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2016

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15 Nov

ingogo partners with Qantas Frequent Flyer to help passengers travel even further

by launch-admin Nov 15, 2016 0 News
MEDIA RELEASE 

ingogo partners with Qantas Frequent Flyer to help passengers travel even further 

Qantas Frequent Flyer members will earn extra points booking taxis through ingogo

Australia, 15 November, 2016: Australia’s innovative taxi booking application, ingogo, and Qantas Frequent Flyer, have today announced a partnership that will allow Frequent Flyer members to earn one Qantas Point per dollar spent on taxis booked through the ingogo app.

To start earning, Qantas Frequent Flyer members simply need to save their membership number into the ingogo app.

Users can book their taxi ride up to 48 hours in advance, which will benefit those travelling to and from the airport in particular, enabling them to skip airport queues or have to flag a last-minute cab on the day.

Furthermore, users can better budget the trip, with ingogo’s Australian-first Fixed Fares system letting them know exactly how much they’ll pay for the journey before even getting into the taxi.

“Qantas has 11.5 million Frequent Flyer members,” said Hamish Petrie, ingogo founder and CEO. “In other words, around half the Australian population can now start earning Qantas Points simply by using the ingogo app and taxis to get around.

“While they can earn Qantas Points on any ingogo journey, catching a taxi to the airport and back is an integral part of the travelling experience for many Qantas Frequent Flyers, so it makes sense to be earning them on that part of the trip too,” Petrie added.

The Qantas Frequent Flyer partnership will also be integrated into ingogo’s business solution that enables corporates to save up to 20 per cent on employee taxi travel, along with streamlined expense management processing.

Qantas Loyalty CEO Lesley Grant added: “Whether it’s on the ground or inflight, we’re always looking at giving our members more opportunities to be rewarded.

“Qantas Frequent Flyers already have lots of ways to earn points through their everyday spend, as well as when they’re on holiday or a business trip. Using the ingogo app and benefitting from its Fixed Fare feature, our members will know exactly how many they’ll be earning before they’ve even begun their journey.”

Qantas Frequent Flyers can use the ingogo app on their iPhone and Android devices.

To celebrate the partnership, members will earn 250 Qantas Points on each of their first three ingogo trips[i] taken before 31 March 2017.

– Ends – 

Media Contacts:

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

Qantas Media +61 418 210 005, qantasmedia@qantas.com.au

About ingogo:

ingogo is an integrated mobile booking and 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. 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 an integration with Xero, the leading cloud accounting platform.

In May 2016, ingogo became Australia’s first taxi booking application to switch from metered fares to a transparent, Fixed Fares model.


[i] Members will earn 250 Qantas Points for each of these three journeys with ingogo instead of the one Qantas Point per one dollar spent on the fare during the offer period.

Related image

 

 

3 Nov

The ACS welcomes Government’s Digital Solutions draft curriculum as step in the right direction

by launch-admin Nov 3, 2016 0 News

 

Recommendations from ACS will help enhance effectiveness of new program

Brisbane, 3 November 2016 – The ACS – the professional association for Australia’s ICT sector – welcomes the intent behind the Queensland Government’s draft QCAA ‘Digital Solutions’ ATAR curriculum presented at the Association’s inaugural Access IT Conference, saying the state is showing real leadership in recognising the impact that digital and technology will have on future workforces.

 

Exclusively presented as part of the Education Panel on day-two of ACS Queensland’s AccessIT Conference – which brought together key leaders in ICT to discuss its future, as well as showcase Queensland’s growing global hub of ICT businesses, talent and industry collaborators – it was concluded the initiative will better prepare today’s youth for the hugely disrupted workforce in the years ahead.

 

The new Digital Solutions curriculum is a complete overhaul to the existing ICT courses being taught at schools currently for Year 11 and 12 students.

 

Ross Medina, ACS Queensland State Manager, said: “As a Computer Science course it has great potential. It has a comprehensive coding focus in Unit One (of four units), and other coding related areas such as design, User Interface (UI), addressing user requirements (UX), which is good to see. 

 

“Unit Two looks at applications and data, while Unit Three looks at the critical topic of the practical application of IT, from the Internet of Things, to robotics, game development, computer generated media and virtual reality. Finally, Unit Four will consider the impact of the digital, with coursework focused around security, Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning,” he said.

