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September 2016

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22 Sep

Storyboard to represent Australian creative startups in Denmark following Creative3 Pitch win

by launch-admin Sep 22, 2016 0 News


Storyboard to represent Australian creative startups in Denmark following Creative3 Pitch win 

Australia, 22 September 2016: QUT Creative Enterprise Australia (CEA) has today announced social discovery startup, Storyboardas the winner of its annual Creative3 Pitch.

Currently Australia’s only platform to connect investors with creative startups, this morning’s Creative3 Pitch panel included seasoned investors from Signal Ventures, AirTree Ventures, Blue Sky Capital, One Ventures and CEA’s Startup Fund. Storyboard creator, Darren Tonkin, will get the chance to pitch to some of Europe’s biggest venture capitalists as a representative of Australia at the Creative Business Cup in Copenhagen, Denmark, which is held during Global Entrepreneurship Week from 17 to 21 November.

A ‘discovery’ app filling the void between rich media and blogging, Storyboard allows users to create and share engaging stories by intelligently matching photos and videos with the places a user visits. Users can also use the app to explore destinations or discover what other people are up to in their area.

Anna Rooke, CEO of QUT CEA said, “Technology has impacted the online content space in a big way, forging an intersect between media, blog sites and social media – now all viable ways of delivering content to an audience.

“Storyboard presented a clear niche in this space, with the tie in of social media and travel that often go hand-in-hand, yet there is no current medium available to capitalise on this. Darren drew in investor interest through highlighting that the youth travel market is currently worth over $US203 billion. Combined with over 3.8 billion people using social media on their mobiles, it’s easy to see that there is huge potential for Storyboard.” 

Four shortlisted creative startups were invited to pitch at the event, including custom swimwear designers Kini Swimwearmobile music streaming app, Muru Music, and online custom fashion startup Citizen Wolf

Darren Tonkin, founder of Storyboard said: “Being named the winner of this year’s Creative3 Pitch is a game changer for us. It’s a fantastic opportunity to gain international exposure and pitch for investment when we head to the international Creative Business Cup in November.”

Ms Rooke added: “Creative3 Pitch is the only initiative in Australia that connects investor-ready creative ventures with serious investors, despite the fact that the creative industries represent over $90 billion to the Australian economy. We hope that Citizen Wolf will go on to find success in the creative-tech space and become our next successful export like 99designs, Canva, Envato, Shoes of Prey, Fame & Partners, and Like a Photon Creative.”

For more information about the Creative3 Pitch visit: http://creative3.com.au/pitch/

– Ends –

Media Contact

Sarah Bond, Launch Group

E: sarahbond@launchgroup.com.au | M: + 61 449 543 181 | T: +612 9492 1041

About QUT Creative Enterprise Australia (CEA)

CEA helps start, grow, scale and connect creative companies. Providing essential business skills and pragmatic training focused on company growth and investment, CEA accelerates companies with a focus on design, fashion, entertainment, photography, music, film and television, digital technology, games and interactive content. 

Since 2008, over 4,000 entrepreneurs have engaged in QUT CEA services, supporting over 500 creative industries businesses on site, establishing over 50 start-ups, and raising over $60 million capital

CEA offers access to workspace, business mentoring, special events, networks, research expertise and capital to foster the growth of the creative industries in Australia.


16 Sep

ACS Adelaide hosts ‘The Power and Promise of Female Leadership’

by launch-admin Sep 16, 2016 0 News

Leaders Lunch featuring global professional development expert Tara Wisniewski


Adelaide, 16 September, 2016: The ACS, the professional association for Australia’s ICT sector, will host a Leaders Lunch in Adelaide focused on strengthening support for female leadership within business and government. Featuring Tara Wisniewski, Managing Director Advocacy and Public Affairs for ISACA, a leading global professional development association, “The Power and Promise of Female Leadership” luncheon takes place at Peppers Waymouth Hotel on Friday 16 September commencing 12pm.


