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2014

launchgroup.com.au > Blog > 2014
3 Dec

MCN DRIVES TV AND ONLINE CLOSER TOGETHER WITH LAUNCH OF NEW DATA-LED PLATFORMS, CROSS-PLATFORM TEAM

by launch-admin Dec 3, 2014 0 Uncategorized

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MEDIA RELEASE

 

 

·       World-first integrated programmatic private marketplace for TV

·       Landmark dynamic trading model ‘Dynamic Scheduling’

·       Multiview XP – next generation data modelling

·       New cross platform technology and innovation team – Tech.Ops XP

 

31 October 2014: At last night’s Foxtel MCN Upfronts event, Multi Channel Network (MCN) unveiled a series of market-leading developments for 2015 to strengthen its position as Australia’s most advanced multi-screen trading and data-led sales network.  The new developments are: 

·       MCN’s Programmatic Marketplace, a world-first collaboration with AOL Platforms’ Adap.tv to pilot the first private programmatic marketplace for television. The marketplace will fully integrate into MCN’s Landmark trading platform and will advance Australia’s TV industry towards unified ad sales across TV and digital screens.

·       MCN’s Landmark trading platform will enter its next phase with the introduction of Dynamic Scheduling, a new dynamic trading model which facilitates the trading of real consumer audiences rather than traditional TV spots.

·       Multiview XP – An extension to the existing Multiview television audience offering, allowing the incorporation of multi-screen data and data sets. Multiview XP will enable MCN to analyse real consumer behaviour across multiple platforms, delivering insight driven solutions for clients and agency partners.

·       Tech.Ops XP – A new operational team focused on cross platform technology and innovation, to further unify MCN’s multi-screen asset base.

 

MCN CEO, Anthony Fitzgerald, said the new platforms, combined with the recent Quantium partnership, are part of MCN’s strategy to deliver advertisers optimal campaign results, based upon highly targeted consumer audiences rather than fixed spot placement.

 

 

“These developments will continue to evolve the subscription television industry and put MCN at the forefront of the changes within the overall media landscape. Through our new platforms we have the most effective and efficient mass targeting television product ever seen in Australia. Advertisers will be able to purchase actual consumer segments, based upon real purchasing behavior, instead of focusing purely on traditional age and gender demographics,” said Mr Fitzgerald.

 

Programmatic TV Marketplace

 

Scheduled to launch in early 2015, the MCN Programmatic TV marketplace is a combined interface between AOL Platforms’ Adap.tv and Australia’s most sophisticated TV trading platform, Landmark.

 

It will be the world’s first integrated programmatic private exchange for Linear TV, incorporating MCN’s TV inventory across their channel brands with online video from their rich array of digital assets, all traded from a single platform/interface. The tool will also combine MCN’s Multiview data, allowing advertisers to plan, buy and optimize against real consumer segments. 

 

MCN Group Sales & Marketing Director, Mark Frain, commented, “MCN’s programmatic TV marketplace is a significant change in the way television can be traded in Australia. It opens up a whole new world of possibility to better align our linear TV and IP Video products.

 

“MCN is making Australian television inventory available for purchase through programmatic channels, enabling advertising clients to make more data-driven decisions in extending the value of their TV buys through highly targeted audiences.”

 

Dynamic Scheduling

 

To further advance MCN’s linear TV trading, MCN has launched the second phase of Landmark, Dynamic Scheduling. Through a sophisticated, algorithm driven, dynamic

 

scheduling engine, MCN can more effectively target consumers by optimizing campaign placement as close as possible to the time of broadcast. Landmark’s Dynamic Scheduling allows MCN to quickly respond to changes in daily and weekly viewing habits, ensuring MCN delivers optimal campaign results for advertisers. This new dynamic trading model will enable MCN to fulfil its ambition to start trading real consumer audiences rather than just traditional TV spots.

 

Multiview XP

 

MCN’s recent agreement with data powerhouse Quantium, allows Multiview to combine detailed viewing patterns from MCN’s 110,000 home panel with actual consumer and purchase behaviour.

 

Multiview XP, announced last night, will be an extension to the existing Multiview television audience offering to incorporate multi-screen data and data sets. Multiview XP will enable MCN to analyse real consumer behaviour beyond television audiences to incorporate their multi-screen assets and beyond.

 

Multiview XP will be utilised throughout the whole advertising process. Providing detailed insights into audiences at the strategy and ideas stages; granular segmentation for increased efficacy during implementation; and thorough measurement during and post the campaign.

 

Mr Frain said: “Our new data brand, Multiview XP, will provide our partners and clients with unrivalled planning and targeting opportunities across our multi-screen portfolio. MCN, once again, is paving the way for the future.

 

“Finding a cross platform campaign that fits with a client’s brand and business objectives will be an entirely different proposition with Multiview XP. Whether the content is sport, lifestyle, general entertainment, drama or news, Multiview XP will provide us with detailed programme segmentation so we understand exactly what their typical purchasing and consumer behaviour is.”

 

MCN Team changes:

 

As part of MCN’s emphasis on bringing TV and online closer together, MCN has announced structural changes to the team. This includes merging the television operations department with its digital ad operations team to create a new cross-platform focused unit called Tech.Ops XP.

 

The new team of 40 staff will be led by Operations and Systems Development Director, Angela Goodsir, who has been part of the MCN business for 12 years.  Most recently Ms Goodsir led the team which implemented Landmark.

 

As part of the company changes, MCN’s Insights and Analytics team have merged their TV and digital research, creating unified insights and data products. This team will be led by Murray Love, Insights and Analytics Director, who has been with MCN for 15 years. Gareth Jones will join the Insights and Analytics team as the new National Insights and Strategy Manager. Mr Jones, who has been with MCN for two years, will be focused upon delivering audience insights, which drive multi-screens solutions for advertisers.

