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)

Live Blogging 2009 ANZA TechNet Gateway to US Summit Company Presentations

October 6, 2009

8:34 am — Less than half an hour to go. Lots of excitement.

8:58 am —  A little late start. Traffic on 101 (this happens every year!)

9:20 am — Full house! Welcome by ANZA CEO Viki Forrest. “This year we have Australian innovation at every level.”

9:21 am — Viki introduces the judging panel — John Dyson (Starfish Ventures), Eliane Fiolet (Ubergizmo), Simon Anderson (Pictage). This is the first year the Gateway has had a judging panel.

9:22 am — Welcome from Hon. Nigel Warren, Consul General & Senior Trade Commissioner, Australian Trade Commission, Austrade.

9:22 am — Five-minute company pitches begin.

9:23 am — First company. Software Shortlist, Xavier Russo, CEO.  Software Shortlist is a  web service that helps small businesses make better software choices. They’re looking for distribution partners and raising investment ($1 M)

9:28 am — Judges questions — Xavier is smooth on his feet, handling questions about pricing model, competition and user reviews well.

9:32 am — Next company, myCaRMS. CEO and co-founder, Donald Halley. A cost-effective compliance and risk management software solution especially designed for credit unions. Streamlines the management of compliance and risk. Identifies the huge US credit market as potential client base.

9:36 am — Judges questions — How do credit unions manage this now, without myCaRMS? Pricing model?  Compliance variations from country to country — “myCaRMS is designed to comply with each country’s regulations, but the product’s strength is in its core software.” Halley knows this business inside out.

9:41 am — Myownpad, Prasen Rathore, founder. 3D social gaming. Something different, Prasen shows us a video. You get a 3D “pad” — like an apartment or office, and you invite your friends or “guests” to visit and play games, upload files, photos, it’s your online desktop. Call your friends anytime, anywhere. Can play single-player games, multiple-player games. Getting desktop gaming to the Internet. “There’s something for everyone with myownpad.” Seeking $500,000 in seed funding to establish first two games.

9:46 am — Judges questions — how do you make money? “In the beginning it will be by micro payments.” Has the system been tested with gamers? “Other games have been tested on the system.” Prasen is one of the youngest presenters ever at ANZA. And the crowd is impressed with him.

9:50 am — iPowow! Gary Davis, CEO. A platform for attitudes and opinion. Engagement in online, real-time voting on videos. Sophisticated reporting structure. Politics, advocacy and media first three markets. Revenue model: Micropayments and licensing.

9:54 am — Judges questions — Give us an example of how this works. “A congresswoman makes a video and sends it to her constituents and puts it on her website. Viewers respond to the video in real-time and indicate their opinion.” Is it like a real-time video survey tool? “Yes — also audio and text though. A cloud-based wrapper than can go on any online media form.” Is there a patent? “Patent-pending in the US.” Could it be acquired by Google? “Absolutely.”

9:58 am – Spinergy. Luceille Outhred, Founding Director. Clean tech. Providing in situ power generation. John Deere, Solar and Wind power are the competitors. Latter two are more expensive to install and maintain. $100B market. In discussion with Itron and Toro. Customized solutions < 115 milliamps to meet standard (pico power). Business model — licensing, licensing and licensing — manufacturers, global brands to embed or augment and turnkey solutions.

10:05 am — Judges questions. Costs? “Less installation and less product costs”. Explain what it does. “Heat and energy rise and revolve — place a series of coils and the Spinergy device within these ‘spins’ and it generates power. How do you store it? “With a small device”.

10:09 am — Tradeslot, Jesco d’Alquen, CEO — optimization and auction technology that creates transparent and efficient primary markets for scarce resources. Consumer auctions, why doesn’t it work in B2B? What if you could? Have solved massive port capacity problems in four major west coast ports in Australia. Impact has been a transparent market and reduced cycle time and improved revenue.

10:14 am — Judges questions. How many customers do you have? “Three large customers, including Australian federal government, looking for local partners in US.”