The luncheon will include a keynote and discussion led by Ms Wisniewski who will share her strategies on how organisations can build programming to support the professional growth of women and female leadership across not just in the ICT sector, but across all sectors and industries.


Guests will include South Australian State Government Ministers, along with senior executives, and a range of enterprise and government organisations.


Commenting on the event, Chair of ACS SA Branch Executive Committee, Jo Stewart-Rattray, said the ACS is passionate about supporting a digitally skilled and diverse ICT workforce. Ms Stewart-Rattray referred to the ACS’ recent report titled, The Promise of Diversity – Gender Equality in the ICT Profession, which outlined a series of recommendations to increase the participation of women in the ICT profession. 


“From our research we found, women represent only 28 per cent of the ICT workforce as compared to 43 per cent in the wider professional workforce. This underutilisation of human capital in ICT looms as a major constraint on Australia’s national growth. But this situation is not unique to Australia – it is an international problem that must be addressed as such if we are to succeed in making real change,” Ms Stewart-Rattray said.


Further to this, research by the Grattan Institute suggests that if Australia was to lift its female labour participation rate by six per cent to be roughly comparable to Canada, Australia’s GDP would be $25 billion higher. Analysis by Goldman Sachs suggests that closing the equity gap could boost the level of Australian GDP by 11 per cent.


Ms Stewart-Rattray continued: “A coalition between key stakeholders from the industry, the profession, educators, employers, career advisors, parents, and our government decision makers is crucial to the success of this endeavour. If we actually want innovation and creativity, it’s up to all of us to contribute to make the difference and ‘The Power and Promise of Female Leadership’ Leaders Lunch is bringing this conversation to the ears of people who can make a real difference.”


Event details:


What:                      ACS’ Leaders Lunch – The Power and Promise of Female Leadership

When:                     Friday 16 September, 12 noon

Venue:                   Peppers Waymouth Hotel, 55 Waymouth Street, Adelaide SA 5000

Who:                        Tara Wisniewski, Managing Director Advocacy and Public Affairs for ISACA

                                    Ministers attending include:

                                    Katrine Hildyard MP, Member for Reynell (representing the Premier)

Nat Cook MP, Member for Fisher

Chris Picton MP, Member for Kaurna 

Corey Wingard MP, Member for Mitchell

David Pisoni MP, Member for Unley

Kelly Vincent MLC, Dignity for the Disabled



For more information about the Leaders Lunch, please visit here.




Further information

Christine Kardashian, 02 9492 1007/ 0416 005 703 christine@launchgroup.com.au

Thomas Shanahan, ACS, 0449 902 130 Thomas.shanahan@acs.org.au


About the ACS

The 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 ACS 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.

About Tara Wisniewski

As ISACA’s Managing Director, Advocacy and Public Affairs, Tara Wisniewski leads a wide portfolio of activities aimed at increasing ISACA’s impact and influence globally. Her portfolio focuses on ISACA’s engagement with its stakeholders and key constituencies and includes leading ISACA’s partnership with its 213 chapters, building a public affairs effort focused on government relations and strategic partnerships and engagement programs focused on building broader engagement platforms for women, students and ISACA’s volunteers. Tara has nearly 20 years of experience in global affairs, external affairs and corporate activities in non-profit institutions and professional associations. Her experience includes fundraising, advocacy, government relations, strategic partnerships, volunteer engagement, program development and building and managing teams around the globe. Tara has a B.A. from Tulane University and a M.A. from Rutgers University.

14 Sep

MCN Strengthens Digital Sales Team

by launch-admin Sep 14, 2016 0 News

Nev Hasan promoted to National Digital Sales Director

Sydney, 14 September, 2016: Multi Channel Network (MCN) today announced the promotion of Nev Hasan to the role of National Digital Sales Director. Previously the Sydney Digital Sales Director, Nev will bring national focus to sales activities for MCN’s rapidly growing online, mobile, IPTV and programmatic platforms. He will also be integral in driving MCN’s newest data led mobile advertising initiative, MCN Location.

