This month NESTA published their annual report into Venture Capital. Titled "Now and After the Dotcom Crash", what can we learn about how the environment for Business Angel investment has changed? How has the market changed? And have Business Angels' expectations changed to match?
Last month I announced that I had become a facilitator on CSIRO’s ON Prime program. The next question was: “What’s is CSIRO’s ON Prime program?”
I am driven by the desire to see more technology, innovation and ideas create an impact and income for their inventors/founders in Australia. I believe that we all need high quality, successful Entrepreneurs in order to ensure that Australia holds its place in the world as the greatest place to live (not just for the weather). So when the option to become a Facilitator on the ON Prime program become available I jumped with both feet – being part of the program is an amazing opportunity to help Australia towards that goal (while having a lot of fun and challenges on the way).
So what is the ON Program? There are currently two primary elements – Prime (a part-time program to help the research community discover their impact and customer) and Accelerate (a full time program getting the innovation from the lab into the market).
ON Prime is an entry level, part-time pre-accelerator program that helps Australian research teams to test their science and technology through customer discovery. The program provides participants with an opportunity to test the possible pathways of adoption for their technology and helps them unlock the entrepreneurial nous required to create impact from their research. The goal is to empower the research community, increase the rate of knowledge transfer between research and industry and strengthen the Australian Innovation Ecosystem. This is achieved through four key steps: a Mindset Shift; Understand Terminology; providing a Framework and Plan for What’s Next. The mindshift helps researchers adopt a customer focused perspective instead of a technology focused one. The Terminology and Frameworks used are the well-established Value Proposition and Business Model Canvas and the Planning involves pursing multiple pivots as a result of direct customer contact. The next ON Prime session begins in April 2017 with 72 teams of scientists and engineers from CSIRO, DSTG and Australian Universities.
ON Accelerate is a structured, full-time technology accelerator program that brings together the experience and expertise of established researchers, entrepreneurs and inspiring mentors. Through ON Accelerate teams will reach impact faster by focusing on the business model, finding funding for runway and getting out there to tell the story. Participation in the program involves a 12-week commitment from participants, with approximately 30 per cent of the program delivered in face-to-face workshops. ON Accelerate concludes in a spectacular ‘Demo Day’ where each team in the cohort has the opportunity to showcase their ideas to industry and stakeholders – including multinational corporations, large Australian enterprises, SMEs, government, investors and universities.
I’ve known David Burt, the co-founder of the ON Program, for a sometime and would like to commend him and his team for this amazing initiative. Let’s make an impact.