Monday, September 18, 2017

10 NSW Startups collaborate with the Israeli Innovation Community

Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation Matt Kean MP
15 August 2017 

Ten NSW fintech and cyber security startups are headed to the epicentre of Israel’s startup ecosystem next month for a ten-day global innovation masterclass.

Minister for Innovation Matt Kean said the final startups (listed below) now had a unique opportunity to harness the Austrade Landing Pad in Tel Aviv, after a competitive application process.

“NSW has some incredible startup talent, particularly in the fintech and cyber security sectors, and this is a fantastic opportunity to showcase that talent on a global stage,” Mr Kean said

“The opportunity for the state’s best startups to visit Tel Aviv and learn from some of the world’s top innovators is absolutely the chance of a lifetime.”

Mr Kean said the ten-day mission was sponsored by the NSW Government, in partnership with Austrade, and aimed to strengthen links between NSW and Israel startups.

“Our emerging innovators will be mentored by world-leading entrepreneurs, meet with venture capitalists, and be immersed in the Tel Aviv startup ecosystem,” he said.

“The NSW Landing Pad mission is all about helping home grown startup talent develop their business models to in turn excel in global markets.”

The ten-day intensive program includes:

  •          Meetings with mentors to address business or technical challenges;
  •          Opportunities supported by a new NSW/Israel innovation agreement;
  •          Meetings and engagement with globally successful Israeli fintech startups; and,
  •          Attendance at the world’s biggest startup industry event, the DLD Festival.

Minister for Trade and Industry Niall Blair said the NSW-Israel trade relationship was going from strength to strength.

“NSW is the startup capital of Australia so it makes sense that our ties to Israel’s innovation ecosystem are robust and ongoing,” Mr Blair said.

“This year’s cohort also demonstrates NSW innovation isn’t just Sydney-centric with some outstanding entrepreneurs from our regions too.

“I look forward to welcoming Israeli startups to NSW where our rapidly evolving startup ecosystem has been boosted by the new Sydney Startup Hub.”

The 2017 NSW Government-Austrade Tel Aviv startup mission participants are:

  •          DSYNC
  •          Goodments
  •          Ping Data
  •          Currencyvue
  •          First Rung
  •          Upload Once
  •          FARMpay
  •          Ditno
  •          Audeamus Risk
  •          Spriggy

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Money attracted to startup scene

Meet the startups that just pitched at EF’s 8th Demo Day in London

Posted yesterday by Steve O'Hear (@sohear)


14 newly formed startups pitch their wares onstage to investors, press and other actors in the European tech scene at Entepreneur First (EF) 

 EF founders Matt Clifford and Alice Bentinck have just raised $12.4 million in new funding led by Silicon Valley’s Greylock Partners and Linked IN's Reid Hoffman. 

Hoffman described EF, which along with London also runs a program in Singapore, as a “great model for creating new, deep tech companies on an incubation basis.”

To date, EF says it has helped more than 500 individuals on its program, who have built more than 100 companies with a total (mostly on paper) valuation exceeding $1 billion. 

This is how EF works: The company builder targets technical and domain talent, both recent graduates and also people already working at tech companies, and invites them to apply to its six-month program where they find co-founders and in turn found startups. The program includes financial support in the form of a monthly stipend for living costs while founders find their co-founders and decide on an idea.

This is then followed by pre-seed funding, in addition to office space, legal and administrative support and mentoring and advice from the EF team and external entrepreneurs from the wider U.K. and Singapore startup scene. 

There’s also a separate follow-on fund to co-invest in alumni companies at the seed and Series A stage.

Sounds a lot like our BSI Investor Forum in Australia!!!! 

The full list of presenting teams (in their own words) of EF

Metis Labs
Metis Labs is general intelligence for industrial systems.

Kiroku is capturing the value of expert conversation.

Kue reinvents consumer credit and changes how we purchase.

Robik AI
Robik AI builds autonomous vehicles to slash the cost of last-mile delivery.

Migacore Technologies
Migacore Technologies uses online signals to better predict travel demand.

Machine Medicine
Machine Medicine uses computer vision to predict and prevent falls before they happen.

Mobilus Labs
Mobilus Labs is a hands-free, ear-free voice platform.

A quantum leap in drug discovery.

Agrosight detects plant diseases early using hyper-spectral signals, dramatically reducing the cost of food production.

Sensum Technologies
Sensum Technologies uses advanced statistical and machine learning algorithms to predict and prevent preterm birth.

CargoMate Technologies
CargoMate Technologies saves millions in fuel costs by helping container ships leave port early.

ConnectMed is plugging the primary healthcare gap in developing countries.

Portify is building the infrastructure for the future of work.

Resurgo Genetics
Resurgo Genetics is building a universal tool to precisely change any living system.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Red Dot raises a further $5.2m

Singapore’s Red Dot Payment, a fin tech - payment gateway startup founded by a team of ex Visa and MasterCard executives, has closed a $5.2 million Series B round to grow its business.

Investors in this fintecc includes GMO Venture Partners from Japan, Wavemaker Partners, Skype co-founder Toivo Annus, MDI Ventures, DORR Group and Indonesia-based operator Telkomsel.

Reddot focuses on hotels and the hospitality industr and enables online payments via a gateway, and  offers online invoicing, recurring payments and alternative payments. 

It's competition  include 2C2POmise and Midtrans.

