Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Work is different , not dead

Great article by Ross Gittelson in SMH dec 13 2017


1953 - the great Russian Economist Wassily Leontief wrote “labour will become less and less important .... more and more workers will be replaced by machines

1960’s Lyndon a Johnson established a commission to investigate fears that automation was permanently reducing the amount of work available 

1978 - Monash University Helena symposium on the implications of new technologies - with the convened predicting that by 1988 at least a quarter of the Australian workforce would be made redundant by technological change. 

1980’s Barry Jones - (aus Lobour leader) in his book “Sleeper Wake” predicted that in the 1980’s new technologies will decimate the labour force in the goods producing sector of the economy

Over the past 100 years - technological change has decimated jobs - but had actually created jobs at a more rapid pace - improving the lifestyle and standard of living of the human!

What has been happening is that the nature of work has been changing - and this trend is likely to continue 

Routine cognitive jobs (shop assistants, brokers, drivers )and routine manual jobs (factory workers) will go - but not routine manual jobs  (nurses, waiters , security staff,  ) and non routine cognitive jobs will increase (engineers, management, healthcare, designers)

The nature of jobs  is going to change - but the number of jobs needed will probably increase ......

So ...... people will need to be able to adapt - and “learn how to learn”

What do you think? 

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

BSI Grants Landscape

Very proud to have been a part of BSI Innovation Grants Briefing hosted by BBG. 
Gems about various grants available in Australia.

Let me know if you want the Slides or interested in being referred to the gurus 

R&D tax concession , EMDG , EFIC , State government grants, accelerating commercialisation  AC grants - there are lots of grants ..... want to know more? 

Contact the team at 

BSI Innovation Pty Ltd
Level 7, 14 Martin Place, SYDNEY NSW 200 (02) 9126 9100

Steve Case , Jeff Bezos , Eric Schmidt and a bunch of other billionaires look outside the Valley

AOL co-founder Steve Case and a bunch of highly prominent tech billionaires including Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Alphabet’s Eric Schmidt have set up up a $150m Rise of the Rest seed fund for startups in the Midwest and other areas that are often overlooked by investors. 

As The New York Times puts it, the complete list of investors in the Rise of the Rest fund “may be the greatest concentration of American wealth and power in one investment fund.” In addition to Bezos and Schmidt, it includes:

  • Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz
  • Fashion designer Tory Burch
  • Bridgewater Associates founder Ray Dalio
  • Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert
  • KKR co-founder Henry Kravis
  • Carlyle Group co-founder David Rubenstein
  • Financier and philanthropist Michael Milken
  • Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers chairman John Doerr
  • Breyer Capital founder Jim Breyer
  • Napster co-founder and former Facebook president Sean Parker
  • Spanx founder Sara Blakely
  • Tampa Bay Lightning and the Tampa Bay Storm owner Jeff Vinik
  • Banker Byron Trott
  • Goldman Sachs leader director Adebayo Ogunlesi
  • and members of the Walton, Koch and Pritzker families

The fund, which shares a name with Case’s speaking tour and startup pitch competition, plans to provide mentorship as well as financing to entrepreneurs located outside of Silicon Valley, New York City, Boston and other major business hubs.

Case told The New York Times that the Rise of the Rest fund isn’t a social impact fund, but instead seeks to increase investment in underserved regions by proving companies there can “generate top returns.”

Case believes that there are returns in areas that are further than a 1 hour drive from their offices in the Valley.

“I felt it was a no brainer,” says Eric Schmidt, chairman of Google parent Alphabet. “Investing in this way is good for everyone: more jobs, more wealth, better products and it helps our society in dealing with a lot of jarring employment changes,” Schmidt wrote Forbes in an email. “Entrepreneurs, remember, are the job creators in our economy.”

Doerr wrote Forbes. “I don’t think of ‘the Valley’ as some zip code in California. It is a state of mind that can be anywhere, for everyone.”

Tory Burch, the fund has civic appeal. “I see opportunity as an investor and as a citizen who cares about the future of our country,” Burch said by email. “By providing entrepreneurs outside of Silicon Valley with the resources they need to build great businesses, we are disrupting the current investment paradigm and creating a more evenly dispersed innovation economy, which is critical for the future of our country.”