 

MCN’s finance team will take over TV and digital reporting, becoming a multiscreen reporting unit for all of MCN’s partners. This will be headed by Shaun Rafferty, MCN’s Head of Finance. Mr Rafferty will be tasked with delivering a holistic reporting tool for MCN’s portfolio of 70 television channels, 138 websites, 69 mobile sites, 59 apps, 4 IPTV services and digital out of home partners.

-ENDS-

 

Further information:  Laura Douglas (02) 9492 1002 / 0452 505 859 laura@launchgroup.com.au

 

About Multi Channel Network (MCN)

Established in 1997, MCN is a joint venture between FOXTEL and FOX SPORTS. MCN is responsible for the advertising interests of 70 television channel brands, 138 websites, 69 m-sites/optimised mobile sites, 59 apps, 4 IPTV services and 3 Digital-Out-Home locations. MCN delivers optimum campaign results for clients by combining high value audiences with an unmatched choice of premium content. MCN specialises in creative solutions, which bring life to ideas and deliver clients a better advertising experience. In addition to being the third largest television network in Australia by commercial audience, MCN has Australia's largest combined online and mobile network in Australia with a monthly online reach of 8.4m unique audiences and a monthly mobile audience of 4.7m. For more information: www.MCN.com.au

3 Dec

Millennial storytellers to explore the world with Singapore Airlines, Sound Alliance, MEC & MCN

by launch-admin Dec 3, 2014 0 Uncategorized

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MEDIA RELEASE

 

12 September 2014:  Multi Channel Network (MCN) today announced a major integrated campaign between Singapore Airlines and Sound Alliance’s award winning pop-culture site Junkee.  Working in partnership with media agency MEC, “The Storytellers” campaign will target millennials through an Australia-wide competition running from mid-September.

 

The competition forms another pillar to Singapore Airlines’ extensive campaign to promote its Singapore hub for both transit and stopover passengers, which has been featured across media including out of home and print, for the past 12 months. 

 

The competition will see four aspiring journalists win the opportunity to become Junkee ‘storytellers’, travelling to four exotic destinations on the Singapore Airlines network and documenting their most inspiring experiences. Armed with a camera, a notebook and an inquisitive mind, these four storytellers will experience complete culture immersion during the week of a lifetime.

 

With constant social and video updates from the travellers throughout their journey, all content will be hosted on a dedicated hub within the Junkee website. The four final stories can be told via video, photos and/or words, the only criteria being that they must be inspiring, thought-provoking and insightful for young Australian travellers. The stories will premiere at exclusive screening events across Australia.

 

The competition is extended with readers able to vote for their favourite story of the four, with each voter going in a draw to win a trip to the featured destination, thanks to Singapore Airlines. The final winner will receive $4000, and the opportunity to become a Junkee contributor.

 

MCN National Multiply Integration Director, Elizabeth Minogue, said: “We are thrilled to announce such a ground-breaking campaign between two powerful yet diverse brands, Singapore Airlines and Junkee. Working with the MEC team, we are combining the strengths of two different brands to create a unique, content-led campaign, which truly engages the 16-29 year old target market.”

 

Sound Alliance CEO, Neil Ackland, said: “We know from our youth research that travel experiences are the most desired things for 16-29 year old Australians, so it is exciting to be able to work with a brand like Singapore Airlines on a content-led campaign that provides an opportunity for creative minds to have and share amazing travel experiences.  We know there are incredibly creative and talented young people out there and we look forward to discovering them and creating some amazing content on Junkee.”

 

Singapore Airlines’ Senior Manager Marketing and Alliances Australia, Dale Woodhouse, said: “We are excited to be launching this next phase in our campaign and to be able to further promote all of the incredible benefits available to travellers when flying through the world’s best hub, Singapore. We are passionate about travel and feel that the ease with which it is possible to connect through Singapore to some of the world’s most interesting destinations available on our extensive network is something that is of enormous value to the millennial traveller. We look forward to seeing the inspiring stories created from the once in a lifetime experience provided to the finalists of this competition.”

 

To apply to be one of the four travelling storytellers, budding writers can submit 250 words or less on why they should be selected for the prize on www.junkee.com from 15th September.

 

-ENDS-

 

MCN Media Contact:

Laura Douglas

(02) 9492 1002 / 0452 505 859

laura@launchgroup.com.au

 

About Multi Channel Network (MCN):

Established in 1997, MCN is a joint venture between FOXTEL and FOX SPORTS. MCN is responsible for the advertising interests of 69 television channel brands, 138 websites, 69 m-sites/optimised mobile sites, 59 apps, 4 IPTV services and Digital-Out-Home locations. MCN delivers optimum campaign results for clients by combining high value audiences with an unmatched choice of premium content. MCN specialises in creative solutions, which brings life to ideas and deliver clients a better advertising experience. In addition to being the third largest television network in Australia by commercial audience, MCN has Australia's largest combined online and mobile network in Australia with a monthly online reach of 8.4m unique audiences and a monthly mobile audience of 4.7m. For more information: www.MCN.com.au

 

About Sound Alliance

Sound Alliance is Australia’s leading youth content publisher. The Sydney-based business owns and operates FasterLouder, inthemix, Same Same, Mess+Noise and Junkee.com, and represents titles Pitchfork, NME and The Hype Machine. Together, these titles have a combined monthly UB audience of more than 1.5 million and offer brands a gateway to 18-29 year old Australians. Sound Alliance are the pioneers of native advertising in Australia, and specialise in the conception, creation, amplification and measurement of engaging digital media content for the youth market.  www.thesoundalliance.net

 

About Junkee:

Junkee is the 2014 Mumbrella Brand of the year. It is Australia’s newest pop culture title, covering film, TV, politics, style, online and everything in between. The content Junkee creates each day is designed to go beyond the headline, to inform, intrigue, provoke and occasionally make the audience laugh.

