Natalie Apostolou – Digital Media – 29 May 2008
A COLLECTION of Australia’s emerging technology innovators were showcased this week in a US-styled private pitch forum to
invi ted media. Branded "Launchpad", the event was organised by self described “venture catalysts” BSI.
BSI director Alan Milwidsky said the forum – based on BSI’s established Investor Forum model, but replacing investors with journalists – is an opportunity for emerging and evolving innovators to get direct access and exposure to the media.
The diverse array of companies are all at differing stages of capital raising and most are too focused on establishing
and growing their businesses to invest in an elaborate and costly PR strategy, Milwidsky said. “This is a low cost way to get exposure to the mainstream media. It’s quick, effective and direct,” he added. Based on the success of the inaugural event, which was supported by the New South Wales Department of Sate and Regional Development, BSI
plans to hold three such forums a year. Industry participants said that privately backed forums such as this would be
essential to sustaining innovation in the digital and technology sectors, particularly in light of the Federal Government’s decision to scrap the Commercial Ready program.
Key presentations included Bluetooth marketing specialist Aura, which has already received first round investment
funding and is an established leader in mobile marketing and wireless proximity solutions. The company which has
already launched in Hong Kong is planning to expand to the US, opening New York and Los Angeles offices within six months. Aura has already rolled out award winning Bluetooth campaigns with Hoyts and recently secured a deal with the Australian Jockey Club to broadcast race tips and branded content to race goers mobile phones.
David Yonan, founder and director of Easybiz, an SEO-based business directory, launched its SME focused platform that allows a DIY approach to online search and marketing. “Australia is a nation of two million small businesses, of which the majority have few or no staff. These businesses can’t afford to spend tens of thousands on a website. But they can afford to get an SEO’d website that puts them toe-to-toe with the big online brands,” he said. Easybiz launched in test mode in March with a core of “several hundred business listings” and 30 new businesses
joining every week, he said.
Online advertising and behavioural targeting specialists Emaginet launched its “Self-Signup Wizard” service which enables advertising to be tailored to the interests of a targeted customer segment. Offering data mining, behaviour tracking and customer segmentation, the company claims tailoring online advertising to behaviour-tracking rules increases the ad’s effectiveness by around 300%. Initial customers include Perisher Blue and Postclick, and the company claims it is on track to deliver 600 million page impressions per year within the next 12 months.
Online publishing developers EVO Connect launched its EVO Brochure product, a platform for magazines,newsletters and brochures which offers enhanced ezine capabilities such as embedded websites, Flash-based capability of incorporating animations, video and voice alongside words and graphics to deliver a rich, interactive experience. Developed locally, the EVO Brochure is being brought to market in the US and Britain as well as Australia, where initial customers have included CS Bank and All Phones, with Singleton Ogilvy & Mather company, Solutions Marketing & Research recently appointed as exclusive Australian distributor.
Job listing provider Myspider.com. au claims to be rivalling the dominance of Seek with over 300,000 job listings. Launched in 2007 it is a specialised job search engine which aggregates job content from approximately 100 job sites around Australia. The most popular industries for job search in the last quarter have been mining (7.2%), information and technology (5.7%) and hospitality and tourism (5.7%).
Other companies which presented included Bio Recognition Systems, a R&D focused a biometric developer and manufacturer of biometric readers and associated software solutions and Loop9 a mobile SMS-based travel service which delivers 24/7 real time travel information globally.
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