Spotlight: The Tech Revolution in Regional Australia, and Opportunities for Future Growth

What is the post about: What we can learn from Innovation and tech programs in rural and regional Queensland, Australia. 

Why it is important: Innovation isn’t limited to the major capital cities, whether in the States or Australia. By spotlighting some of the local initiatives in rural Queensland, a state known for its abundant natural resources and the World Heritage Great Barrier Reef, readers can learn how innovation begins at home, whereever they are. 

Who is it best suited for: Anyone interested in global entrepreneurship and innovation, and readers curious about Australia. 

About the guest author

Louise Teo is a medical doctor and writer who founded themedicalstartup.com, a site dedicated to medical entrepreneurship and innovation. She is also the News Editor for the Journal of Mobile Technology in Medicine (journalmtm.com) and is based between Melbourne and rural Queensland. She is passionate about local innovation being a global interest.

 

The Tech Revolution in Regional Australia, and Opportunities for Future Growth – by Dr Louise Teo

Picture by Louise Teo

There’s a tech revolution Down Under- and we have ideas on where the next opportunities will be. As a frequent city-hopper throughout Australia, we’ve noticed that the tech revolution isn’t solely limited to our most famous capital cities.
The rural towns dotting the 2300km expanse of the Great Barrier Reef have long been subject to “boom or bust” economic conditions in Australia. With the recent Australian mining sector downturn affecting once-bustling cities throughout Central and Northern Queensland, the time is ripe for entrepreneurialism to take place.
The Australian Federal Government’s Innovation Agenda has helped foster an environment for numerous innovation events. One such event coming up is Myriad, the global entrepreneurs’ conference to be held in Brisbane, Queensland’s capital, at the end of March. Bringing speakers from TechCrunch, Estonia, Western Europe and rural Queensland to the city, the event promises to help connect and inspire attendees as Australia’s answer to SXSW.
Myriad’s timing coincides with the World Science Festival, which will host Hack The Reef, the world’s first hackathon dedicated to the Great Barrier Reef. Held in Townsville, one of Northern Queensland’s largest Reef gateposts, Hack the Reef will bring participants together to brainstorm solutions for the Reef’s rapid bleaching crisis, with global warming sending water temperatures 1-2 degrees Celsius higher than usual and irreversibly bleaching the beautiful coral. Hack the Reef will send winners to Myriad, and help boost tech and entrepreneurial skills in a region not known for its Opera House or laneway coffee spots.

Picture by Louise Teo

Maker spaces and coworking centres have also opened up in Mackay, Cairns and Townsville. Startup Mackay is a hub for the sugar cane city and former mining hub now focusing on tourism. The Assisted Devices Hackathon will be held in Mackay, Toowoomba and Townsville later this year, with support from Advanced Manufacturing Queensland helping to re-energise Queensland manufacturing and engineering. theSPACE Cairns and Canvas Coworking in Toowoomba also host startup events and coworking space for locals and visitors.
Additionally, Australia’s largest corporate startup accelerator Slingshot has announced a presence in Cairns this year. It will dedicate funding and resources to projects focusing on travel, hospitality and entertainment in this city of 160,000 people which hosts international guests such as Elton John. Slingshot is known for running one of Australia’s largest health-tech accelerators, and currently has Australia’s first Human Resources Tech accelerator open for applications to be the next Freelancer or similar.
Finally, small business groups in these towns continue to host events for local startups and small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) alike. Small Biz Big Future has been held in Cairns for several years’ running, bringing together web developers, agricultural, marketing and legal experts in the region to deliver Top 3 Business Tips for attendees.

