Business Connect Newsletter

June 2014

This newsletter provides business news and events on the programs and activities of the Innovation, Trade and Investment branch, part of the Economic Development Directorate.

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Left: Glenn Keys and Dr Andrew Walker. Right: Aspen Medical services.

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

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.

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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 in early May 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.

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Images from Start-up Camp 2013

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.

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ATP Innovation and team

Australian incubator recognised as best in world

Sydney-based technology business incubator ATP Innovations has been recognised for its support of start-ups, winning the 2014 Randall M. Whaley Incubator of the Year Award at the International Conference on Business Incubation in the United States.

Over the last year, ATP Innovations has helped 8 companies source private funding, 49% of their clients to receive government grants, raise $14.5 million of equity capital and earn $45 million in revenue for their high growth businesses.

It’s good news for Canberra-based start-ups, with ATP Innovations recently partnering with several local innovation-led institutions to establish the GRIFFIN Accelerator External Link - opens in new window.

Hamish Hawthorn, CEO of ATP Innovations and mentor at the GRIFFIN Accelerator, said “We are honoured to be the first Australian technology incubator to be recognised as the world’s best – it is a credit to both the hard work done by the team at ATP Innovations and recognition of the strength and significance of Australia’s start-up ecosystem.”

“We owe our success to many factors – the support of our shareholder universities, the way the founders of the companies at ATP Innovations help each other, the experienced mentors helping our companies. Sharing the entrepreneurs’ journey and being part of their success is the best part of it.”

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Innovation, Trade and Investment branch

If you have visited our website lately you may have noticed a small change.

The ACT Government’s Economic Development Directorate recently went through a restructure process to create better efficiencies in the directorate. As part of the restructure, the Business Development branch has made a few small changes including some staff movements together with a new name: Innovation, Trade and Investment. Whilst the branch will still be undertaking the same business activities, this new name more closely aligns with Government’s forward agenda and key priorities.

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