 

Australian Pop Culture with brains – Junkee.com is changing the game. Pioneering a new way of merging brands and content, as one of the first publishers aiming to get ‘native advertising’ right.

 

About Singapore Airlines:

Singapore Airlines (SIA) is one of Australia’s longest serving foreign carriers and currently operates a total of 114 flights per week from six capital cities to Singapore, including regional wing SilkAir from Darwin, connecting to a network spanning 37 countries. SIA has unveiled a suite of competitive products to drive greater value for Australian customers, including S$40 vouchers for customers transiting through Changi, an expanded Singapore Stopover Holiday package, as well as regular promotional fares for customers across Australia. The roll out of the alliance with Virgin Australia continues, with SIA codeshare to 41 domestic destinations and VA codeshare and interline to a total of 89 destinations across the SilkAir/Singapore Airlines network.

3 Dec

MCN announces Mercedes as multi-screen partner for Sky News, including launch advertiser for Qantas Inflight Entertainment

by launch-admin Dec 3, 2014 0 Uncategorized

MCN_fullcol_CMYK_[P]

 

MEDIA RELEASE

 

6 November, 2014: Multi Channel Network (MCN) today announced Mercedes-Benz as a multi-platform partner for Sky News, including the first inflight advertising partner for Sky News coverage, on all Qantas domestic flights from Monday to Friday.

 

The partnership starts this month and runs until early 2015.  Mercedes-Benz will also carry a broadcast campaign on Sky News, across the same period.

 

The advertising partnership includes billboard and TVCs, along with category exclusivity throughout the Sky News updates, which broadcast throughout the Qantas domestic flights.

 

MCN National Director of Multiply Integration and Content Partnerships, Elizabeth Minogue, said the relationship delivers a targeted multi-screen campaign to Mercedes-Benz’s core audience.

 

“As one of the world’s most prestigious brands, Mercedes-Benz is a highly appropriate multi-screen partner for Sky News and in particular the channel’s Qantas inflight entertainment content,” she said. “Mercedes-Benz want to target high value business travellers and through our consumer data and insights we were able show how a multi-screen campaign with Sky News on Qantas domestic flights would deliver on Mercedes’ objectives in 2015.”

 

Lachlan Jones, Managing Director Foundation, said: “Mercedes-Benz is thrilled to be Sky News’ first commercial partner across Qantas inflight entertainment. The partnership ensures we will engage with our target audience for Mercedes-Benz through multiple and regular touch points across the Qantas entertainment system.”

 

 

From 1 November 2014, SKY NEWS commenced as the exclusive supplier for inflight news with Foxtel as content partners.  Advertising sales are represented exclusively by MCN for all Qantas inflight video, both domestically and overseas.

 

-ENDS-

 

 

Further information:  Laura Douglas (02) 9492 1002 / 0452 505 859 laura@launchgroup.com.au

 

About Multi Channel Network (MCN)

Established in 1997, MCN is a joint venture between FOXTEL and FOX SPORTS. MCN is responsible for the advertising interests of 70 television channel brands, 138 websites, 69 m-sites/optimised mobile sites, 59 apps, 4 IPTV services and 3 Digital-Out-Home locations. MCN delivers optimum campaign results for clients by combining high value audiences with an unmatched choice of premium content. MCN specialises in creative solutions, which bring life to ideas and deliver clients a better advertising experience. In addition to being the third largest television network in Australia by commercial audience, MCN has Australia's largest combined online and mobile network in Australia with a monthly online reach of 8.4m unique audiences and a monthly mobile audience of 4.7m. For more information: www.MCN.com.au

 

 

3 Dec

TECHNOLOGY LEADERS URGE G20 GOVTS TO CASH IN ON US $13 TRILLION WINDFALL FROM ‘OPEN DATA’ STANDARDS

by launch-admin Dec 3, 2014 0 Uncategorized

 

 

CICTA_RGB Standard colour

 

MEDIA RELEASE

 

Technology leaders host G20 ICT Industry Forum,

10 November, 9:00am – 1pm, Brisbane City Hall

 

7th November 2014, Brisbane, QLD:  The multi-trillion dollar opportunity posed by more open use of government and private sector data will be high on the agenda at the G20 ICT Industry Forum, a gathering of leading technologists and futurists, taking place in Brisbane on 10 November.  

 

The benefits of ‘Open Data’ – or, adopting more open policies around government and private sector information sharing – are conservatively valued at US $13 trillion in the next five years for G20 economies and around $16 billion to the Australian economy alone, according to a recent report[1].  This figure represents more than half of the two per cent growth target the G20 set itself in February 2014.

 

Held at Brisbane City Hall just a few days ahead of the official G20 Summit, the forum will explore an action strategy around Open Data and discuss the future of ICT within Australia and throughout the world.  The forum has been organised by the Council of ICT Associations Australia (CICTA) in partnership with Australian Computer Society (ACS) Queensland branch.