MCN National Sales Director, Nick Young, said the Sydney Digital Sales team has consistently outperformed the market under Nev’s leadership.

“Nev is one of Australia’s leading digital sales executives and he has played a key role in the success of MCN’s digital sales operation over the last five years,” he said. “Nev’s sales capability, strategic approach and passion for digital media has driven fantastic results for the business, and will set up MCN’s digital partners for further growth moving forward.”

Nev said: “I am excited to be leading the sales operations for MCN’s dynamic digital portfolio and the largest premium digital video network in Australia. MCN is truly leading the media market when it comes to ensuring advertisers can simply and efficiently target highly engaged audiences across any screen, in real time.

“Our new location based marketing offering, MCN Location, is a big opportunity for MCN’s partners and agencies and further strengthens our mobile and data offering. I am looking forward to working with those partners to capitalise on new opportunities that location data and mobile video are opening up to the market. We already represent a compelling range of channels and products in FOX SPORTS, FOXTEL, Telstra Media and tenplay, and MCN Location really rounds out our mobile offering.”

Prior to joining MCN in 2012, Nev worked in Sales and Management roles for SMG Red Yahoo!7, Yahoo!, and Ninemsn.


Ends –


Further information:

MULTI CHANNEL NETWORK                                                                                     

Louise Proctor, Launch Group


Ph: (02) 9492 1000/ 0452 574 244                                        


About MCN: MCN is Australia’s leading media sales company, representing the advertising interests of Foxtel, Network Ten, FOX SPORTS, Telstra Media, plus many other premium content brands.


Accounting for the biggest commercial audience share of television and the largest broadcast-quality digital video network in Australia, MCN represents 15 capital-city free-to-air channels from Australia’s fastest growing free-to-air network, Network Ten, 71 premium subscription television channel brands across Foxtel, 117 premium digital publishers, plus online catch-up and streaming TV services tenplay and Foxtel Go.


MCN also represents 31 Digital-Out-Of-Home-TV screens and partners with Qantas to manage its domestic and international inflight entertainment network. MCN is a partner in MBX, a programmatic advertising exchange with NewsCorp.


A pioneer of innovative digital advertising solutions, MCN has led the development of local and world leading initiatives including Australia’s largest TV audience panel, Multiview, Australia’s most advanced trading platform, Landmark, and the world’s first integrated programmatic private marketplace for TV.


Established in 1997, MCN is a joint venture between Foxtel, FOX SPORTS and Ten Network.




12 Sep

Sydney Angels backs wholesale beverage platform, eBev, during $1.5m raise

by launch-admin Sep 12, 2016 0 News

 Media Release    

Sydney Angels backs wholesale beverage platform, eBev, during $1.5m raise
Angel investment of $220,000 to advance growth in Australia’s $5 billion wholesale beverage industry
Australia, 13 September 2016: Australian B2B beverage startup, eBev, has announced a raise of $1.5 million as it prepares a national roll out of its technology platform to tackle Australia’s $5 billion wholesale beverage market.
A total of $220,000 was raised through angel investment in a recent round led by the Sydney Angels group, which included capital from the Sydney Angels Sidecar Fund. Further capital raised through private investors took the total amount raised to $1.5 million.
With a current database of over 20,000 wines – the largest in Australia – eBev is providing a one-stop, centralised, and mobile platform for Australia’s 38,000 licensed venues to source, purchase and manage their stock. Currently over 700 venues in Sydney have signed up to the platform with over 16,000 cases ordered and $2.4 million worth of transactions already achieved. 
Sydney Angels investor and syndicate lead, Adrian Bunter, has joined the Board of eBev and said that the market potential in the wholesale beverage sector is clear.
“The wholesale beverage industry offers huge potential to investors and is currently largely untapped by innovation. It was great to see eBev already on the front foot in tackling the problems long-suffered by venues in the ordering and management of stock.
“Sydney Angels members were impressed by the clear benefits that eBev brings to both the venues and suppliers within the wholesale beverage industry. The fact that eBev has already signed on hundreds of Sydney’s licensed venues with solid transactions in motion is testament to its need in the market,” added Mr Bunter.  