Picture by Louise Teo

Advance Queensland also completed a regional tour featuring 6 of Queensland’s most successful entrepreneurs, including Shark Tank Australia’s Steve Baxter and We Are Hunted’s Stephen Phillips, visiting ten rural cities to share their experiences with locals.
How else can regional towns pivot from existing business models and upskill in entrepreneurship? Currently, the options for rural business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs are to attend local events or education providers; otherwise, if they can afford it, to relocate to one of the capital cities. In our opinion, education shouldn’t be limited to local TAFE centres and universities, which are often costly and not suitable for time-poor owner-operators. It’s also worthwhile remembering that many small business owners are successful despite not completing school, or not having a strong tech culture within an Indigenous Australian community. Private tech skill educators such as General Assembly and Academy Xi are based in major capitals such as Melbourne and Sydney (with GA opening in Brisbane). These cities are doing their bit for entrepreneurship, but are becoming saturated with choice of events. Surely such schools could also aim to broaden their reach to rural areas by offering free or paid video access to classes and talks.
In times of crisis, there is a long-held resilience demonstrated by local farmers, retailers, and other small business owners, with communities devoted to buying local. Much can be learnt from business owners who have dealt with cyclones, droughts, banana plantation destruction and international trade adjustments. Perhaps a platform needs to be developed for giving these stalwart regional business owners a chance to share their lessons virtually with young and tech-savvy entrepreneurs across Australian cities. This could help introduce a new revenue stream to such business owners, in a valuable collaborative effort of Ideas Exchange.
It helps that Australia’s current Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, a former tech entrepreneur himself, has tried to shine a light upon regional innovation. Taking in rural Queensland towns such as Bundaberg and Rockhampton last year, Prime Minister Turnbull was impressed with technologies such as drones used by farmers for crop surveillance and pest control. As mentioned during his visit, it’s important to remember that entrepreneurs are not just city-based friends in T-shirts coding in a garage for fun. The real need for tech and entrepreneurial skills comes from those who are geographically isolated and time- and resource-poor.
Ongoing support for local businesses and education providers, whether rural or metropolitan, will continue to drive the future of Australian innovation. We’d be glad to hear your thoughts on this article and other ideas you may have.

Spotlight: What is the Silicon Wadi? 5 Israeli Startups to watch.

What is the post about: 5 high-tech Start-Ups from the Israeli entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Why it is important: Emerging markets are important for global entrepreneurs as these economies are becoming new players in the global business sphere.

Who is it best suited for: Global Entrepreneurs, Intrapreneurs, Business developers, Agents.

About the guest author:

Patricio Julian Gerpe, is an Argentine 24-years-old high-tech entrepreneur, TEDx speaker, coder, digital nomad & business student who is currently living in London. He is specially interested in AI technologies and emerging economies. He is also co-founder of the Argentine Artificial Intelligence Community called “IAAR” . 

 

In this article, I will explain what the so-called “Silicon Wadi” is and will introduce you 5 outstanding innovative start-ups from this
ecosystem. While taking part in an Argentine entrepreneurial program called “Innovation Experience”, I had the opportunity to meet some of the brains behind these start-ups.

First of all, the Silicon Wadi is an important technological hub located over the coastal plains of Tel Aviv and Gush Dan, including cities such as Ra’anana, Herzliya, Caesarea, Haifa as well as the cybersecurity hub Be’er Sheva, located 108 kilometres from Tel Aviv.
When I traveled to Israel I also found out that the country is a prominent emerging high-tech entrepreneurial hub with outstanding research and development. Despite its low population, military conflicts, and scarcity of natural resources, Israel appealed to me as a resilient country with a mature entrepreneurial ecosystem. Universities, the government, and business people are united to solve real-life problems.

In my opinion, these are the top 5 high-tech start-ups that stand out:

1) Ride On

The first Augmented Reality goggles for snow sports.  It can make snowboarding even cooler!

2) Temp Drop

Temp Drop is an IoT device that helps women to track and monitor their fertility. The founder is currently looking for sales partners around the world.

3) SuperSmart

Think Amazon GO sounds interesting? Well, it turns out it is nothing new. I highly recommend you keep an eye on Supersmart and forget about the lines at the supermarket.

4) Pillcam

A pill that has a camera inside used as a substitute for traditional invasive endoscopy methods.

5) Netafim: 

A sustainable smart drip and micro-irrigation service for agriculture.

 

Brexit Resilience: the 3 groups that can make innovation skyrocket in London!

Author:

Patricio Julian Gerpe
Cognitive Business Architect | TEDx Speaker | Entrepreneur
I’m an Argentinian living in London. I´m a TEDx Speaker, co-founder of Argentine Artificial Intelligence Community “IAAR” and I have a consultancy company in AI techs. I´m very passionate about entrepreneurial ecosystems. As an Argentinian, I decided to write this article to share with you a different perspective about the Brexit from the ones that you could find in the web.