 

Speakers at the event include Australian economist Mr Nicholas Gruen, CEO of Lateral Economics; Dr Tim Foresman, World Renowned Former NASA and UN Chief Environmental Scientist; Hayden Delaney, Futurist and global ICT trend expert; Dr Stefan Hajkowicz, Principal Scientist – Strategy and Foresigh, CSIRO; Dr Simon Kaplan, Director, Skills and Industry Transformation, NICTA – Qld; and Dr Nick Tate, Director, RDSI Project, University of Queenslandand Immediate Past President, and Chair, Queensland Branch, ACS.

 

Dr Tate said the Open Data discussion was a priority agenda item for the forum because it is a relatively simple but high impact way for world economies to create huge cost and resource efficiencies – as well as staggering social and economic outcomes.

 

“It was a very deliberate decision to stage this forum in the same week as the official G20 event – we believe the topics under discussion at our forum are critically important to our world governments.”

 

Dr Tate said some of the ideas being discussed at the forum include the ability for open data policies to assist in job matching and the future ability to make better use of business tax payment records to inform governments and the private sector about the state of the economy.

 

“When companies pay their GST and other taxes, they record their activity and that generates very useful data on consumption, exports and investment,”Dr Tate said.

 

-Ends-

 

Further information: Dr Nick Tate 0412 674010; Laura Douglas (02) 9492 1002 or mobile: 0452 505 859

 

About the Australian Computer Society

The Australian Computer Society (ACS) is the professional association for Australia's Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector. Over 20,000 ACS members work in business, education, government and the community. The Society exists to create the environment and provide the opportunities for members and partners to succeed. The ACS strives for ICT professionals to be recognised as drivers of innovation in our society, relevant across all sectors, and to promote the formulation of effective policies on ICT and related matters. Visit www.acs.org.au for more information.

 





[1] 'Open for Business: How Open Data can help achieve the G20 growth target' by Lateral Economics is the first study to quantify and illustrate the potential of Open Data to help achieve the G20's 2% growth target. 

 

3 Dec

ACS welcomes focus on ICT skills in Government’s Competitiveness Agenda

by launch-admin Dec 3, 2014 0 Uncategorized

 

 

 

 

 

MEDIA RELEASE

 

15 October, 2014: The Australian Computer Society (ACS) today welcomed the focus on technology skills in Australian Government’s National Industry Investment and Competitiveness Agenda, and its commitment to increased innovation as a significant step forward. However, the ACS has renewed its calls for increased digital literacy programs for SMEs and a broader commitment from Government towards mandating computer coding as a foundation skill in education.

 

ACS CEO Alan Patterson said the Competitiveness report reinforces the clear link between a digitally skilled workforce and Australia’s global economic success, and features three key reforms that are critical to the development of such a workforce:

 

·       The promotion of STEM subjects in schools

·       The introduction of a ‘Coding across the curriculum’ programme to enhance computer programming skills across the curriculum

·       The Government’s focus on the VET system on meeting industry needs

 

Mr Patterson applauded the report but said it lacks focus on digital literacy for small and medium enterprises, which the ACS has been calling for to help improve our economic performance.

 

“SMEs are the backbone of our economy and key to many of our future global endeavours,” he said. “Small and medium businesses need practical advice and assistance to understand both their workforce needs, particularly around ICT skills, as well as understanding what digital technologies can do for business growth and productivity and how they can build these technologies into their businesses.

 

“As recommended in our Innovation submission, SMEs need to embrace ICT products and services as critical elements of the business that drives innovation and builds competitive advantage. We would like to see Government to help increase this awareness with more facilitative programs to educate SMEs about ICT tools and the importance of having an online presence. We need a vastly improved national broadband infrastructure capable of supporting SME growth.

 

“SME leaders and entrepreneurs, including high-growth start-up CEO’s also need to have ‘work ready’ tech skills – in other words, they need to be able to walk into a meeting and give a presentation, or deal face to face with a client on a technical topic with a working understanding of that topic.

 

“The Government’s focus on VET is incredibly important to ensuring we have an appropriately skilled workforce. However, we need more focus on skills and competencies, particularly ICT competencies, rather than just a traditional focus on qualifications and occupations.

 

“We commend Government for their focus on STEM in schools but the ACS would like to see more focus on technology. Whilst mathematics is hugely important, particularly for coding, we also need to think about the here and now. We need more people to better understand technology and how to apply it in the short term,” he said.

 

Whilst commending the coding in schools initiative, the ACS also called for further attention to digital literacy programs for teachers as well as students.

 

The $3.5m funding initiative for coding is most welcome, it’s a powerful step in the right direction, however much more needs to be done,” Mr Patterson said. “We must recognise basic coding as a foundation skill and build it into the national curriculum. This needs to start at a young age, so that our students are better prepared and equipped to compete globally, as other countries such as the UK have these programs in place.

 

“With a focus on technology for students in schools means we need better professional development for teachers in the technology space. The ACS argued for this in our submission to the review, and stands ready to assist the Government in providing this additional training.

 

“The ACS is a firm supporter of Australia’s need for employee share option regulations to encourage start-ups, as the UK does. We need to redeploy inefficient innovation funding models with tax incentives for angel investment in Australian start-ups and Australian intellectual property creation (with benefits contingent on IP remaining in Australia).

 

“ICT is uniquely dynamic – and will remain that way for the foreseeable future.  Many of today’s young people will work in jobs nobody has even heard of today.  This requires a lifelong approach to skills and education in the technology area. Reskilling and retraining may be important for those who are seeking new opportunities at home or abroad.

 

“To provide an appropriate pipeline of skilled workers, we urgently need to reverse the declining trend of people choosing to study ICT. This will require a mix of changing the misconceptions and attitudes as to what a career as an ICT professional can offer, plus greater collaboration between the training and education sectors, employers, and the professional body to ensure our ICT skills base matches economy needs.

