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Google partners with Fishburners to roll out its entrepreneurs program

6:55PM | Monday, 16 June

Google has partnered with incubator Fishburners, in a six figure deal, to implement its startup outreach program Google for Entrepreneurs to help facilitate the growth of the startup community.   The partnership will see Fishburners become part of the global network of Google’s 30 startup hubs, allow companies based at Fishburners access to the Google framework for startups, as well as international innovation programs.   It will also be renovating and doubling its space, including a ‘physical’ Google Hangout.   Fishburners chief Daniel Noble says that the partnership was a good fit based on the fact that Fishburners acts as a not-for-profit and does not take equity or invest directly in startups accepted to its programs.   Startups apply for space at Fishburners and commit to a 20-month program until they are ready to move on. Successful applicants pay for their time there with desks being charged at $400 a month.   “We’re about equipping startups to be better formed companies when they go to market, or seek investment,” Noble says. “Too often companies try and do things much too early.”   Part of the Google deal will also be a push to encourage more female entrepreneurs.   In a blog post announcing the deal, Google says:   “From the Cochlear bionic ear to Wi-Fi, Australia has a long history of innovation. Local-born innovations and startups like Atlassian, Freelancer, 99Designs, and Shoes of Prey are flourishing in global markets with the help of the web.   While we’ve seen the growth of the startup community in recent years, we know there’s still a long way to go.”   One of the first programs on offer is BlackBox Connect, a two-week immersion program in Silicon Valley. A Fishburners’ based startup will be selected to spend a week on Mountain View and have access to Google’s network of experts.   “Supporting local tech startups is vital to Australia's future economy. We know the talent, drive and potential for innovation is all here; we hope to help realise the full potential of Aussie entrepreneurs,” concludes the blog post.

Turnbull calls business owner out for relying on the NBN to run her business from home

3:11AM | Tuesday, 25 March

Malcolm Turnbull was hailed a hero of the startup community this week after wading into the discussions around the shortage of available venture capital for startups.   Unfortunately, he seems to be less enthused about the policy within his own portfolio that would empower tech startups all across the nation: the national broadband network.   Small business owner Julia Keady tweeted concerns about internet access from her new home in Ocean Grove, Victoria, to the Minister for Communications and the NBN, who’s response caught the attention of a few.   @SaysJuliaKeady just curious:- if connectivity was so vital to you why did you buy a house where there was no broadband available?— Malcolm Turnbull (@TurnbullMalcolm) March 20, 2014   Keady explained that her family wanted to live in regional Australia and as a small business owner, access to the internet was critical, a point Turnbull picked up on.   @SaysJuliaKeady no I am simply asking whether given the importance of bband to you, you checked availability before buying yr new house.— Malcolm Turnbull (@TurnbullMalcolm) March 20, 2014   And returned to:   @SaysJuliaKeady no - just asking you a simple question which you refuse to answer.— Malcolm Turnbull (@TurnbullMalcolm) March 20, 2014   Luckily for tech startups, Mr Turnbull is aware finishing the NBN is his job.   @mdhoad @SaysJuliaKeady of course it's my job to complete the NBN and I will do so sooner cheaper and more affordably than Labor cd ever do— Malcolm Turnbull (@TurnbullMalcolm) March 20, 2014   The Twitter conversation, including comments from a range of people, can be viewed here.   Many in the startup community argue equipping Australia with high quality or even just adequately fast internet access would boost the ecosystem’s productivity considerably.   In September last year, Silicon Valley-based investor Bill Tai, who has backed local startups such as Canva and Shoes of Prey, told BRW the NBN was needed to help Australian startups.   “If your government would go forward with National Broadband Network (NBN) that would be great initiative for start-ups to build on,” Tai said. “It’s very controversial but if you have bandwidth – a lot of bandwidth at a low cost- things happen. Energy will flow to create more startups.”