Proceeds from the capital raising will allow eBev to expand the product offering and scale nationally. Current establishments already signed up to eBev include Garfish, Bathers Pavilion, The Tilbury, Rag and Famish. 

eBev General Manager, Cassandra MacDonald, said the funds raised will allow eBev to build out its service offering to include all beverage types, sales rep tools and payments.

“Our technology offers efficiencies to make it easier for licensed venues to find beverages and their suppliers, to contact them, order and pay from what is a highly fragmented market place. We’re thrilled that Sydney Angels has supported us and strengthened our position to grow that community and extend our offering across Australia. Our target is to have national reach across all beverages by the end of FY17.

“Traditionally, weekly beverage ordering is a fragmented, slow, inefficient and a frustrating process for venues – and almost equally so for the vendors. Often a venue has to reduce its supplier options due to the administrative costs that comes with having lots of providers, with eBev, a venue can now have more choice as well as more efficiency.

“We are fiercely independent and respect the key role of industry participants including distributors and sales reps,” added Ms MacDonald. 


About eBev: eBev is an Australian web-based B2B platform that brings efficiencies to how licensed venues deal with their beverage suppliers. eBev has built a search and ordering tool that allows businesses such as restaurants, hotels, bars and independent retailers to order all their beverages from one platform. It can assist venues by cutting their sourcing, inventory management and ordering time, as well as providing analytics on how products are performing in real time. 

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

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

Sarah Bond, Senior Account Manager
Launch Management Group Pty Ltd
FSA #100, Fox Studios Australia,
38 Driver Avenue, Moore Park, NSW 2021
office: + 61 2 9492 1041
mobile: + 61 (0) 449 543 181
facsimile: + 61 2 9492 1099

twitter: @Launch_Group I @_sarahjbond

7 Sep

Powering Growth: Realising the potential of AgTech for Australia

by launch-admin Sep 7, 2016 0 News

StartupAUS report outlines insights and key recommendations

for the future of AgTech in Australia.


Australia, 07 September 2016Australia is poised to use digital agricultural technology (AgTech) as a critical component of its goal to develop an AU$100 billion agricultural industry by 2030, according to a report, Powering Growth: Realising the potential of AgTech for Australia, released today by StartupAUS, Australia’s national advocacy group for startups.


The StartupAUS report, co-authored by KPMG Australia, and supported by the Queensland Government and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), aims to uncover the opportunities for Australia in agricultural technology. The report makes a series of recommendations aimed at growing the AgTech sector in Australia in order to provide producers with the tools, data and knowledge to make more informed and timely on-farm decisions and improve productivity and sustainability.


The report notes that agriculture is a significant contributor to Australia’s economy. The sector is the largest employer in rural and regional communities, generates four per cent of Australia’s total employment, provides 93 per cent of the nation’s domestic food supply, and contributes approximately 13 per cent (AU$42 billion) of Australia’s export revenue.


The report draws on detailed discussions with more than 60 stakeholders – including AgTech startups, farmers and agribusinesses, research bodies, government, and investors.


The StartupAUS report identifies three key components necessary for Australian AgTech to reach its full potential – capital, connectivity and direction. It makes 12 total recommendations, including:


·       Establish an independently-administered fund designed to make AgTech more affordable to industry

·       Develop a marketplace for AgTech products

·       Establish a network of AgTech hubs

·       Establish a joint R&D fund with leading global AgTech players

·       Increase funding for the Accelerating Commercialisation component of the Entrepreneur’s Programme

·       Develop a nation-wide AgTech strategy

·       Provide direction to university and RDC research via KPIs centred on commercialisation of technology and shorter grant periods that encourage agile testing


Alex McCauley, StartupAUS CEO, said: “Agriculture is a key driver of Australian exports, and technology has always played an important role in increasing agricultural output. We have an extremely valuable opportunity here to develop technologies that make a real difference to the economy’s bottom line, while also helping rural Australia realise the economic benefits of the digital technology revolution. This is a great example of how technology can have a transformative effect on broader traditional industries. If Australia is to realise its ambition to be the food bowl for a rapidly-growing middle class in Asia and Africa, we will need to become a leader in AgTech.