This is a dream team of investors says Case!

“I felt investing in companies outside of Silicon Valley was a no-brainer,” Schmidt told the New York Times. “There is a large selection of relatively undervalued businesses in the Heartland between the coasts, some of which can scale quickly.”

The investment team headed by JD Vance will look to make investments of less than $1 million alongside local partners, not leading rounds or taking board seats. “We hope we can be catalytic, in the visibility we can bring,” says Case.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Why invest in Latin America?????

From Noemi Barrazueta, MBA 

 Here are some of the reasons why you should consider invest in Latin America:

* A USD$4.8 Trillion economy
* Over 600 million citizens
* A growing middle-class
* A vast supply of human talent
* Abundance of natural resources
* Has one of the largest automotive sector
* Expansion of resources sector, including mining, oil, gas, and forestry
* Non-conventional renewable energy sources
* Arabic beans and much more ...

#Mexico #Argentina #Peru #Colombia #Brazil#Chile #Belize #Ecuador #Panama #LatinAmerica#Latin #Culture #Business #America #Australia#Europe #Asia #NoemiBarrazueta #CGStrategies#GlobalBusiness #InternationalBusiness #LinkedIn

What do you think? 

Thursday, November 23, 2017

How Startup funding works

By Anna Vital - from linked in post of David Synge- Smith 

If you are lucky, you, as the  founder will end up with 20pc of your company after the journey from idea to ipo. 

In my experience, the founder would get around 5pc, as their is usually a seed round, a series A, B and C round before an IPO.

What do you think?

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

HealthMatch wins Australia’s TechCrunch Startup Battlefield competition



Sydney-based medical tech startup HealthMatch has won Australia’s first ever TechCrunch Startup Battlefield, winning $25k and a whole lot more!

HealthMatch was founded by Manuri Gunawardena and Arran Schlosberg in 2016, after Gunawardena realised there was a need for an easier way for patients to be matched with clinical trials for new treatments and products.

“I was in my final year of med school working in a brain cancer lab manually helping patients find clinical trials when I realised there was a need for something like HealthMatch,” Gunawardena tells StartupSmart.

“We wanted to get rid of the inefficient manual process, as often patients would have to fill out hundreds of forms to see if they’re eligible and a lot of the time the questions overlapped.”

“It was repetitive for patients to do, but not for algorithms and machine learning.”

With Gunawardena heading up the medical know-how aspect of the business, she pulled co-founder Schlosberg into the mix to deal with the tech side, as “doctor turned software engineer”..

Fifteen startups were picked to pitch at an event held last Thursday before a panel of Australian startup heavyweights, including Blackbird Ventures’ Samantha Wong, Canva founder Melanie Perkins, Blue Sky VC Elaine Stead, and Airtree Venture Capital’s James Cameron.

“It was a great opportunity to be able to have that level of exposure on a global stage – they told us about 500,000 people were watching it worldwide.”

The team has also won an all-expenses-paid trip to San Francisco to pitch at TechCrunch’s flagship Disrupt SF 2018 event, which has helped birth startups like Dropbox and Yammer.

But that isn’t the only opportunity the founders have landed from the event, with Gunawardena saying numerous company founders and mentors chased down the pair after their win, offering “advice, connections, and some great business opportunities”.

This included founder Aaron Patzer, which Gunawardena said was looking to “potentially invest”.

“It’s been a fantastic validation of our idea and business model,” she says.

The co-founders will be looking to build that validation out further through a seed round they’re looking to raise next year, while the $25,000 from TechCrunch will be used to help build out the company and to look at hiring staff.

Gunawardena says the startup also wants to look for expansion into other markets, saying Australia is a great place to start, but HealthMatch wants to “bring those innovations to other markets”.

“We want to start going global in the next year, along with growing the number of medical conditions patients can choose from on the platform. Right now we have 12 conditions listed, but we want to put up some more of the rare diseases,” she says.

For other startups keen to get pitching, Gunawardena advises careful consideration and validation of your idea before plonking it in front of investors, saying the number one thing to do is “test the market”.

“Validate what you’re creating and show that your customer will want the thing you’re making. We spoke to a lot of pharmaceutical companies, even though we knew it was a problem for patients, we had to see if it was a problem the companies were facing too,” she says.