 

Overall, the coursework will be comprehensive, and give students with and without aptitude for coding a baseline understanding of the roles that they might have in future STEM-based career paths.

 

The ACS has a number of recommendations that would help enhance the effectiveness of the program:

 

1)     An increased focus on ethics. With automation predicted to replace over 40 per cent of jobs in the next five to 10 years, the ongoing discussion around human values and ethics needs to be kept top-of-mind, and taught at an early age.

2)     The Digital Solutions draft prescribes Problem-Based Learning as the active approach. The ACS recommends this to be complementary to Real-World Project-Based Learning. Taught exclusively, Problem-Based Learning risks providing insufficient critical thinking, complex communication and creative thinking skills. Grounding the program better in the real world will also help motivation and engagement levels.

3)     The addition of coursework in the development of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) would be a good fit for the syllabus.

 

Mr Medina continued: “The biggest issue that we see with the module is not an appropriate course for the majority of senior students. Based on the current enrolment figures for Information Processes and Technology, we cannot expect more than 10 to 20 per cent of students to enrol in this currently non-mandatory subject.

 

“Comparing Mathematics in the new ATAR curriculum, we have four subjects to be offered: Mathematics Essentials; Mathematics General; Mathematics Methods; and Mathematics Specialist. Under a similar classification we could see these as Mathematical Literacy (Essentials); Mathematical Fluency (General) and Mathematical Mastery (Methods & Specialist). This clearly caters for the range of skills and aptitudes, and even to some degree, student interests and future career aspirations

 

“In very stark contrast, the QCAA will be offering only a Digital Mastery course, yet no courses within the ATAR set of subjects. Why in an increasing digital world, based very strongly on IT, are we looking at offering four Maths; four English and four Science subjects to cater for this range of skill development; aptitudes and interests, but only one IT subject.”

 

-ENDS-

 

Further information

Louise Proctor, Launch Group, 0452 574 244 louise@launchgroup.com.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.

 

25 Oct

Startup organisations unite to respond to review of the R&D TaxIncentive

by launch-admin Oct 25, 2016 0 News

Australia, 25 October 2016: An alliance of startup organisations are calling for startup-friendly enhancements to the R&D Tax Incentive scheme. The submission, prepared by StartupAUS and supported by FinTech Australia, StartupWA, StartupTas, TechSydney, Startup Adelaide and Startup Victoria, proposes a series of key recommendations to the Federal Government review that would see the scheme enhance its investment in innovative, high-growth businesses.

 

StartupAUS CEO Alex McCauley said the R&D Tax Incentive is most effective when directed to startups. National research conducted by StartupAUS in support of their submission found an overwhelming 98.7% of startups we surveyed indicated that they would hire additional staff with increased income from the R&D Tax Incentive, 82.4% of which would be specifically in an R&D capacity.  

 

“When the R&D Tax Incentive is spent on startups, three critical goals are achieved. Startups are supported when they are at their most vulnerable, R&D output gets a big direct boost, and our fastest growing tech companies are encouraged to stay and create jobs in Australia. In short – you get a lot of bang for your buck when the R&D Tax Incentive goes to startups,” McCauley said.

 

CEO of Fintech Australia Danielle Szetho said, “The R&D Tax Incentive has already done so much to drive our fintech industry forward. The Federal Government now has a great opportunity to focus it where it’s desperately needed – on incentivising better collaboration between startups, corporates and researchers to drive much-needed commercialisation outcomes.”

 

CEO of TechSydney, Dean McEvoy said, “At a time where other global cities are investing more heavily in their startups and high growth technology sectors it would be a disaster if the government reduced its most effective supporting initiative.”

 

Managing Director of Startup Adelaide Jenny Vandyke said, “I believe that strengthening the R&D Tax Offset for our innovative, high growth startups is one of the best ways to stimulate jobs growth and strengthen our economy, particularly in the pressure cooker economic environment we’re facing here in South Australia.”

 

Director of StartupWA Justin Strharsky said, “The R&D Tax Incentive is one of the best levers we have to stimulate investment in innovation and encourage growing ventures to stay in Australia. We should increase its impact on early stage startups, especially by making payments quarterly, to drive job creation and make this a great place from which to build businesses.”