The Hon. Andrew Robb AO, wrote in his forward: “Agriculture plays a central role both in Australia’s economy and its national identity. It has always been a strength and passion of ours. This document provides important thought leadership on how to nurture the technology which will help Australian agriculture remain world-leading in the years ahead.”


Ben van Delden, KPMG AgTech Leader & Head of Markets, said: “Global venture capital inflows into AgTech were up 336 per cent in 2015, and Australian agriculture is poised to nearly double to an AU$100 billion industry by 2030. Technologies such as autonomous vehicles, precision sprayers, virtual fencing, smart gates, sensing devices and robotics are already transforming how we farm. The Internet of Things will draw consumers closer to growers and integrate supply chains to improve yield and reduce wastage.


“The question facing Australia is: do we want we want to be builders, buyers or bystanders in the AgTech market? In countries such as Canada, England, Israel and New Zealand, government is already playing a key role bringing together researchers, producers, technology providers, startups and investors. It is our hope that this report can form a go-to-market strategy for Australian governments and corporates to work alongside each other to build and grow a vibrant, world-leading AgTech ecosystem.”


Tim Harvey, Commonwealth Bank’s General Manager, Regional and Agribusiness Banking NSW, said: “Commonwealth Bank recognises that enhancing the financial wellbeing of businesses, people and communities means identifying the best practices and benefits associated with a new wave of agricultural technology. To do this, we must understand the key roadblocks, and determine how we can contribute to turning significant opportunity into reality. We hope Powering Growth will raise awareness of this sector and spark conversation about the best ways to realise the potential in the industry.”


McCauley added, “This research highlights the fantastic work startups, corporates and universities are already doing to develop the AgTech sector in Australia. It also shows how Australia is well placed to capitalise on the huge potential for future growth.”


Key statistics from the report:


·       The global opportunity for AgTech’s impact in the private sector is estimated to be as much as US$189 billion between 2013 and 2022

·       Australian high technology exports rose US1.44 billion from 2009 to 2014, an increase of 44.3 per cent

·       In the same period, high technology as a percentage of manufactured exports rose from 11.9 per cent to 13.6 per cent.

·       In 2015, global venture capital investments alone reached US$1.5 billion across AgTech, up 336 per cent compared with the VC investment in 2014

·       More than 50 per cent of Australia’s food is exported

·       Export earnings from farm commodities are forecast to be around AU$43.4 billion, in nominal terms, in 2015-16 – around 14 per cent higher than the five-year average of AU$38.2 billion

·       Agriculture comprises about 15 per cent of merchandise exports

·       In 2013-14 Australia’s agriculture, fishing and forestry industries directly employed over 300,000 people

·       The gross value of Australia’s farm production is forecast to increase by eight per cent in 2015-16 to around AU$57.1 billion

·       In 2015, Australia achieved record farm-gate returns of AU$57.6 billion, an eight per cent uplift on 2014, which was driven by strong commodity prices in cattle, beef, dairy, chickpea and grains

·       Australia’s agricultural productivity growth, once up around an average of 2.9 per cent per annum in the years between 1991 and 2000, has fallen back to 1.4 per cent in the decade to 2011, and sits below the world average of 1.7 per cent

·       Australia accounts for 1 per cent of global agriculture production




Media Contact

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.


StartupAUS will expand its efforts to bring financial partners on-board to help corporates have a bigger voice in the emerging innovation conversation and assist StartupAUS in increasing its resources and activities ahead of this year’s election, as both sides of politics vie for innovative traction. The organisation’s current corporate partners include Salesforce and Google Australia. It also has a growing list of philanthropic benefactors including successful tech entrepreneur, Steve Baxter, Co-Chairman of CHAMP’s Board of Directors and Investment Committee, Bill Ferris, and Director and Co-Founder of Allen & Buckeridge, Roger Allen.