$100,000 prize awarded to Queensland start-up at the OzApp Awards

2:35PM | Wednesday, 19 February

Ollo Mobile, a tech start-up aiming to help seniors, has taken out top honours at this year’s West Tech Fest OzApp Awards.   The Brisbane-based start-up receives a $100,000 convertible note with Qualcomm Ventures. Their product is a wearable panic button that triggers call-outs to family members and support networks.   The five finalists were assessed by a judging panel including Qualcomm Ventures director Patrick Eggen and Silicon Valley-based start-up investor Bill Tai who has backed Australian start-ups including Shoes of Prey and Canva.   Co-founder Ken Macken told StartupSmart getting the backing of Qualcomm and Bill Tai will increase their chances as they raise funds in the United States. They’ve this week announced an American business entity, Ollo Wearables, to simplify this process.   “This is a big Australian award with international judges. This is really going to help bring things together and build the credibility of our business,” Macken says.   The team of six are rolling out the fourth iteration of the hardware component and the second iteration of the support software.   The $100,000 prize will go to speeding up the development of the product and growing the team. Macken says they’ve lined up 12 people they’ll be hiring in the next three months.   Other OzApp Award winners include fashion networking app Infinite Wardrobe, announced as the runner-up, and time lapse photography app Project Tripod, which won the pre-revenue award.   Project Tripod co-founder Catherine Eibner told StartupSmart they were lodging their developed app with investor Nokia later this week and should have it in the market shortly.   Getting out and pitching the app has helped them realise the scope of the app they were creating.   “The most interesting thing with Project Tripod is every time we mention it people have another idea of how to use it so it’s turning out to be bigger than Ben-Hur,” Eibner says. “It could work for anything that can be tracked and measured visually, from nature photography to construction.”   Once the app is launched, the team will be focused on developing their APIs so it can be used widely.

Finalists announced in national OzApp awards: Who will pitch for $100,000?

2:16AM | Monday, 17 February

Five start-ups have been selected by international investors and announced as finalists in Perth-based, national app development competition OzApp Awards.   They were selected by a panel of judges including Qualcomm Ventures director Patrick Eggen and Silicon Valley-based start-up investor Bill Tai who has backed Australian start-ups including Shoes of Prey and Canva.   “I was blown away by the quality of the ideas and teams in this year’s applications,” Tai said in a statement.   “There is a growing awareness in the Valley that Australia is a great source of innovation in the digital space and the awards are providing a focal point for people to come and take a look for themselves.”   Attracting international interest and investors has been a goal for the OzApp Awards since the competition launched.   “The competition now has an international profile with a significant group of global entrepreneurs and investors attending the final event in Perth and checking out the scene while they are here,” says Rohan McDougall, OzApp judge and Curtin University director of intellectual property commercialisation.   The five finalists come from across Australia, with only event aggregator tool Triplifier based in Western Australia.   Photography app Project Tripod and toy customisation app ToyPrint herald from New South Wales, and panic button for seniors platform Ollo Mobile and fashion networking app Infinite Wardrobe are based in Queensland.   The five start-ups will pitch at the upcoming West Tech Festival for a $100,000 convertible note with Qualcomm Ventures. The top three finalists will split $20,000.

Stellar cast looks likely for young entrepreneurs summit

2:40AM | Wednesday, 27 February

The founders of successful start-ups Zambrero, TOM Organic and Shoes of Prey are among the Australian entrepreneurs shortlisted for the G20 Young Entrepreneurs Alliance (YEA) Summit.

Retailers reveal top Christmas sales strategies

11:11AM | Friday, 25 November

Successful retailers have revealed their best Christmas sales strategies, after the Australian Retailers Association painted a gloomy picture for the industry with its latest predictions.

Getting ideas across the border

11:55PM | Wednesday, 23 November

A trip overseas might not sound like an obvious springboard for business ideas, but the rise of holiday-inspired start-ups certainly suggests a link between jet-setting and entrepreneurialism.

Balancing short- and long-term activities in a start-up

3:47AM | Monday, 11 March

This article first appeared August 23, 2011.   An issue we've been discussing internally at Shoes of Prey lately is how to balance short- and long-term activities.

Flash sales pose threat to smaller operators

2:05AM | Monday, 21 February

Retail giants’ use of ‘flash sales’ to improve their online offers and clear slow-moving stock looks set to pose a threat to smaller online operators.

Federal Government to host online retail forum

2:09PM | Wednesday, 2 February

Small retailers are being invited to attend a Federal Government online retail forum later this month, designed to encourage Australian retailers to explore online business options.

Taking your elevator pitch to the top

4:25AM | Friday, 27 April

Being struck by an inspired business idea is a thrilling moment. At this time, it’s tempting to believe that every investor in town will be begging to hear an in-depth explanation of your wondrous start-up before throwing copious bundles of cash at your feet.

I'm looking to source a product from China. Do you have any tips for me?

1:42PM | Sunday, 9 January

I'm looking to source a product from China. Do you have any tips of suggestions on the best way to go about doing this?

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