10:17 am — Earth Utility, Koovashni Reddy, Co-founder and managing director. We’re seeking partners and potential investors. Problems with solar — it’s great, but expensive. Overpriced and underserviced. Fully operational and functional in Australia, want to do the same for California. EU is an aggregator. Innovative service model, no debt in the model. Seeking $10 million.

10:25 am — Judges questions. High capital costs for individuals here in the US, how do you reduce that? “We buy in volume, so we can provide it at a lower costs.” Can’t someone else replicate what you’re doing? “Replication is indeed possible, but EU has a competitive advantage in that there is no up front costs.”

10:27 am — The next 3 companies are already doing business here in Silicon Valley.

10:27 am — Embedster. Denis Mars, CEO. How many of you have embedded a video on your blog or Facebook page? (Almost everyone raises their hand). Now, how many of you have ever made money from that? No hands up. How can the influencers (those of you who raised your hands) make some money? 40% of all YouTube videos have been consumed, but even more are embedded onto blogs and social networks. Influencers can have complete control over what kind of advertising they want to open the video on their site. Private beta now up, use code: ANZA.  Looking for influencers to try out product and some talented engineers.

10:33 am — Judges questions. Bloggers may not want to use video just to show ads. “Also have text ads. Also works with Twitter, Facebook.” What’s revenue model? “Find key influencers to use the product – like Perez Hilton.” Looking for funding? “Raised seed round with first customer. Customers are coming to us!”

10:39 am — 5th Finger, Patrick Collins, President and co-founder. Been in US for 2 years. 3.3B mobile phones in the world. North America way ahead of Europe and Australia with mobile ads. Coca Cola’s mycoke rewards a major campaign, also Victoria’s Secret -10x return on SMS marketing, much better than email marketing.

10:46 am — Judges questions. How are you working with Twitter now? “Twitter feeds into our thinking. 5th Finger’s integrated into social media.”

10:49 am – Aruspex, Howard Koenig, CEO. “Token American” representing company that was founded in Melbourne, relocated to US last year. Leading strategic workforce planning, has moved from a software company to a software as a service company. Customers — mid-market to Fortune 500 and also some non-profits.

10:55 am — Judges questions. Competition? How does the current downsizing of workforces affect you? “Not really a problem — cutting workforce is the fastest way to react, but not always the smartest. Companies that cut too much now need to rebuild.”

10:59 am — Success! Great pitches to an SRO crowd. Viki thanks companies and invites everyone to the demos in the Plug and Play game room. Keep up with the rest of the Summit happenings on Twitter (#ANZAo9)

Overheard this said by judges:  “Wow. A real interesting mix.” So who will win the Guy Manson Award for the hottest company at the show?  The first 7 companies above are eligible — and the winner will be announced tomorrow night at the BBQ party at Plug and Play Tech Center. A few tickets at $55 each are still available. You can register here.

Great Expectations for our 2009 Gateway to the US Summit

October 3, 2009

by Viki Forrest, CEO ANZA Technology Network

It’s at this point in the lead-up to our annual Summit that I can relax. Our companies are prepared and on their way to Silicon Valley, ready to meet their coaches in person and put the finishing touches on their presentation. Our speakers and business panelists are confirmed and excited. Our judges are looking forward to their first look at some of Australia’s most innovative technologies. And – thanks to my operations manager, Jennifer everything from the registrations to the arrangements with our host, the Plug and Play Tech Center to the printing of our handbooks is under control. On top of that, there’s good news from our marketing manager Kathy – a buzz is building for this year’s show in the Valley.

And to add to that buzz, I’ve got some exciting late announcements to make. We’ve added another company to our presenting line-up – Spinergy. Spinergy is a clean tech company from Adelaide led by entrepreneur Luceille Outhred. You might recognize her name. She’s the CEO at Digislide, which also made its debut at the ANZA Gateway in 2005. Digislide was a Guy Manson Award Winner at that year’s show and went on to list on the ASX.

