Thursday, 29 May 2014

Start-Up Camp helps Canberra find its inner entrepreneur

Start-Up Camp Canberra is an event that celebrates creativity, innovation and entrepreneurial thinking.

Run over the course of a single weekend, individuals come together to form teams, work to come up with an idea for a web-enabled business and then pitch their concept to a panel of judges.

The purpose of Start-Up Camp is to encourage entrepreneurial thinking no matter whether you are young or old, already involved in a start-up or simply an ‘ideas person’. Start-Up Camp is open to anyone over the age of 16 years who is interested in innovation, creativity and problem solving.

Last year’s attendees had this to say about start-up camp:

“This one night, two-day crash-course in entrepreneurship gave me an amazing insight into the world of development: the importance of knowing your customer, and how much we need a network of people to compliment our own skills & interests. I strongly recommend attending events like this one if you have ideas, and want to bring them to life!” Pirra

“The weekend showed me that if you are among the right people and focus on an idea, implementing it does not seem as challenging as it would when you are trying to tackle the idea on your own. It also definitely gave me a better understanding on where to start working on start-up ideas.” Sajj

“I registered for Start-Up Camp Canberra because I was interested in seeing “behind the scenes” of what goes into planning and starting a business. Although I have a business I run from home, being a mum with two young children means that I normally mainly meet other mums. I was keen to network amongst a completely different crowd of people and move the “grey matter” out of the playroom and into the boardroom.” Suzanne

Start-Up Camp Canberra will be held 25 - 27 July 2014 at the ANU College of Business and Economics.

To find out more visit the Start-up camp website External Link - opens in new window.

Friday, 23 May 2014

Canberra duo inducted into to the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Global Hall of Fame

Left: Glenn Keys and Andrew Walker, Right: Aspen Medical services

The founders of Canberra-based Aspen Medical, Glenn Keys and Dr Andrew Walker, have been inducted into the prestigious EY Entrepreneur of the Year Global Hall of Fame at an event held in Shanghai on 21 May 2014. This is the first time a Canberra business has achieved this honour.

Mr Keys and Dr Walker originally won the national services category of the EY Entrepreneur of the Year™ in 2006. Since then Aspen Medical has become a world leader in the provision of healthcare services in the Defence, Resources, Government and Humanitarian sectors and today employs more than 2,000 health professionals and support team across Australasia, the US, Canada, Europe and the Gulf Region.

“We’re delighted to be sharing this award with our entire global team. The Aspen business model may have been our brainchild but it is they who deliver world-class healthcare solutions 24/7, wherever they are needed”, said Dr Andrew Walker, Chairman of Aspen Medical.

Todd Wills, Partner at EY, said “The EY Entrepreneur of the Year Global Hall of Fame is an elite group of men and women who have been recognised for their exceptional entrepreneurial achievements.”

“Glenn Keys and Andrew Walker of Aspen Medical are worthy inductees into this elite group. From a simple start-up in Canberra, they have truly created a great Australian and Global company.”

“Congratulations to them both on being recognised for their contribution, innovation and leadership in building and growing a successful global business” continued Mr Wills.

Aspen Medical was founded in 2003 when Mr Keys and Dr Walker won a contract to provide consultancy services to the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK. The company’s current contracts include the provision of on-base health services to the Australian Defence Force at 52 sites across Australia, a multi award-winning aero-medical evacuation services for the Oil and Gas industry in WA, the provision of health professionals to remote Indigenous communities in the NT in support of Government initiatives and providing an affiliate ambulance service in the United Arab Emirates.

Aspen Medical’s commitment to proving leading healthcare services internationally has seen the company be recognised by both the local and national exporting community. Locally, Aspen Medical has been named ACT Exporter of the Year at the ACT Chief Minister’s Export Awards for the past three years running. In both 2011 and 2013 the company also went on to win categories at the National Export Awards.

Will your business have success like Aspen Medical? Nominations for the 2014 ACT Chief Minister’s Export Awards are currently open and close on 1 September 2014.

For more information or to apply for the awards visit the ACT Chief Minister’s Export Awards website External Link - opens in new window.

Friday, 9 May 2014

Bionic Eye trialled in Canberra

NICTA, Australia’s Information Communications Technology (ICT) Research Centre of Excellence and the nation’s largest organisation dedicated to ICT research last week conducted their latest round of testing of their bionic eye.

Tested in NICTA’s Canberra Research Laboratory, the bionic eye has been in development since 2010. This is the first time the patients have tested the bionic eye while moving through a physical setting, previously they have been reacting to objects as they appeared on a computer screen while seated.

Dianne Ashworth, who has been blind for more than 20 years, is one of the patients taking part in the testing. Dr Ashworth said ‘’It’s been amazing. The more I’ve been doing it, the more natural it feels.’’

Watch this video to find out more about the bionic eye External Link - opens in new window and see the testing in action, or read more in the Canberra Times article, Bionic eye trial 'really promising' External Link - opens in new window.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Business Connect May Newsletter

The May issue of our Business Connect Newsletter is now available:

In this issue:
  • CBR Innovation Network: A new approach to promoting innovative businesses
  • Canberra based accelerator program launched
  • ACT on show at Australia in China Week
  • Augmented reality bringing cultural sites to life
  • Launch of 2014 Chief Minister’s Export Awards
  • Should your business be paying FBT?
  • Upcoming events

View the Business Connect May Newsletter
Sign up for the Business Connect Newsletter

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Launch of 2014 ACT Chief Minister’s Export Awards

Yesterday Deputy Chief Minister Andrew Barr launched the 2014 ACT Chief Minister’s Export Awards.

The awards highlight the importance and growth of the ACT’s exporting community and acknowledge the innovation, hard work and success of our local businesses, large and small, in reaching new markets. They highlight those companies who are contributing to the more than $1.3 billion worth of products and services being exported annually from the ACT.

The ACT continues to develop global businesses with ACT Exporter of the Year winner, Aspen Medical, going on to win its second Australian Export Award in 2013.

Other winners of the ACT Chief Minister’s Export Awards are also experiencing significant success in their international markets including Datapod who took the opportunity at yesterday’s launch to announce they had signed a $2 million contract to export a data centre system to a US government department.

Speaking to the Canberra Times Datapod's managing director, Scott Carr said cracking the US market was the last milestone for the company's entry into worldwide exports after beginning with the Asia-Pacific market and later Europe.

''[The US] is a much more competitive and mature market,'' he said.

''But we have demonstrated we can be competitive against big companies. Datapod was born global, we set up the company for a worldwide market from day one.''

Mr Carr also said that he was not surprised the ACT's export market was growing.

''We know there are a lot of very talented, highly skilled engineers and technicians in Canberra."

"We've got a strong technological base and a great skills base we can draw on" continued Mr Carr. Read more in the Canberra Times article, Capital's export growth leads the nation External Link - opens in new window.

Winning an ACT Chief Minister’s Export Award has helped Datapod with this success. After winning the Small to Medium Manufacturing category in 2012 Datapod's director, Adam Smith said “The ACT Chief Minister’s Export Awards provides companies with industry recognition and commercial acknowledgment” said Mr Smith.

“By receiving a substantial, peer-reviewed award, Datapod can further demonstrate to potential buyers that it has received industry confidence and backing.” Read more in our blog post, Local business making worldwide impact on the technology industry.

For more information on the ACT Chief Minister’s Export Awards visit External Link - opens in new window