Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Protect your premises

Whilst your business may be getting ready to shutdown over the Christmas and New Year period, the burglary business isn't!

Help protect your business premises by following some simple tips from the Australia Federal Police (AFP):
  • Maintain the landscaping around your premises, including trimming trees and scrubs away from doors and windows. This limits concealment and increases natural surveillance of your property.
  • Most burglaries occur at the side or rear of the building, so make sure these doors, windows and frames are secure and of solid construction.
  • Reinforce glass windows and doors. You can do this by installing a shatter resistant film on existing glass, replacing existing glass with laminated glass or installing quality metal security grilles or shutters.
  • Install external night lighting which will enable police, security guards or passing people to monitor activities around the premises. The lighting should be directed towards the building. A limited amount of internal lighting should also be left on at night. 
  • Restrict unauthorised access and tampering with the power supply by housing the switch board within a metal cabinet secured by a durable lock.
  • Record descriptions, models and serial numbers of your business’ property and keep this record in a safe place on and off site.  Serial numbers are essential in identifying property.
  • Think about marking your property, such as engraving your ABN number onto items. Property which can’t be marked should be photographed.

You should also register your details on the ACT Keyholder Register. The ACT Keyholder register is a list of the names and after hours contact details of business owners or others who have access to your business premises.

This information is stored on the AFP’s confidential computer system and is not given out to anyone other than an authorised AFP staff member. The register is only accessed in the event police need the owner, or another nominated person to attend the premises, such as if there has been damage from fire, burglary or other incidents that may happen after business hours.

You can update the register by using the AFP’s ACT Keyholder Register online or PDF form External Link - opens in new window.

Find more burglary prevention tips in the AFP’s Preventing Burglary factsheet (PDF 122kb) External Link - opens in new window.

To find out more crime prevention tips from the AFP, including information on fraud, bag checking and searching, and workplace security on the AFP’s Bizsafe program website External Link - opens in new window.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Canberra Shot Film 'Galore' Selected for Berlin International Film Festival

Lily Sullivan (left) and Ashleigh Cummings in ‘Galore’

Galore, a film about a teenage love triangle set against Canberra's 2003 bushfires, has been selected for the Berlin International Film Festival External Link - opens in new window in February.

The film is the first feature financed through our ACT Screen Investment Fund and was shot in Canberra last year. A number of Canberrans filled crew positions on the production and the Berlin announcement follows Galore’s world premiere at the Melbourne International Film Festival earlier this year.

Writer-director Rhys Graham grew up in Canberra and pulled together a fantastic cast featuring some of Australia’s most promising young actors including Ashleigh Cummings (Puberty Blues), Lily Sullivan (Mental) and Toby Wallace (Never Tear Us Apart).

Watch the Galore trailer External Link - opens in new window

Producer Phillippa Campey said “it’s really a great honour to have been selected into one of the world’s best film festivals. We are thrilled to have our debut feature in the festival, alongside so many extraordinary films and filmmakers who we admire and are inspired by, especially given that Rhys’ work has been celebrated here in the past.”

The Berlin International Film Festival is widely regarded as one of the top three film festivals in the world. Galore will screen in the Berlinale Generation Competition Programme, the same programming strand that last year hosted the world premiere of two Australian films The Rocket and Satellite Boy.

Friday, 13 December 2013

HACT 2013

Last weekend a number of local innovators participated in Hackathon ACT (HACT). HACT gave teams 32 hours to design and launch a new digital product or service and compete for prizes.

Congratulations to the prize winners:

Most Viable Startup
Winner – Dish Smith: Meal Planning Web App
Runner Up – Casterly: Podcast Discovery

Most Innovative Idea
Winner – CloudBoard: Copy. Cloud. Paste.
Runner Up – Codie Compare: Comparative Retail App for Google Glass

Best Innovation for Government
Winner – FormaQ: Form & Queue Automation App
Runner Up – Drawing Diagrams with Text

Find out more about the event on the HACT website External Link - opens in new window.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Are you falling into these common traps?

By Lighthouse Business Innovation Centre External Link - opens in new window

As an entrepreneur just starting your business without the support of a larger team, you need to perform a variety of different roles. You might already be quite good at some of these, but some are going to be tougher and may not come naturally. Many entrepreneurs in this situation can fall into these common traps, but learning to recognise them can help you deal with them and build your business.

Expecting too much too soon

If you are constantly finding yourself surprised and discouraged by how long it takes to build a product or pay yourself a salary, then maybe your expectations need a reality check. While it’s good to be optimistic, you need to work to realistic timeframes or risk being disappointed.

Letting fear hold you back

 While running a start-up, you will probably find yourself faced with many tasks that you have never completed before and no one to hand them off to. So you put them aside to do later, or even not at all.   Maybe that idea you were afraid to execute would have taken your business to the next level, so don’t let fear be the reason for missed opportunities. If you’re feeling out of your depth consider finding a mentor or even ask a fellow start-up that you know has faced and overcome similar issues.

Worrying about what other people think

Being a start-up is all about being innovative, having new ideas, trying new things and taking risks. In 1977, Ken Olson famously said, “There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.” We now know this not to be true. Worrying what people think can hold you back from pursuing a truly great idea.

Being a perfectionist

It’s time to accept that “good enough” is good enough. Eric Reis’s Lean Startup method is quickly growing in popularity and proposes that you get your product out there as soon as you can. This way you can get fast, accurate information on what the market wants from the market itself. Being a perfectionist can just delay progress and decrease productivity.