 

“In the longer term we must develop a long-term employment plan for Australia, which maps our human capital and the extent to which it matches our economic and skills needs.

 

“The ACS applauds Government for identifying innovation as a key ambition but we maintain the appointment of a Chief Innovator is key to our achievements in this area. As highlighted in our Innovation Submission, having an empowered role dedicated solely to innovation – similar to that of the Chief Scientist – would allow for the comprehensive development of an Innovation System and the successful implementation of many recommendations in the report. This would need to be based on joined-up and cohesive policies and programs, which are properly resourced and targeted. It needs to be someone who is not shackled by bureaucratic processes and can make recommendations directly to the Prime Minister.

 

“The ACS also welcomes the roundtable discussions being initiated by the Government on the Competitiveness agenda and we look forward to participating in them,” said Mr Patterson.

 

-ENDS-

 

Media Contacts

Thomas Shanahan / thomas.shanahan@acs.org.au / 0449 902 130

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

 

About the Australian Computer Society

The Australian Computer Society (ACS) is the professional association for Australia's Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector. Over 20,000 ACS members work in business, education, government and the community. The Society exists to create the environment and provide the opportunities for members and partners to succeed. The ACS strives for ICT professionals to be recognised as drivers of innovation in our society, relevant across all sectors, and to promote the formulation of effective policies on ICT and related matters. Visit www.acs.org.au for more information.

3 Dec

Technology must not be sidelined from the National curriculum

by launch-admin Dec 3, 2014 0 Uncategorized

 

 

 

 

 

MEDIA RELEASE

 

13 October 2014: The Australian Computer Society (ACS) has welcomed the report into the ACARA curriculum review, and its consideration of the technologies & ICT learning area.

 

However, the ACS has expressed concern in the recommendation that the technologies learning area not be introduced until year 9. This recommendation, should it be adopted, would place Australian students at a significant disadvantage against students from the UK, who will be learning technology and ICT from the Foundation level.

 

Given the global nature of the Information & Communications Technology sector, the ACS believes it is critical that students are given, at the very least, education in digital literacy, including basic coding, from an early age, so that they are better prepared for technology education further along in their educational journey.

 

ACS CEO Alan Patterson said: “It is pleasing to see the report also recognises that better professional development is required for teachers in the technology space. The ACS argued for this in our submission to the review, and stands ready to assist the Government in providing this additional training.”

 

“While there is a view that ICT contributes to a crowded curriculum, the ACS will continue to argue that ICT is a fundamental and critical curriculum area that should form the core of the curriculum, along with numeracy and literacy, as the economy and jobs market becomes increasingly digitally focused. 

 

“While it is good to see improved recognition of technology in the report, it stops short of recommending that students be given a technology education from early in their schooling life. By year 9, students will have already missed critical opportunities to build their digital literacy and capability.”

 

“Just last week the ACS held our Young IT Conference, YITcon, in Melbourne. It was attended by almost 1,000 secondary and tertiary students over two days, and was a demonstration that ICT is a critical part of any education for the future. The overwhelming message from the leading industry experts, innovators and entrepreneurs who appeared at YITcon was that digital education, including basic coding, is an absolute necessity from an early age.”

 

“If we don’t step in today and start providing the right digital education from a young age, we are at risk of having a generation of school leavers who will miss out on the education they need to be the innovators, entrepreneurs and digital leaders of tomorrow. It is these students who will lead the economy in years to come. We owe it to them to give them the very best chance.”

 

“Some of the recommendations are a small step in the right direction, but what our curriculum needs is a giant leap into the future.”

 

-ENDS-

 

Media Contacts

Thomas Shanahan / thomas.shanahan@acs.org.au / 0449 902 130

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

 

About the Australian Computer Society

The Australian Computer Society (ACS) is the professional association for Australia's Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector. Over 20,000 ACS members work in business, education, government and the community. The Society exists to create the environment and provide the opportunities for members and partners to succeed. The ACS strives for ICT professionals to be recognised as drivers of innovation in our society, relevant across all sectors, and to promote the formulation of effective policies on ICT and related matters. Visit www.acs.org.au for more information.

 

3 Dec

Young tech entrepreneurs and business leaders predict the future for our next generation workforce

by launch-admin Dec 3, 2014 0 Uncategorized

 

 

 

 

 

MEDIA RELEASE

 

YITCON: 9-10 October 2014, at The Forum in Melbourne

 

16 August 2014: The Australian Computer Society (ACS) today announced the speakers for its youth festival of ICT, YITCON 2014. The two-day event brings together students and young professionals interested in ICT careers, to learn from industry experts and world-class presenters about leading edge technological change and the digital future.

 

With a theme of ‘changing minds’, the conference highlights the importance of developing innovative skills for the future, and the evolving nature of the ICT eco-system.

 

Speakers include:

·       Ross Dawson, Leading Futurist, who will talk about the skills needed for jobs in the future;

·       Will Deane, the Managing Director of ExTo Partners, who invests in early stage Australian businesses, on backing start-ups;

·       Sheng Yeo, Founder of OrionVM, the developer of disruptive Cloud DC platform challenging giants such as Amazon, on digital entrepreneurship;

·       Naomi Henn, serial entrepreneur, whose ventures include TapIn, an SAAS drag and drop platform to build your own apps for events​, on being a young female leader in ICT, soft skills and social good.

ACS CEO Alan Patterson said: “Today’s student population will drive our digital future, and digital outcomes will power our future economy. YITCON is about ensuring Australia’s young people can compete globally and secure and create the jobs of the future – whether that be as technology professionals, technology entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs or C-suite executives. 