 

CEO of Startup Victoria Georgia Beattie, said, “The $2 million cash back cap will reduce available cash for startups in our economy. Increasing the cash available here will culturally change for the better the way Australians approach innovation. A focused increase towards small companies will be bait to attract smart innovators to put their minds towards Australia’s fundamental economic challenges.”

 

 

 

 

Mr McCauley also acknowledged how effective the scheme was in supporting early stage businesses.

 

“Access to capital is the single biggest challenge facing early stage businesses, and the R&D Tax Incentive is one of the biggest levers available to government to provide support. Our research shows that 89 % of startups say R&D Tax Incentive is either critical (68.9 %) or very important (20.3 %) to their business, while 87.8% of startups say that receiving the R&D Tax Incentive quarterly rather than annually would make a ‘huge’ (77%) or very large (10.8%) difference.”

 

In August, the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science released figures showing net job creation comes from early-stage and startup businesses – with young companies creating nearly all of the 1.6 million net new jobs in Australia from 2003 to 2014. These findings echoed figures released in the US, where economists have found that startups compose less than 10% of all firms, yet they contribute 20% of job creation at companies with more than one employee.



StartupAUS has recommended a number of relatively low-cost amendments that could make a significant difference to the impact of the scheme on startups. These include:  

 

1. Increase the amount paid to startups.

Analysis conducted by StartupAUS and KPMG suggested even very substantial increases to the amount claimable by early stage tech startups (doubling it, from 45% to 90%) would only cost $90 million in a scheme that in total costs more than $3 billion each year. StartupAUS believes this part of the scheme delivers the most value, and suggests giving it a significant boost.

 

2. Pay it quarterly.

Cashflow is the single biggest issue facing most startups. Some 87.8% of startups surveyed in support of this submission said that receiving the R&D Tax Incentive quarterly rather than annually would make a ‘huge’ (77%) or very large (10.8%) difference to the cashflow of the business. Many startups are currently borrowing against future R&D Tax Incentive payments, which can involve hefty interest rates and substantially eat into the effectiveness of the scheme. Paying the tax incentive quarterly to early stage startups would deliver a powerful boost to their viability and growth prospects.

 

3. Make it simple and transparent.

The application process for the R&D Tax Incentive is cumbersome and lengthy. It costs founders time that could be used on their business, and often advisory fees to help put the application together. Simplifying the process would streamline applications and deliver more of the resources of the scheme to the right people (businesses, rather than middle-men).

 

4. Extend collaboration incentives to larger enterprises.

The Expert Panel Report recently released by the Government proposed an additional incentive for collaboration with universities and research bodies when conducting R&D. Startups currently find it very difficult to access IP developed at universities, therefore StatupAUS welcomes any step to make this process more rewarding. Further to this, extending the collaboration entities to include larger enterprises could be a valuable factor in helping startups form strategic partnerships with corporates.

 

5. Don’t cap the low end.

The Expert Panel Report suggested capping refunds to smaller companies under the scheme to $2 million. StartupAUS a cap of this amount cuts the refund available to many of many of Australia’s most promising scale-ups. If a cap is required, StartupAUS recommends a much higher number (around the $5 million mark) would be more appropriate.

 

Mr McCauley continued: “The vast majority of Australian startups claim the R&D Tax Incentive. Startups, almost by definition, are working on innovative new products and services that require a bit of time and money to develop and get right, and many of those costs are eligible for refunds under the scheme. The capital provided under the incentive for early-stage and growing businesses is a lifeline to many startups that can literally make the difference between growth and failure for a promising venture,” he said.

 

The Federal Government’s public submission process is open until the 28th of October. If you’d like to make a submission, head to this website and follow the instructions. Feel free to take as much as you need from our submission, or tailor to your own views as appropriate. Alternately, you can fill out the government’s feedback survey here.