Focusing on the wrong thing

All these fears and concerns might prevent you from seeing what’s really there.  One way to identify what you need to work on is with a business diagnostic tool like External Link - opens in new window. A business diagnostic tool can highlight these strengths and weaknesses in a graphic form and provide a bit of a wake-up call for areas that need attention.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Festival of Ambitious Ideas: Lachlan Blackhall,

The Festival of Ambitious Ideas held on 6 November 2013 featured the stories of 12 of Canberra's most innovative businesses and inspiring projects. It is a fast-paced event where presenters have only 5 minutes to tell their story.

Hear what Lachlan Blackhall from had to say at the event in this video from Lighthouse Business Innovation Centre External Link - opens in new window.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Canberra innovators receive support

A group of Canberra innovators have recently been awarded funding in the latest round of Innovation Connect (ICon) grants.

ICon, the ACT Government’s flagship innovation program, provides matched-funding grants of up to $50,000 to assist early stage ACT businesses and entrepreneurs to accelerate the development of products and services through commercialisation pathways.

The program was established to encourage innovation and to develop new companies and technologies in Canberra.

Since the program was established in 2008, 120 ACT businesses have been awarded funding support in excess of $3 million. This amount or more has also been contributed by the grant recipients in meeting their matched-funding requirement.

In a highly competitive round the recipients are:
  • Minirva Pty Ltd to develop a multiple document analyser software prototype which assists users in extracting valuable information from vast electronic document archives;
  • ChangeBud Pty Ltd to development ChangeBud, a habit shaping, stress management and resilience building application that enables organisations to better support their employees;
  • Euclidify to develop an online 3D printing marketplace prototype that connects consumers and designers of 3D printed items with independent printer owners;
  • Energy Lighting and Electrical Pty Ltd to develop a Tone Voltage and Current Generator prototype which assists in locating specific in-floor heating cables located in concrete floors;
  • Public Knowledge to develop an online clearinghouse for Federal Government budget and operational information;
  • Ambe Engineering Pty Ltd to develop a prototype of ECON WALL, an insulated concrete thermal mass wall system which achieves significant energy savings in buildings whilst improving occupant comfort levels; and
  • Preventative Approach Pty Ltd to develop a self-monitoring software system to be integrated into exercise and stretching devices.

To find out more about the program visit the Innovation Connect page.

Business Connect December Newsletter

The December issue of the Business Connect Newsletter is now available. Find out about:
  • Canberra's new dedicated investment facilitation team
  • Canberra's new brand
  • The latest round of Innovation Connect recipients

And more!

View the Business Connect December Newsletter.
Sign up for the Business Connect Newsletter.

Image of the December Business Connect newsletter

Monday, 9 December 2013

Invest Canberra Launch

On 4 December Deputy Chief Minister Andrew Barr launched Invest Canberra, the ACT Government’s investment agency to promote and attract national and international direct investment.

Watch the Invest Canberra launch video:

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Festival of Ambitious Ideas: Denis Jorgensen, UberGlobal

The Festival of Ambitious Ideas held on 6 November 2013 featured the stories of 12 of Canberra's most innovative businesses and inspiring projects. It is a fast-paced event where presenters have only 5 minutes to tell their story.

Hear what Denis Jorgensen from UberGlobal had to say at the event in this video from Lighthouse Business Innovation Centre External Link - opens in new window.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Invest Canberra: ready for business

Today Deputy Chief Minister Andrew Barr launched Invest Canberra, the ACT Government’s investment agency to promote and attract national and international direct investment.

Attracting investment in Canberra was identified as one of the key initiatives of Growth, Diversification and Jobs: A Business Development Strategy for the ACT, which was launched last year. In implementing this initiative, the ACT Government has established Invest Canberra, a dedicated investment facilitation service that will be promote Canberra’s investment credentials, explore and target opportunities.

Invest Canberra will provide investors with a single point of contact to assist with market intelligence, support through and after the investment process, and with business connections. Invest Canberra will also bring together capabilities across key government agencies, and will respond quickly to investment leads.

Invest Canberra is underpinned by a confidence in Canberra’s strong and diverse economy. The Government is committed to promoting a strong investment pipeline to promote economic growth and facilitates opportunities to create more private sector jobs.

The renewed focus on investment comes at an important time for Canberra. The Government, together with key private sector partners, has begun an extensive infrastructure program to transform our city including Capital Metro, the Canberra Airport and the City to the Lake project.

With a focus on meeting the needs of foreign-owned companies seeking investment opportunities in Canberra and the region, in the short term Invest Canberra will:
  • Promote and secure investment into key infrastructure projects that meet the immediate needs of business, government and the community; and
  • Promote retention, reinvestment, collocation and expansion by existing foreign investors in the ACT.

In the longer term, the agency will:
  • Secure investment in innovation and new technologies, in close association with our universities and technology companies; and
  • Attract investment from international institutions that will find Canberra suitable as a government city location for their international headquarters.

In line with the short-term objectives, Invest Canberra will initially focus on the following priority investment projects:
  • Aftercare of existing investors to promote reinvestment; 
  • Capital Metro and City to the Lake, and other investment-ready ACT Government projects; and
  • Renewable energy investment projects.

Canberra plays a leading role in finding solutions to local, national and global challenges. With a strong economy, a vibrant and well-educated community, and a collaborative and innovative business community, Canberra offer investors a pro-business culture.

The launch of Invest Canberra marks the beginning of a new, proactive approach to attracting investment.

Find out more by visiting the Invest Canberra website External Link - opens in new window.