Results of the 3Q Silicon Valley Venture Capitalist Confidence Index

October 29, 2009

Read the interpretation of the steady results revealed in University of San Francisco associate professor of entrepreneurship Mark Cannice’s quarterly study of nearly 40 Silicon Valley VCs byTechCrunch writer Sarah Lacey in “Venture Capital’s 3Q Temperature” .

On a scale of 0 to 5, VCs view the current climate for investing and economic recovery to be 3.37. This is the same figure Cannice derived in 2Q ’09. The good news is VCs still feel there are a lot of good new companies out there, and they know that to make returns ten years from now, they have to keep the dollars flowing now.

But there’s a downside that keeps the score stagnant from 2Q to 3Q ’09. According to Lacey, “if VCs can’t spin mature companies off to buyers or public market investors, they have to keep more reserves for them that can’t go to new deals. And without those exits—some firms may not be able to raise their next funds, which also hurts their ability to do new deals.” (Read more)

Note: To read the 3Q Silicon Valley Venture Capitalist Confidence Index in full, click here.

Great Day at Tech23

October 27, 2009

Dan Bisa (left) and Justin Barrie (right) catch up with ANZA CEO Viki Forrest at Tech23 in Sydney. Photo by KazzaDrask Media.

An impressive lineup of companies today at Tech23 in Sydney. Twenty-three companies gave us a look into Australia’s technology future across consumer web, enterprise, mobile communications, clean/green and in between, digital media and SaaS/cloud computing.

We picked a favorite in each category that we thought has what it takes to make it in the global marketplace. Our choices were:

It was good to see our friends from Perkler, a 2008 Gateway to the US company who did not pitch at Tech23, but was there to lend support to these up-and-coming next wave of Aussie innovators. Kudos to Rachel Slattery and her team at SlatteryIT for putting together an excellent show and well-run event.



Ten Reminders for Australian Entrepreneurs Looking at the US Market

October 22, 2009

by Viki Forrest, CEO ANZA Technology Network

Just read Philip Rogers’ highly informative piece in Australian Anthill about Aussie companies thinking about doing business in the US market.

A couple of quick takeaways apply:

  1. The US remains the largest developed market in the world and a big influence on other global markets. It remains important for any company with global ambitions.
  2. Innovative new models and technology have dramatically changed the cost of entering and developing the US market, you can now do some of the early market development work from Australia
  3. That’s right — you no longer need to hire a US-based sales manager to get your business off the ground.
  4. But — don’t make the mistake that your products or services are fully developed since they were successful in the home market. Changes will always be required to meet US customer needs.
  5. Go back to startup mode — entering the US needs to be seen as comparable to a startup, meaning that founders need to be closely involved. Hiring rainmakers and expecting them to succeed on their own is unlikely to be successful.
  6. Most value added resellers (VARs) or other distributors are good at selling mature products in mature categories. They are not very motivated by, or successful at, marketing innovative products and services that require the ability to create or disrupt markets.
  7. That’s why you’ll need to adopt some new strategies and techniques. The good news is inbound marketing strategies in particular are extremely affordable. Search engine optimization, web-based content (webinars, white papers, etc.) and social media strategies let you start building your brand well before anyone gets on a plane. Content that demonstrates expertise and innovative thinking is the new currency. Inbound marketing will attract early adopters and innovators who are looking for new ideas.
  8. As well, outbound marketing strategies like strategic targeting of prospects based on a defined ideal customer profile is another way to accelerate reach and growth. Outsourced demand generation or inside sales services mean that Australian companies can get access to the same US-based resources used by top US firms without taking on employees.
  9. Where I may disagree with this otherwise excellent advice is on the short visits to the US to make an in-person impact. Great idea during the first 6-12 months of your market entry strategy as you work through the top 8 points above, but after that, to quote Markus Weichselbaum, CEO of TheBroth, a successful ANZA Fast Track company, “You have to be here.”
  10. And, as always, the focus needs to be on your customers. Find your customers, make them happy and the rest will follow.

Now that I’ve paraphrased Philip’s piece to fall in line with what we talk about all the time at ANZA TechNet, please give his piece the full read it deserves. Click here.

Nuix Wins 2009 Australian Technology Showcase Patrons’ Award

October 22, 2009
The Hon. Ian Macdonald MLC, Minister for State Development (left) presents the ATS award to Nuix.

The Hon. Ian Macdonald MLC, Minister for State Development (left) presents the ATS award to Nuix. Photo by KazzaDrask Media.

Nuix won the 2009 Australian Technology Showcase Patrons’ Award for Outstanding Export Achievement for New South Wales last night, taking the top honor among six state finalists.

Nuix is a forensic data and email analysis software company, whose products can process, search and analyze any volume of electronically stored information to identify relevant email and other documents for regulatory and corporate sponsored litigation and investigations.

The NSW ATS Patrons’ Award recognizes and rewards innovative ATS companies that have contributed to the NSW economy through their international business development and have strong potential for future growth.