Being an entrepreneur involves handling risk and dealing with uncertainty. There are always forces, outside the control of a business, that affect its performance and decisions (Worthington & Britton, 2016). These forces are also known as PESTLE factors, which stands for Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal and Environmental factors. This year, there was a political event that surprised the global entrepreneurial community: The Brexit, the UK’s referendum pertaining to its membership to the European Union (EU).  I found some similarities between the Brexit and the economic instability of Argentina over the last decades. There was a golden era for this country: Argentina achieved once a very advanced development and became one of the wealthiest nations in the world(*).  However, as a millennial Argentinian, I was raised in a very unstable economy, which, surprisingly, led me and other young Argentinians to become very resourceful and creative in adversity. While there are pessimists who argue that Brexit will reduce the power of London as an entrepreneurial hub I say that, just as in Argentina, there are three different groups that are going to maintain and drive innovation in the British capital:  (1) entrepreneurs,  (2) the youth and (3) foreigners.

Continue reading

Spotlight: Who we help

We have a great mix of entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds and skills, all driving their projects forward with some of our help. At the end, they succeed a lot because of them and a little bit because of us!

If you are interested in joining the fun and participating in the program contact us here

3u__b6kfaaeaaqaaaaaaaaitaaaajdq3ymnhythhlwfjnwitnde4ni1hyzm4ltk3mwzlzgfjmdg2mw

Nora Gay (Harvard JD Law / Financial banking)

Start-up: Nutranx

Sector: Fintech

Idea: Secure Money transfer between US to Haiti. Blockchain, Bitcoin technology

Product type: Software

Stage: Launching. MVP delivered in October, Go to market strategy execution

Funding: Seed funding $15k, Finalization of round two of funding

Investors: n/a

Site: nutranx.com

Location: Boston area, MA, USA

mzyvgpxk_400x400logo

Carries Forbes (Marketing expert)

Start-up name: Gutsey

Sector: Healthy nutrition

Idea: The world’s first travel bars

Product type: Food

Stage: Growth. Product available via website and in various locations.

Funding: Bootstrapped

Investors: n/a

Site: Gutseybars

Location: Boston area, MA, USA

aaeaaqaaaaaaaaagaaaajgexmtkwnmjmlwmxnzktngexos1intljltfjmzy1zgu3ownlzqugather

Kannan Mani (MBA Babson University)

Start-up name: UGather

Sector: Social networks / Event management

Idea: An online event management platform making it easy to organize events

Product type: Software

Stage: Pre-launch. Framing idea, designing prototype

Funding: n/a

Investors: n/a

Site: Coming soon

Location: Boston area, MA, USA

aaeaaqaaaaaaaaipaaaajdbkmja2mgixlti0nmmtndq1nc05ndliltk2mwmynwq3m2nlzg-1strategyrocks

D. Mathieson (Business Excellence leader, MBA Duke University)

Start-up name: Strategy Rocks

Sector: Strategy services

Idea: Propose a range of capabilities to help identify and unlock hidden value

Product type: Consulting services

Stage: Pre-launch. Framing idea, designing services

Funding: n/a

Investors: n/a

Site: Coming soon

Location: Boston area, MA, USA

13886927_10154422374528151_2795369279204652867_n14563426_1128418607242615_2081443306709916994_n

Ronnie Vitalis (Sports expert)

Start-up: 365 Never give up

Sector: Fitness / Life Coaching

Idea: Driving more healthy habits through an online fitness blog & coaching

Product type: Online & services

Stage: Pre-launch. Framing idea, designing prototype and business plan

Funding: n/a

Investors: n/a

Site: Coming soon

Location: Strasbourg, France

eduardo-donawadigikuz

Eduardo Donawa (Entrepreneur )

Start-up: Digikuz

Sector: Clothing / Tech / Gaming

Idea: Several ideas

Product type: Software / Commerce

Stage: Idea framing, selection

Funding: n/a

Investors: n/a

Site: Coming soon

Location: Detroit, Michigan