 

ENDS



Data from StartupAUS’ survey conducted in October 2016 on a nationally representative sample of 74 startups:

  • An overwhelming 98.7% of startups said they would spend any increase they received in the R&D Tax Incentive on hiring additional staff. Of these, 82% said they would hire additional staff to conduct further R&D.
  • Currently, startups can access the 43.5% refundable tax offset, meaning they can claim a refund of 43.5 cents for each eligible dollar spent on qualifying R&D.
  • StartupAUS’ March submission estimated that, properly targeted, an increase in this figure from 45% (as it then was) to 90% would cost about $90 million. Given that overall spending on the R&D Tax Incentive is around $3 billion annually, this would be a very minor increase.
  • FinTech Australia research found 72% of fintech startups are looking to form partnerships with other banks, corporates and startups. However, 41% of these same startups also said they currently found it challenging to build partnerships with those same organisations.

 

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

24 Oct

Queensland Leaders Converge On Future of ICT: ACS QueenslandAnnounces Inaugural Access IT Conference

by launch-admin Oct 24, 2016 0 News

 

Keynotes include: Brisbane’s Lord Mayor, Graham Quirk, Tim Wark, Data61, CSIRO; Cat Matson, Chief Digital Officer, City of Brisbane

 

Plus Draft 2018 QLD ICT Curriculum Announced (Years 11 &12)

 

Australia, 24 October, 2016: The ACS – the professional association for Australia’s ICT sector – today launched its inaugural Access IT Conference, a large-scale, two-day event that brings together key leaders in ICT to discuss its future, as well as showcase Queensland’s growing global hub of ICT businesses, talent and industry collaborators.

 

Held at The Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, Brisbane’s Lord Mayor, Graham Quirk, will officially open the Access IT Conference, which features more than 30 inspirational technologists, innovators and industry thought leaders spanning technology, business, enterprise, education, academia and politics.

 

Together, keynote speakers and conference delegates will address some of the biggest challenges in ICT – including how to secure Australia’s $179 billion economic future amidst an ICT skills deficit[1]; the need for increased collaboration between industry, government, business and education; the latest megatrends in ICT; and why Queensland is taking the lead as Australia’s thriving technology ecosystem poised for significant global growth.

 

Keynote speakers include: Tim Wark, Director of Products, Programs and Marketing at Data61, CSIRO; Cat Matson, Chief Digital Officer, City of Brisbane – who is one of only two CDO’s in the world; Dr Sally Ernst, Co-Founder, UK and Australian Cyber Security Networks; Dr Catherine Ball, Telstra Queensland Business Women of the Year; Wade Alcorn, Managing Director, Alcorn Group and more.

 

ACS Queensland State Manager, Ross Medina, said: “It is exciting to bring together such a stellar line-up of speakers, innovators and delegates who are shaping and advancing ICT.

 

Australia is currently undergoing a significant digital transition and the need to strengthen our nation’s digital skills and capabilities – from the classroom to the office – is now critical. While projected demand for ICT professionals is expected to grow 1.3 per cent in Queensland by 2020[2], this needs to increase in order to meet future demand for specialist ICT skills,” said Mr Medina.

 

Queensland in particular is fast garnering a reputation as Australia’s burgeoning startup state and is home to a growing hub of technology businesses and innovators, such as Alcorn Group, Blue Ocean Robotics and Atech. “These businesses – and the talent behind them – are tapping into the huge potential of ICT and are paving the way for other businesses to follow,” said Mr Medina.

 

In addition to speakers and panelists, the conference will feature a special Industry Hacks segment. This is an opportunity for delegates and speakers to unite and develop real-world solutions to industry challenges. These solutions will be presented to the conference’s expert judging panel and summarised into a whole-of-industry white paper. This will later be shared with relevant government leaders to ignite fresh conversation on the direction that ICT in Australia should take.

 

Mr Medina added, “Education, including a stronger emphasis on digital literacy in Australian classrooms, will go a long way in tackling the challenges we face. This is why ICT education is a core component of Access IT and it is an honour to announce that Jo Butterworth will unveil the draft 2018 Queensland ICT Curriculum for students in year’s 11 and 12 during the conference,” said Mr Medina.

 

Attending delegates also have the opportunity to connect with a range of industry specialists via the conference’s Mentor Centor, including recruiters, mentors, personal and business coaches, career advisors, attorneys, and more.

 

The conference is held over two-days, on 24 and 25 October 2016. More than 20 Queensland businesses will also be exhibiting.

 

To view the full speaker line-up please click here.

 

To view the full conference program please click here.