The Hon. Nigel Warren, Consul-General and Senior Trade Commissioner, Austrade will welcome our companies and audience on Tuesday morning.

Our Funding Your Business discussion, that starts the day on Wednesday at 9 am, has just taken on a brilliant dimension we have never tried before. Australian entrepreneur, Ben Keighran, who brought his company Bluepulse to Silicon Valley in 2006, and raised a cool $6.5M from VantagePoint will sit down with our panel of VCs, angels and bankers – Warren Hogarth (Sequoia), John Dyson (Starfish Ventures), Jean Kovacs (Harvard Angels), Ed Lambert (Bridge Bank) and Tom Cervantez (moderator) – to offer an entrepreneur’s view on what it takes to raise venture capital. Expect the unexpected from this discussion and be sure to stay afterward for some informal networking.

Do you need a ticket? They’re just $55, and you can get yours to the Wednesday Business Forum session (good for all sessions all day) right here.

Gateway to the US 2009 Companies Demonstrate Innovation at Every Level

September 29, 2009

ANZA TechNet is pleased to announce this year’s Gateway to the US companies, who will be pitching their companies and demo’ing their products next Tuesday, October 6, at 9 am at the Plug and Play Tech Center in Sunnyvale.

The companies are:

  • Earth Utility, a sustainable utility company that makes sustainability simple and affordable.
  • iPOWOW!, an integrated platform and tools for online video, which collects attitude and opinion from any video in real-time, and allows for sophisticated reporting on responses.
  • myCaRMS, enterprise software that addresses the dual requirements of regulatory compliance and risk assessment for financial institutions.
  • Myownpad, social networking and social gaming integration into a unique virtual world platform that provides an immersive, interactive and social 3D experience.
  • Software Shortlist, a proprietary method to help businesses identify software that is most appropriate for their business.
  • Tradeslot, combination optimization technology and auction technology that creates transparent and efficient primary markets for scarce resources such as carbon, timber, grain, iron ore, water and more.

They will be joined on stage by a select group of Australian-founded companies already up and running in Silicon Valley: Aruspex, 5th Finger and Embedster.

“Australia is known for its world class innovation,” said Viki Forrest, ANZA CEO. “This is our chance for a great group of companies to show Silicon Valley some Down Under innovation at every level — technology, business models and customer acquisition.”

The companies will pitch before a panel of judges including VC John Dyson (Starfish Ventures), tech guru Eliane Fiolet ( and serial entrepreneur Simon Anderson ( Tickets are just $55 can be purchased at this link.

2009 Gateway to the US Summit

September 21, 2009

Registration is open for attendees to the 2009 Gateway to the US Summit. This year’s companies are shaping up to be one of our best mixes yet — ANZA CEO Viki Forrest says, “This year’s companies demonstrate innovation at every level — technology, business models and customer acquisition.”

We formally begin announcing which companies have been included in the 2009 Gateway to the US lineup later this week. But trust us — you don’t want to miss out on a chance to hear their 5-minute pitches in front of a select panel of judges and to see the product demos on October 6th at the Plug and Play Tech Center in Sunnyvale. We’ve already filled half of the 100 available seats. A ticket to this event is just $55. Register here.

On October 7th, the Gateway switches gears and offers one of the most complete all-day sessions designed for any international startup launching in the US. The Gateway Business Forums address funding options, legal and tax concerns, marketing and PR in the world’s largest marketplace and what it takes for effective CEO leadership. You do not have to be an ANZA TechNet member to attend. The price is $55 — and you can register here.

Finally, ANZA TechNet is known for its Gateway Closing Night BBQ at the Plug and Play Tech Center. This is one of the most engaging networking events in Silicon Valley, and the most fun. Come mix and mingle with our 2009 Gateway companies, ANZA and Advance members and other Aussies, Kiwis and Americans, too. During the course of the evening we announce the winner of the Guy Manson Hottest Technology Award for the best in show Gateway company. You can buy your ticket to this popular event now for just $55. Click here to register.