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Top marks: Business plan competition

There's a new reason for creating that great business plan... prize money! If the possibility of commercial success (or failure) isn't inspiration enough to do your basic business homework, perhaps you should consider the financial incentives offered to budding business planners. Scores of Australian organisations now hold annual business plan competitions, where entrants compete for cold hard cash... and the honour of being named 'most likely'. By Pi James.

Q&A: Nigel Poole

As the person responsible for commercialising all new technologies emanating from the Commonwealth Science and Industrial Research Organisation, Nigel Poole knows all about transforming ideas into companies. From where he sits, Australia's so-called "commercialisation gap" is receding, with seed investment culture and managerial experience the keys. He's a busy man with busy ideas and a penetrating vision for Australia's future as a knowledge nation.

Q&A: Nigel Poole

As the person responsible for commercialising all new technologies emanating from the Commonwealth Science and Industrial Research Organisation, Nigel Poole knows all about transforming ideas into companies. From where he sits, Australia's so-called "commercialisation gap" is receding, with seed investment culture and managerial experience the keys. He's a busy man with busy ideas and a penetrating vision for Australia's future as a knowledge nation.

Regional tech

For the most part, we Australians huddle in and around our eastern seaboard cities, with healthy respect for the harsh realities inland. But there's more to Australia's tech sector than MBA-educated entrepreneurs and wealthy investors in Sydney and Melbourne. As globalisation levels the international playing field, so the performance gap between urban elites and regional innovators narrows.

China: The Two Shanghais (part IV)

London, New York and . . . Shanghai. When global citizens call to mind the world's mega-cities in 2010, Shanghai's Government wants to rank in the very top echelon. Becoming an "international city" by 2010 might sound like a strange goal for a municipality, but foreign entrepreneurs need only look as far as the incentives Shanghai's government is offering to understand that this is an opportune moment to set up shop in this sprawling metropolis. In the final instalment of his four part series, returning Australian expat Paul Waide delves into the city that is commonly acknowledged as being a window on China's future.

Futuretainment

After nearly a decade of protest, Show Business has discovered the web. Whether it is Disney selling episodes of Desperate Housewives on iPods, Fox screening prime time TV shows on the web or Hollywood Studios selling full versions of their movies online, this year has seen a major turning point for the titans of Tinseltown. Now everyone is scrambling to unlock new networks and future fortunes.

Legal: Great brands – treat them right

So, you've selected a great brand and have started to build consumer awareness and loyalty in it. And, of course, you've done the right thing to protect your rights in the brand by registering it with IP Australia. Your work is finished. Right?

Perfect pitch: Courtship

J P Morgan, the famous American Industrialist, said: "People do things for two reasons... the right reason and the real reason". Understanding the real reason can be the ultimate point of differentiation when pitching for business.

Ant Bytes — AA15

The boots might be warm and fuzzy, but the term "Ugg/Ugh" sends chills down the spines of many Australian retailers. For decades, "Ugg/Ugh" remained off the Australian Register of Trademarks, largely because it was considered by manufacturers and retailers to be a generic term in Australia. Then US giant Deckers Outdoor Corporation registered "Ugg" (and its derivatives) as an Australian trade mark and, like all diligent patent and trade mark holders, began mailing cease and desist notices to Australian retailers selling boots under the name(s).

Methane Missile

BI-GOODNESS is a bi-monthly column dedicated to the quirky, generally funny and often dangerously impractical inventions and business concepts that occasionally come our way. It is a tribute to the one-eyed entrepreneur, the nutty professor and dotcom jockey in each of us.

Handout mentality

I just don't get the handout mentality. A friend of mine is doing his Doctorate. His research institution and the university will own any IP generated, and he is immensely grateful for the modest stipend that he is surviving on throughout this process.

Painting the town red

I had a fascinating exchange with a venture capitalist the other day. I made the mistake of having a private conversation about the industrial relations reforms (yes, I know, religion and politics), which he overheard. I was delighted when he exploded next to me - "I can't stand listening to this socialist crap any longer!" Readers, I am not now, and have never been, until last week, accused of being a socialist.

Motorola’s market dilemma

Wandering through the halls of the enormous 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona in February, it was plainly evident that mobile communications is still in the very active stages of the innovation cycle. This event, which brings together most of the world's top telecommunications technology and network companies, has come a long way from its humble beginnings last decade in the French seaside town of Cannes, when early attendances numbered in the hundreds.

Motorola's market dilemma

Wandering through the halls of the enormous 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona in February, it was plainly evident that mobile communications is still in the very active stages of the innovation cycle. This event, which brings together most of the world's top telecommunications technology and network companies, has come a long way from its humble beginnings last decade in the French seaside town of Cannes, when early attendances numbered in the hundreds.

Defence tech

In these pensive days, where a backpacker on a bus could pose more of a threat than a cave-dwelling Taliban, Governments and corporations are hungry for technology that will help secure their people and resources. It has fed a boom in the defence tech sector; a world of cutting-edge machinery and multi-million dollar contracts, and home to some of the world's keenest strategic and technical minds. Several Australian companies are emerging as genuine players in this highly competitive space. Liz Heynes and Catherine Kerstjens take a look at six on this new front line.

China: Exploiting the VC glut (part III)

Over $500 million in venture capital was earmarked for China in the first half of 2005 alone. With a shortage of deals and management talent, opportunities abound for both investors and investee companies from abroad. In the third instalment of this four-part series, Paul Waide pulls back the curtain to reveal the complex machinations of China's vibrant private equity market.

The big house

A prison sentence early in life can dash the hopes of a would-be entrepreneur. Or it can fuel them. In the youth unit at Port Phillip Prison, rock bottom gives way to the bottom line as teenaged inmates become CEOs. Jodie O'Keeffe clears security to find out what it takes to build a business behind bars.

Dot-com survivors downunder

Has it really been six years since the world's first wave of internet entrepreneurs fell through that plump cloud they'd conjured in the sky, taking with them the turgid hopes of our fledgling new economy? It's been six years peppered with hard luck stories, investor reluctance and, lately, cautious hope rekindled. Australian internet startups were in the thick of it back then. The survivors emerged with slightly bloodied noses and wisdom far beyond their years.

Legal: AIFRS and its impact on managers

Director responsibility to maximise value especially with the advent of AIFRS In the wake of several recent corporate failures and scandals there is unprecedented scrutiny...

Australian VCs troubled water

You don’t have to speak to very many entrepreneurs to hear a lot of negativity about the Australian VC industry. Use of the term...

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New Zealand’s Xero eyes US IPO, further disruption as subscribers increase...

Xero recently held its annual meeting in Wellington, during which the company revealed some interesting details about its future. As has been widely suspected, the...

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