 

“Our next generation workforce will look nothing like today’s workforce – our young technology professionals will be working under job titles and within industry sectors that are yet to be invented. What we do know, is there will be a world of opportunity for those equipped with a broad base of technology skills and understanding, coupled with soft skills such as the ability to communicate and present well and to negotiate with, lead and manage teams.

 

“YITCON will help get the next generation of digital leaders excited about technology and innovation, and the possibilities that lie ahead of them. It’s also about preparing them for the digital future and giving them a taste of what’s to come,” he said.

 

Overview of Conference Agenda:

 

DAY ONE

 

ICT Future Worlds/Internet of Everything:

·       CISCO, Martin Janse van Rensburg (Alliance Manager, Industry Solutions Group)

·       B2Cloud, Co-Founder/Managing Director Josh Guest (Top 10 Entrepreneur to Watch)

 

Digital Entrepreneurship – Invent Your Future

·       Orion VM, CEO Sheng Yeo

·       Shoes of Prey, Co-Founder & Chief Creative Officer Jodie Fox (Hot 30 Under 30)

·       Hub Australia, CEO Brad Krauskopf

·       Benjamin Chong: Partner, Right Click Capital/Partner, Sydney Seed Fund/Co-director, The Founder Institute

 

The Future Role of the CIO

·       Adam Spencer (renowned media host and tech commentator; YITCON facilitator)

·       Clive Whincup, CIO, Woolworths

·       Ken Matthews, Founder & Director, CIO Advisory

·       Ben Heyes, General Manager Cyber Security Privacy & Operational Risk, Commonwealth Bank of Australia 

 

Future Skills & Jobs

·       Adam Spencer (facilitator)

·       Education Centre of Australia (speaker to be confirmed)

·       Make your career resilient: Rob Livingstone, Owner & Principal, Rob Livingstone Advisory

·       Futurist Ross Dawson (Founding Chairman of four companies; globally recognized entrepreneur, strategy advisor and bestselling author)

·       Panel including Naomi Henn (Entrepreneur), Sheng Yeo (CEO, Orion VM) and Alan Patterson (CEO, Australian Computer Society)

 

DAY TWO

 

Digital Disruption and Gamification

·       Deloitte, Lead Partner Coert Du Plessis

·       Gamification: Gabe Zichermann (Founder of gamification.co and EQ Magazine)

·       Gaming development & design thinking: Michael Woods (Media Saints Co-Founder)

·       Disruption/3D printing & driver-less cars: David F. Flanders, Univ. of Melbourne

 

Technology Trends – The New Wave

·       Cognizant, Regional VP John Burgin

·       Deakin Digital, CEO Allyn Radford

·       Woolworths, CIO Clive Whincup

 

IT for Social Good

·       Dr. Angus Hervey: Manager, Random Hacks of Kindness & Founder, Future Crunch

 

The ACS will be welcoming 400 secondary school students for the ‘Digital Entrepreneurship’ segment, giving them the opportunity to learn from leading entrepreneurs to start their own businesses.

 

YITCON will be held 9 and 10 October 2014 at The Forum in Melbourne. The event will include a ‘Digital Innovations Showcase’ with demonstrations, a hands-on interactive ‘Technology & Gadgets Experience’ as well as networking opportunities.

 

To register for tickets and for more information: http://acs.org.au/networking-and-events/yitcon-2014

 

YITCON on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/yitcon

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Yitcon2014

 

-ENDS-

 

Media Contacts

Thomas Shanahan / thomas.shanahan@acs.org.au / 0449 902 130

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

 

About the Australian Computer Society

The Australian Computer Society (ACS) is the professional association for Australia's Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector. Over 20,000 ACS members work in business, education, government and the community. The Society exists to create the environment and provide the opportunities for members and partners to succeed. The ACS strives for ICT professionals to be recognised as drivers of innovation in our society, relevant across all sectors, and to promote the formulation of effective policies on ICT and related matters. Visit www.acs.org.au for more information.

19 Aug

Venuemob secures $530,000 in second angel investment round

by launch-admin Aug 19, 2014 0 Uncategorized

Media Release           

                                   

Venuemob secures $530,000 in second angel investment round

 

Sydney Angels Sidecar provides majority investment for event-meets-tech start-up

 

Australia 18 August, 2014: Australian event-led start-up, Venuemob, has today announced additional funding from investment group Sydney Angels, raising $530,000 in this second round of capital raising. This is added to the $450,000 raised during the initial November 2012 round led by Optus Innov8. Venuemob will use the funding to fuel their growth in the corporate events sector along with further advancements to their technology platform.

 

Venuemob is an easy-to-use online platform that allows users to search and filter available event, function and meeting venues from an extensive database and secure promotional offerings and discounts. A user-friendly design makes easy work of tailoring venues to suit budget, location and occasion criteria, with exclusive rates and offers providing booking incentive. The platform serves as a two-way portal, with profiled venues able to promote their offerings to Venuemob’s user base.

 

Sydney Angels members and the Sydney Angels Sidecar Fund provided the majority investment for this round, further backed by Optus Innov8 who led the previous fundraising round. Since the initial launch in 2012, Venuemob has demonstrated unprecedented growth with $5,000,000 worth of event budget now processed through the platform each month. This positive performance inspired re-investment from the original backers to encourage further growth and expansion.

 

Angel investor Adrian Bunter said that Venuemob’s model was of interest to Sydney Angels due to its positioning in an unsaturated marketplace.

 

“The digital space for venue sourcing is relatively untapped, leaving the door wide open for a brand such as Venuemob to structure an industry-defining platform,” he said, “Bringing such convenience to the often tedious task of venue research will be welcomed by the corporate and consumer community.