Money is being attracted to SEA startup scene

Inspired From Techcrunch

Singapores YinglanTan -  former Sequoia venture partner and Lin-Hong Wong. (former  Singaporean sovereign fund Temasek and the Singapore Economic Development Board)has raised $25 million for its maiden fund called Insignia Venture Partners  and it made its first investment.

It is leading a $4 million investment in Indonesia-based co-working startup Ev Hive, a source close to negotiations told TechCrunch.

The $25 million fund plans to focus on the seed and Series A space in Southeast Asia, a segment that once was seen as a gap but now is becoming well filled with funds. Other VCs playing in the space include Golden Gate Ventures ($50 million), Jungle Ventures ($100 million), Venturra Capital ($150 million), and Monk’s Hill Ventures ($80 million.)

Sequoia is one of the few investment funds that operates in the Series A and Series B spaces in Southeast Asia. Despite that and growing interest in the region from major tech companies, with recent deals from Alibaba, TencentSoftBank and Expedia, it doesn’t have a dedicated fund in South East Asia , but its deals are covered by the Sequoia India fund. The current India fund of $850m is the firm’s fourth.

Earlier this summer, Sequoia secured $4 billion in fresh financing, including $2 billion for its growth funds, according to a U.S. filing. The firm decline to provide details on how the capital will be allocated, but a good bet is that a large chunk will be put to work in Asia. Indeed, according to report, $125 million of that fresh allocation was funneled into the current India fund.

Hopefully Australia will get a gurnsey!!!!

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Stone & Chalk, Westpac, and Data Republic partner to launch data accelerator FUELD

Inspired by  startup daily
Alex Scandurra - Stone & Chalk
Local fintech hub Stone & Chalk has announced a partnership with Westpac and secure data exchange startup Data Republic to establish FUELD, a new accelerator program looking to match startups working in the data sphere to corporates.

Alex Scandurra, Stone & Chalk’s CEO is excited to host Murray Hurps leading the FUELD venture, a JV With AWS and Westpac-backed venture capital firm Reinventure Group.

FUELD will provide startups working with data solutions 

  • Initial funding 
  • the chance to participate in a three month intensive program, 
  • streams of Datathrough Data Republic’s platform, as well as access to anonymous data aggregated by Westpac. 
  •  matching participants with businesses or “real customers” who will be ready to pay for their solutions at launch.
  • Cross collaboration with established corporates and startups 

“Corporates have business problems, startups have business solutions, there are organisations with big customer data sets, and these players don’t ordinarily talk together. This cross-ecosystem collaboration will connect these dots, and better yet, startups will be guided by world-class mentors to rapidly develop, test and commercially launch new products,” Skundarra told start up daily 

Speaking to corporates within Australia, Scandurra said tcorpirates need to innovate or die! 

“Westpac are one of the founding partners of Stone & Chalk and it’s great to see a large Australian bank take such an open and mature approach to innovation. Other organisations can take note from this model to accelerate solutions to their business problems, because once defined, they can be solved in a matter of months – not years – then executed back into the business, and commercialised to ensure the future success of the startup,” he said.

Monday, September 04, 2017

Having a Spirit of Generosity activates the pleasure and satisfaction centres of the brain

Showing Humanity and Charity Changes The Brain...

Being compassionate and selfless allows people to be guided by their higher selves and thus allows us to operate at our advanced brain power.

It is why one of BBGs pillars of "having a spirit of generosity"  is so important.

Did you know that being charitable, volunteering and acting out of compassion changes your brain?
Brain imaging studies have shown that TWO major changes take place in the brain when we do charitable works…

1. The positive-emotional brain circuitry as well as the pleasure and satisfaction centers in the brain are activated.

2. There is a high activation of gamma brain waves which indicates new brain cell wiring (or neuroplasticity) that grows as if stretching from the old branches of an ancient oak tree.

Why do these brain changes matter?

The activation of the positive-emotional circuitry along with the new tracks allows us to feel good about ourselves and our contribution to the greater good. 

When the brain feels good it will continue the charitable behavior making it a habit and natural way of life.
(Harbaugh, Science 316, 2007);  William T. ; Carter, et al., 2009)

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Kanwal Rheki getting a 100x return in 1995

I did most unusual thing in 1995 when I wrote this check of $200,000 to Exodus to save them from shutting down. They were at the end of line, needed cash to stay alive. There was no time to do do any due diligence or legal paperwork. This loan was done with a simple agreement memorialized on a hand written agreement.
It turned out to be the best invest ever made by me. At it peak it had grown 1000X and was worth $200 million. I was not smart enough to get out when the going was great but I was able to sell this investment for $20 million, a mere 100X. For the longest time I felt angry at myself for being stupid. Now I will take 100X return any day without feeling stupid!!!

Comments from article

Kanwal - Seed level investments are very risky, like buying a lottery ticket. But I did nothing but that for 10 years and was very successful at it.

Kanwal - In VC business one has to be lucky to make money but as you know luck favors those who who prepare.

I had gotten very impressed with the people (ChandraShekhar and BV Jagadeesh) and the business idea.

James Thomason - Do you believe in the butterfly effect? Because of your investment, I moved from Alabama to California, where I remained for the next 20 years and 13 startup companies.    I was the 28th employee at Exodus in 1996 , if memory serves.   I met my wife in San Francisco and started my first company there.

On what to invest in 

Kanwal - it's all about the team!