 

Event details:

 

What:    ACS Queensland Access IT Conference

 

When:   Monday 24 October 12pm – 4:45pm and Conference Dinner 6:30pm – 12pm

 Tuesday 25 October 8:30am – 5:00pm

 

Venue: Brisbane Entertainment and Convention Centre

 

Who:       Annastacia PalasczczukQueensland Premier

 Tim Wark – Director of Products, Programs & Marketing at Data61, CSIRO

 Paul Martyn – Deputy Director General, DSITI

 Graham Quirk – Brisbane Lord Mayor

 Ross Medina – ACS Queensland State Manager

 Cat Matson – Chief Digital Officer, City of Brisbane

 Megan Cook – Principal Product Manager, Atlassian

 Wade Alcorn – Managing Director, Alcorn Group

 Dr Sally Ernst – Co-Founder, UK and Australian Cyber Security Networks

 Dr Catherine Ball – 2015 Queensland Telstra Business Women of the Year

 

 

 

 

 

KEY FACTS AND FIGURES

 

*The following figures are taken from ACS’ 2016 Digital Pulse Report

 

ACS’ findings on ICT in Queensland:

·       Projected demand for ICT professionals is 1.3 per cent annually. While this is below the national average of 2 per cent it is an encouraging result for an economy seeking to build its capabilities in the digital economy.

 

ACS’ findings on the state of ICT in Australia:

·       ICT workforce to grow 2 per cent annually from 628,000 in 2015 to 695,000 in 2020

·       Six out of the top 10 skills now sought after for ICT specialists are non-technical skills such as project management, sales and customer service skills.

·       2.5 million Australians in non-ICT roles have reported digital literacy skills are an increasingly important part in their job

·       Australia’s digital economy is expected to grow $139 billion by 2020, an increase of 75 per cent since 2014.

 

-ENDS-

 

Further information

Louise Proctor, Launch Group, 0452 574 244 louise@launchgroup.com.au

Sarah Jane Williams, Launch Group, 0409 362 675, sarahjane@launchgroup.com.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.

10 Oct

MCN hits Dynamic Scheduling milestone on Foxtel Platform

by launch-admin Oct 10, 2016 0 News

MCN delivers over 60 per cent of all advertising campaigns on the Foxtel network through Dynamic Scheduling 

 

Sydney, Monday 10 October, 2016: Multi Channel Network (MCN) this month reached its ambitious end-of-year goal to deliver 60 per cent of all Foxtel advertising campaigns through Dynamic Scheduling, establishing a new benchmark for highly targeted and efficient television trading in Australia.

 

The Australian industry-first solution allows MCN to trade audiences rather than just traditional TV spots by optimising campaign placement and responding to changes in viewing habits across the Foxtel platform.

 

MCN Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Mark Frain, said achieving their end-of year-goal ahead of schedule was a milestone for MCN and sets a new precedent for the way television advertising is traded in Australia. It also highlights that when you fill a requirement in the industry, the market will follow.

 

“Moving from a spot transactional model to a dynamic audience and campaign delivery model has allowed MCN to manage and optimise campaign delivery. Fundamentally, this has enabled MCN to guarantee and deliver targeted television campaigns, as well as lower the operation burden for agencies and create enormous efficiencies around campaign management and schedule building.” 

 

In a marketplace where TV audiences have continued to fluctuate, the Dynamic Trading product has enabled MCN to deliver on campaign commitments. From January to September 2016 inclusive, MCN delivered for 329 different advertisers, 994 different products, 4607 campaigns, all traded against 42 different demographics. 

 

Frain continued: “As the landscape becomes increasingly complex, market innovations like Dynamic Scheduling plays a significant role in keeping things simple, consistent and efficient.

 

“Sophisticated and automated spot placement based on up-to-date audience predictions, campaign delivery and inventory utilization is the way of the future – it is reflective of the digital marketplace and it allows for a more targeted, quality campaign outcome,” Frain said. 

 

 Ends –

 

Further information: 

MULTI CHANNEL NETWORK                                                                                          

Louise Proctor, Launch Group

Louise@launchgroup.com.au

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.

 
 
22 Sep

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

by launch-admin Sep 22, 2016 0 News

MEDIA RELEASE

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.

 

-ENDS-

 

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

Louise@launchgroup.com.au

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. 

-Ends-

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

 

ENDS

 

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