 

“Sydney Angels exists to provide funding and investor expertise to exciting Australian startups. It is clear that a number of our members strongly believe in the future prospects of Venuemob, who have already documented solid results from the first round of investment and are poised for rapid growth.”

 

A new version of Venuemob’s technology platform launched this month, based on extensive feedback from the events community. The upgrade incorporates industry-leading tools to enhance user experience, with a new algorithm improving the ‘matching’ mechanisms of the site along with a unique data function offering a cost comparison price guide.


Venuemob Co-Founder Ying Wang said the second round of funding will help rollout of the platform’s corporate events phase, which is key to the long-term mission of the brand.  

 

We’re thrilled that astute investors such as the Sydney Angels team have such faith in our product. The Sydney Angels support goes well beyond the financial side of our business, with specialist advice and a powerful network to help us maximise our potential, he said.

 

-Ends-

 

About Venuemob: Founded in 2012, Venuemob is an Australian Internet company helping people to discover great venues around Australia for their events. The concept involves hunting down all manner of hip, elegant, professional, or unique venues and connecting these with the right audience. Venuemob’s platform showcases a database of locations to help event organisers save time and effort in their search for a space. Currently operational in Melbourne and Sydney, Venuemob is consistently building its database and platform with a view to take the concept into additional markets.

 

About Sydney Angels: Sydney Angels is an angel group whose members invest in innovative early-stage companies with high growth potential. Sydney Angels provides its members with quality deal flow, a collaborative investment process, and an opportunity to support entrepreneurs and the early-stage ecosystem. Sydney Angels offers entrepreneurs an efficient path to capital, expertise and experience from its members, who are backed by the $10 million Sydney Angels Sidecar Fund

 

Media Contacts

Ashford Pritchard ashford@launchgroup.com.au 02 9492 1040 or 0411 020 680

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

19 Aug

ABC Splash and Bell Shakespeare create a new Australian voice for Shakespeare in the classroom

by launch-admin Aug 19, 2014 0 Uncategorized

Description: M:MarketingLogosBellBellLogo.jpgMEDIA RELEASE

 

ABC Splash and Bell Shakespeare create a new Australian voice for Shakespeare in the classroom, with a free, film-quality video series, Shakespeare Unbound, available online from Monday 11 August.

Embargoed until 11 August 2014: For the first time, schools across Australia can now access contemporary Australian performances of Shakespearean works in a digital form. In partnership with Australia’s national Shakespeare theatre company, Bell Shakespeare, online education portal ABC Splash has today released a new video series Shakespeare Unbound.

 

The video series is made up of 12 scenes from six of Shakespeare’s most famous plays: Macbeth, Othello, Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, Julius Caesar and The Tempest. These videos are paired with 12 commentaries from the director and cast that unpack the meaning of the work in a way that is relevant for Australian students.

 

Each scene has been brought to life on film by some of Australia’s best known theatre actors, including John Bell, Tom Conroy, Ivan Donato, Kate Mulvany, Eryn-Jean Norvill, Damien Ryan, Hazem Shammas, Damien Strouthos and Miranda Tapsell.

 

Mark Scott, ABC Managing Director, said: “Bell Shakespeare’s work in schools across Australia is well known and now every school in Australia will be able to see some of Australia’s best actors bring Shakespeare to life in a way I am sure will leave a lasting impression.  It’s an exciting initiative and I think shows that we are entering an exciting era for digital education that will empower both teachers and students.”

 

Joanna Erskine, Head of Education at Bell Shakespeare, commented: “Through our 24 year history of taking Shakespeare’s work to schools around Australia, we know that teachers are crying out for high-quality Shakespeare resources. Particularly those in regional and remote areas are constantly telling us that they wish they could show their students how Shakespeare is meant to sound, how it should be performed. They want accessible Australian content that is clear and contemporary.”

 

Angela Clark, Director of Innovation at the ABC, which delivers ABC Splash, said: “Created specifically for the digital education space, ‘Shakespeare Unbound’ gives all Australian students and teachers the same opportunity, regardless of geographic location, to engage with high quality and curriculum relevant content. ABC Splash is thrilled to be able to partner with Bell Shakespeare to produce such compelling content for this audience.”

 

James Evans, Shakespeare Unbound director, added: “We’re so excited to collaborate with ABC Splash to take our work for young audiences to the next level. Bell Shakespeare already reaches around 80,000 students annually with our live performance programs. With ‘Shakespeare Unbound’ even more students will have access to Shakespeare’s greatest scenes and soliloquies, performed by some of the country’s finest artists.

 

“The 24 videos are of the highest quality, packed with incredible insights from the actors themselves, as well as Bell Shakespeare Co-Artistic Director, John Bell. This is unique, premium, Australian content featuring stimulating discussion suitable for classroom study.”

 

This resource will provide teachers and students with a contemporary take on the life and work of William Shakespeare, engaging the new generation in a format that is interactive and educational.

 

The 24 videos from the Shakespeare Unbound project are all available for free on the Splash digital education website: http://splash.abc.net.au 

 

To celebrate the launch ABC Splash are running a #ShakespeareSaid competition, giving away 10 HD cameras plus a workshop with the Director of Shakespeare Unbound for the winner’s school. To win, students need to pick a phrase Shakespeare has made famous and bring it to life in a photo or meme.

Share it on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, with the hashtag #ShakespeareSaid and enter it online to win at splash.abc.net.au/shakespearecomp 

 

All content on ABC Splash, which is run in partnership with Education Services Australia, is mapped to the Australian National Curriculum.

 

– ENDS –

 

 

About ABC Splash!