In the first six months of 2009, 83% of Nuix’s sales came from overseas, including the US.

Nuix represented New South Wales at the 2009 G’Day USA Innovation Shootout in Silicon Valley earlier this year.

The Australian Technology Showcase NSW regularly partners with ANZA TechNet in our Gateway to the US and other programs.

Tech23 in Sydney, 27 October 2009

October 20, 2009

Tech23 Twenty-three Australian innovators will be on hand, along with investors and industry experts of all types next week at the Tech23 show in Sydney. The lineup of speakers and presenters is certainly impressive, and the concept, a summit designed to bring all these folks together to share information and learn from one another promises to offer something different than the standard “talk at” platform.

The innovators will chat with the investors and experts along various industry verticals including digital media, cloud computing, clean and green tech, mobile, enterprise and consumer web in an open conversation format. Break out sessions called Innovation Island will allow time for networking and product demos by 40 additional innovative companies.

The whole day is designed to create a buzz for entrepreneurship Down Under, and ANZA TechNet will be there, looking for the company deemed most ready to do business globally. That company will receive our “Think Globally” prize package worth $4,000 USD.

Tickets to this Aussie tech event of the year are still available at $165 (AUD).  Click here to register now, or email for more info.

Tradeslot Wins ANZA Technology Network’s Gateway to US Guy Manson Award

October 9, 2009

The winner of the Guy Manson Award for Hottest Company at ANZA Gateway to US, Tradeslot. From left to right: John Dyson, Starfish Ventures; Jesco d'Alquen, CEO Tradeslot, Mark B. Johnson, Tradeslot' s Gateway coach and Viki Forrest, CEO ANZA. Photo by KazzaDrask Media.

The winner of the Guy Manson Award for Hottest Company at ANZA Gateway to US, Tradeslot. From left to right: John Dyson, Starfish Ventures; Jesco d'Alquen, CEO Tradeslot, Mark B. Johnson, Tradeslot' s Gateway coach and Viki Forrest, CEO ANZA. Photo by KazzaDrask Media.

Victorian-based B2B Auction Technology Company Takes Top Honors among Australian Companies at Silicon Valley Summit

was named the “Hottest Company” tonight at the conclusion of the 2009 ANZA Gateway to the US Summit at the Plug and Play Tech Center in Sunnyvale, CA.

Pitching alongside 9 other Australian-founded companies taking part in an intensive three-day immersion in Silicon Valley, Tradeslot, from Melbourne, Victoria captured the Guy Manson Award for its real-time combinatorial auction platform that dramatically improves the efficiency and profitability of B2B transactions for both buyers and sellers. The award is given to the Australian or New Zealand company deemed “most ready” to do business in the US marketplace.

“Tradeslot was the clear winner among our judging panel,” said Viki Forrest, ANZA CEO. “The companies were rated on market opportunity, their solution to an existing problem or market need and their readiness to do business in the US. This company is ready to be here.”

The Guy Manson Award includes a 25 percent discount to the ANZA Fast Track to the US program. The mentoring program works with Australian and New Zealand entrepreneurs to significantly accelerate their company’s expansion into the US market.

Tradeslot CEO Jesco d’Alquen accepted the award from ANZA and Starfish Ventures. Starfish Ventures investment principal John Dyson took part in a Q&A judging panel session during the pitches along with Eliane Fiolet of Ubergizmo and Simon Anderson of

“When you have a start-up there are as many reasons to believe as there are doubts,” said d’Alquen. “The Guy Manson Award definitely helps me know that I am on the right path.”

This year’s line-up of Gateway companies was particularly impressive in that it represented innovation at every level: technology, business models and customer acquisition.

Other presenting companies included: Earth Utility, iPOWOW!, myCaRMS, myownpad, Software Shortlist and Spinergy. Company bios are available at:

Past winners of ANZA’s Guy Manson Award include Neuro Vision Technology, Buzka, Silenceair, cineSync, Digislide and In the Chair (now StarPlayit).

The State of Funding in the Valley

October 7, 2009

Angel investor Ron Conway’s name came up a few times in our Funding Business Forum at the ANZA Gateway to the US Summit this morning. It wouldn’t be a funding panel in Silicon Valley without a little name dropping and on the back of that we came across this interview with “the Grandaddy of Silicon Valley,” bv Mike Arrington at TechCrunch that took place just the other day.

Conway was asked what he thought of the state of funding in the Valley, one year after the global financial crisis (GFC) struck the tech hub, as well as the rest of the world.  Said Conway,

“We’ve seen an explosion of real time data startups which has helped offset the downturn in Silicon Valley. We still see 5-6 deals a day, which tells me the market is very vibrant. I feel like we’ve weathered the storm very nicely. Also, a lot of companies that needed money last year raised money quickly or cut costs and survived, so we had a lower failure rate than we thought we would.”

(Read more)