For more information visit: www.startupaus.org

1 Sep

MCN boost sports offering with the representation of beIN SPORTS

by launch-admin Sep 1, 2016 0 News


Agreement adds another 1,300 hours of LIVE sport each year to MCN network


Sydney, 1 September 2016: Multi Channel Network is pleased to announce it has taken on representation for beIN Sports’ three television channels and digital assets in Australia, effective today.


beIN is one of the fastest growing international sports networks in the world. Its three dedicated HD channels increase MCN’s FOXTEL sport representation to a total of 15 channels, and the wide range of competitions further strengthens MCN’s dominant LIVE sport offering, adding roughly 1,300 hours of LIVE sport each year.


MCN National Sports Sales Director, Martin Medcraf, said: “The extensive live sport coverage of beIN is a strong addition to our great sports representation and means brands can now partner with even more premium international sport. beIN is a rising global powerhouse of sport. It has a special focus on European football leagues and has exclusive rights to European rugby competitions, complementing our domestic Rugby and Football broadcasts, and we look forward to bringing both of these exciting opportunities to the Australian market.”


beIN Managing Director, Australia & New Zealand, Conor Woods, said: “With the launch of our three new HD channels and our new beIN websites, we are offering consumers more live sport, in more ways, than ever before. MCN is Australia’s leading multi-screen network, and their market position was crucial in our decision to partner with them as we look to establish increased partnerships across our expanding platforms.”


beIN’s channels are now available to Foxtel sports subscribers at no additional cost to the sport pack. Subscribers can also stream the three channels via Foxtel Go and Foxtel play, giving fans additional flexibility to watch their favourite league on their own terms.




Further information:

MULTI CHANNEL NETWORK                                                                          

Matthew Sainsbury, Launch Group


Ph: (02) 9492 1000/ 0423 393 300                                         


About MCN: MCN is Australia’s leading media sales company, representing the advertising interests of Foxtel, Network Ten, FOX SPORTS, Telstra Media, plus many other premium content brands.


Accounting for the biggest commercial audience share of television and the largest broadcast-quality digital video network in Australia, MCN represents 15 capital-city free-to-air channels from Australia’s fastest growing free-to-air network, Network Ten, 71 premium subscription television channel brands across Foxtel, 117 premium digital publishers, plus online catch-up and streaming TV services tenplay and Foxtel Go.


MCN also represents 31 Digital-Out-Of-Home-TV screens and partners with Qantas to manage its domestic and international inflight entertainment network. MCN is a partner in MBX, a programmatic advertising exchange with NewsCorp.


A pioneer of innovative digital advertising solutions, MCN has led the development of local and world leading initiatives including Australia’s largest TV audience panel, Multiview, Australia’s most advanced trading platform, Landmark, and the world’s first integrated programmatic private marketplace for TV.


Established in 1997, MCN is a joint venture between Foxtel, FOX SPORTS and Ten Network.


About beIN Media Group 


beIN is a leading global network broadcasting in the Middle East and North Africa (in 24 countries), France, Spain, USA, Canada, Indonesia, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand and Australia. The beIN Media Group is a global multi-genre company providing exclusive access to prime sporting competitions including: FIFA World Cup, UEFA Champions League, football leagues from Europe including Spain’s La Liga, England’s Premier League, Italy’s Serie A, France’s Ligue 1, German’s League Bundesliga; CAN, AFC Champions League and AFC Asian Cup. Among the world’s other most popular sports, tennis (including French Open, US Open), basketball (NBA), motorsports (MotoGP, Dakar Rally, NASCAR), cycling (Tour de France), rugby (Six Nations) and many more including handball (Qatar 2015) and gymnastics are also broadcast by beIN around the world (rights vary by territory).