Launched in March 2013, Splash is a ground-breaking education website which helps students, teachers and parents embrace online and digital learning. It was developed by ABC Innovation in conjunction with Education Services Australia, supported by the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy and the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.  It is one of the largest digital projects ever undertaken by the ABC and delivers world-class interactive educational resources for primary and secondary school students, their teachers and parents. 

 

About ABC Innovation:

ABC Splash is a department of ABC Innovation which manages the ABC website abc.net.au and core mobile offerings including the ABC iPhone, iPad and Android apps. ABC Innovation also creates digital media content and services for online, mobile and emerging platforms.

 

About Bell Shakespeare:
In less than a quarter of a century, Bell Shakespeare has firmly established itself as Australia’s only truly national theatre company, specialising in the immortal plays of William Shakespeare and peers such as Marlowe, Jonson and Molière whose masterpieces bear comparison with the man acknowledged as history’s greatest playwright.

Through its tours, school productions and various learning programmes, Bell Shakespeare has spread its message from our largest cities to the most remote communities in Australia. Arguably, no other theatre company in the world devoted to the classics has reached such a wide audience within a single country, especially one as large and relatively unpopulated as Australia. Bell Shakespeare’s core mission remains the same as it was in 1990; to reinterpret the beautiful words, complex themes, raw emotions and profound ideas found in each Shakespeare play and show their relevance for modern Australians – wherever they live and whatever their background.

 

For images, further information or interviews: 

Laura Douglas: T 02 9492 1002 / M 0452 505 859

Sarah Bond: T 02 9492 1000 / M 0449 543 181

Prue Vercoe – Bell Shakespeare: M: 0410 541 663

14 Aug

Cobbstar Productions to explore new frontiers for world¹s favourite gay online series

by launch-admin Aug 14, 2014 0 Uncategorized

‘The Horizon’ jumps into into bed with Los Angeles media group and eyes international expansion

Australia, 12 August 2014: Production company, Cobbstar Productions, today announced the first international co-production deal to create a narrative web series spanning the two continents.  Australian based Cobbstar will partner with the US based multi-platform company New Frontiers Media to co-produce the fifth and sixth seasons of the world’s most watched gay online series, The Horizon.

The deal will see the two entities further develop The Horizon’s already massive US Audience. Frontier Media’s leading Southern Californian LGBT magazine, Frontiers LA, will be interwoven into the storyline, paving the way for the series to shift its focus to the US. As the story develops, at least 24 episodes will be shot in both Australia and the US – making The Horizon a truly international production.

Currently in its fourth season, The Horizon has already clocked over 22 million views. With the shooting for the next two seasons currently underway in Sydney, fans can expect to see the old favourites like Patrick James, Indigo Felton and Paul Layton, along with some new faces. New episodes will feature Emmy Award winning Queer Eye for the Straight Guy’s, Jai Rodriguez – whose casting was recently announced.

Rodriguez will play a promiscuous American pop singer visiting Australia, where the series is based. His character will then return to the US and be the focus of the first installment of The Horizon: L.A.

Image: Australian Producer Brian Cobb welcomes US Emmy Award Winner Jai Rodriguez and Frontiers Media to Sydney.

CEO and Founder of New Frontiers Media, Michael Turner, said: “With its wholly original story line, and huge American audience, The Horizon was a natural fit for Frontiers Media’s first move into online television. The creators of the show have consistently raised the bar for the genre from season to season.”

CEO and founder of Cobbstar Productions and series producer of The Horizon, Brian Cobb, said Frontiers Media was the perfect platform for the company’s shift towards international markets.

“I always liked the idea of formatting the series in different countries and with our huge US audience base, it seemed like a fantastic place to start. We’ve developed American storylines and characters, and will pepper these in with our key Australian cast, as we explore the explosive gay scene around West Hollywood.

“Our talented Creator Boaz Stark has found the perfect balance in writing engaging, edgy, true to life stories, whilst still being insightful and raising awareness on gay issues as we are part funded by ACON (Aids council of NSW) – that won’t change no matter where we make the series,” Cobb Said.

The Horizon has won praise from critics and fans alike. Since the airing of the fourth season in June, The Horizon has been rated the top gay web series online with over 22 million viewers in total.

-ENDS-

 

Media Contact:

Louise Proctor E: louise@launchgroup.com.au | T: 02 9492 1000 | M: 0452 574 244

 

About New Frontiers Media Holdings: Frontiers Media has revamped the 32-year old publication Frontiers—a pioneering LGBT magazine—into a lively must-read for news, lifestyle, entertainment and health content. It’s web traffic and social media followers are growing rapidly as Frontiers creates a new interactive digital experience which will include original web TV content, deep community engagement and innovative solutions for brands and this sought-after audience to connect. A new events division is following up on its success with the first LGBT Wedding Expo (and the award-winning publication that accompanied it) with a nationwide slate of events. 

About The Horizon Series: The Horizon is the most watched web series made out of Australia, and the most watched gay web series in the world. It deals with characters in the GLBTI community and undeniably universal themes. It openly addresses prejudice, discrimination and mirrors current political and health issues. It also importantly reveals stories of love, joy and strength through community and pride. The Horizon differs from other series in its fine, honest portrayal of engaging characters and its contemporary storytelling. Already with over 22 million views, seasons 5 and 6 are currently shooting in Sydney. For more information visit https://www.youtube.com/user/TheHorizonSeries

 

For more information about the New Frontiers Media – Cobbstar Productions co-production of The Horizon Series call:

Brian Cobb

E: brian@cobbstarproductions.com | M: +61 423 838 433 W: www.cobbstarproductions.com