“The pitching process was a great opportunity to learn how to structure our pitch – covering all the elements investors are interested in including the market, the business model, the sales strategy. It was good to learn that on a higher level.”

Watch HealthMatch’s pitch here.

Power Ledger receives part of $8 million government grant for Fremantle blockchain energy project

Power Ledger

Power Ledger co-founder Jemma Green.

Australian blockchain startup Power Ledger is looking at a new stage of growth in the wake of its $34 million initial coin offering after being named one of the recipients to gain funding in an $8 million government smart cities grant.

Announced this week, the energy trading business joined other recipients, including Curtin University, Murdoch University, CSIRO/Data61, and CISCO with the funding used to trial a blockchain-powered distributed energy and water system in the Fremantle. The government will directly contribute $2.57 million in funding with the additional $5.68 million funded through the project’s partners.

Along with rolling out a trial program, the project will be looking into how cities can effectively use blockchain technologies to moderate energy and water usage. Additionally, the storage and distribution of power will be done through a “community-owned battery”, which Power Ledger co-founder Jemma Green says one part of the company’s part of the grant will go towards purchasing.

“Power Ledger has received $1.3 million from the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, and part of those proceeds will go towards purchasing a battery, and part of it will be used to fund the development of the application platform,” she says.

Power Ledger completed its raise of $34 million via one of Australia’s first successful initial coin offerings in October, issuing 540 million POWR tokens to participants who contributed digital currencies such as Ethereum or Bitcoin.

POWR token skyrocketing

Since the raise completed, the POWR tokens have been launched onto online cryptocurrency exchanges such as Bittrex and Binance. According to cryptocurrency price trackers, POWR tokens have seen an increase of approximately 800% since their launch into secondary markets, with the token being worth 55 US cents (73c) at time of publication.

Power Ledger’s founders and developers were allocated 150 million POWR tokens via escrow contract as part of the token sale. Those tokens are now worth approximately $109 million, with an additional $182 million locked in a separate development escrow contract for use “if needed”.

Green says the company is “honestly delighted” with the market’s response to the project, believing it was the company’s ability to demonstrate its product offering stoked investor confidence.

“We’re honestly delighted with the market’s response. Many companies do ICOs with concepts when they haven’t actually developed the platform, where we have a platform with real-life applications,” she says.

While Green was tight-lipped on future online market launches for the token, she was pleased to see “a lot of liquidity” in the secondary market.

The company is looking to roll out further applications for the POWR token, with Green saying that is one of the company’s main focuses. One such potential application, as identified by the project’s whitepaper, would be allowing customers to donate POWR to sustainable energy projects or charities, with an aim of “driving sustainability”.

“As the Ecosystem user-base grows, the demand for POWR tokens will likely increase,” reads the whitepaper.

“We’ve got a pipeline of projects we’re working on which will hopefully see an increase of utilisation for the POWR token. That’s the focus of the business – create projects which will increase the use of the POWR token,” Green says.

Investment a sign of confidence for Aussie blockchain startups

The company and its academic partners put in the submission for the smart cities grant over six months ago and are all “delighted” to see it come to fruition. Green believes while this is not only a boon for blockchain tech in Australia, it’s also a signal the federal government is embracing innovation.

“We are really delighted to see the federal government supporting Australian innovation, and recognising the role blockchain can potentially play for more resilient and efficient ecosystems,” she says.

With Australia having some of the highest electricity prices in the world, Green says it makes sense the government would be looking to ways to make the electricity system more efficient, calling the price of electricity a “hot topic”.

“Tech like the blockchain will be deployed in these areas sooner than any other part of the world, and Australia is in the position to be a fantastic testbed and a market leader,” she says.

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* The author of this article has a small stake in POWR tokens.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017


Whats happenning at

Deliveroo raises close to 1/2b in latest round

Deliveroo tacks on to latest round 
Application Software | London, UK | Late Stage
Deliveroo has reportedly added $98 million to its most recent financing, bringing the total round amount to about $480 million. The on-demand food delivery company initially raised $385 million for the round in September; at that time, it was valued at an estimated $2 billion.
Fidelity Management & Research (lead), T. Rowe Price (lead), AccelDST GlobalGeneral CatalystIndex Ventures