatory impediments

o   Increase collaboration and international connectedness

o   Create a national innovation agency

 

“StartupAUS would like to see the Plan passed by Sydney Council, and other Australian cities to follow suit.

 

“To maximise the success we’d like to see far greater collaboration between local, State and Federal government – to the benefit of all Australians.”

 

The most significant initiative canvassed in the plan is the establishment of a major entrepreneurship centre in Sydney to act as a focal point for the startup community and to help to build startup density by acting as a base for startup events and co-location of startups, accelerators, incubators, VC firms and angel investors.

 

“If the various levels of NSW government were to work together to create a precinct-like environment within Sydney that housed a large concentration of startups, like we have seen in Auckland with the GRID-AKL precinct or the MaRS Discovery District in Toronto, then we would enjoy the benefits of scale and collaboration between Australia’s most innovative companies,” Mr Bradd added.

 

Media Contacts:

Louise Proctor louise@launchgroup.com.au 02 9492 1003 / 0452 574 244

 

About StartupAUS

StartupAUS is a not-for-profit entity with a mission to transform Australia through technology entrepreneurship. StartupAUS believes a strong home-grown tech sector is vital to future Australian jobs and wealth. But getting there will require a national imperative to create the right environment, with a supportive culture and more entrepreneurs with the right skills.

 

For more information: www.startupaus.org  

 


19 Jul

ingogo unveils its inaugural cheeky consumer ad campaign

by launch-admin Jul 19, 2015 1 News

ingogo logo2


MEDIA RELEASE 

 

Sydney, 20 July 2015: Leading taxi services and mobile payments provider ingogo has rolled out its first ever consumer advertising campaign – encouraging more Australians to use the latest technology to book a cab. The targeted campaign has run across outdoor, digital and radio in Sydney, and involves a satire promotion of a 1300 INGOGO hotline, paradoxically the number not to call if you want to book a taxi.

The campaign was developed by creative agency Special Group, with Match Media as the media agency and Launch Group supporting on PR and communications. It initially focused on the Sydney metro region and aimed to encourage the 88%[1] of Sydney-siders who still don’t use taxi apps, to switch over to ingogo for a faster, more convenient and better taxi ride.

The creative for the campaign ran on billboards and digital signage in high traffic density locations and featured some of Australia’s most talented elderly models. The use of quirky imagery was paired with firmly tongue-in-cheek audio, including spots on KIISFM and an actual 1300 INGOGO number that takes callers through a labyrinth of voice messages advising callers to download the ingogo app and book their cab.

Jeff Lim, CMO at ingogo, said: “As our first ever major advertising initiative, we wanted a campaign that cuts through the noise and introduced our brand to Sydney consumers – and one that also reflected our values as a high-growth tech player, disrupting a major industry. One of the major hurdles is the adoption of technology by consumers that might not be as tech savvy, and we wanted to get their attention, and educate them. It’s a cheeky nod towards those who are still using old school methods to book a taxi by calling up over the phone.

“So far, we’ve been delighted with the reception to the campaign. Its unique approach and use of humour is helping to drive downloads and engagement with the ingogo app,” he said.

Complementing the campaign, a series of videos explaining the ingogo taxi booking app’s features have also been created. These videos take pride of place on the ingogo website, and are also being transmitted via ingogo social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

You can view one of the videos here:

The campaign is currently in market and will run until August.

– ENDS –

[1] From ingogo consumer research released April 2015

Media Contacts

Laura Douglas laura@launchgroup.com.au 02 94292 1002 or 0452 505 859

About ingogo:

ingogo is an integrated mobile payments company, currently in the Taxi and SME markets in Australia. Its mobile app assists private and corporate customers to easily book and pay for taxis through their mobile phones. It allows passengers to communicate directly with registered taxi drivers in their local area, see where their driver is and their estimated arrival time, with the option to pay using ingogo's secure in-taxi payment terminals or virtual mobile accounts. It currently operates in Sydney and Melbourne, and has recently launched in Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.

ingogo has extended its payment platform into other industries beyond taxis, for business owners and SMEs, via a partnership with Xero, the leading cloud accounting platform.



[1] From ingogo consumer research released April 2015

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