RealTime IT News

Silicon Valley? Austrade's shout...

The Australian Federal Government's export and investment body Austrade has announced the winners of its second annual Silicon Valley eBusiness Mission Competition.

Ten winners and two runners-up have been selected from a field of 175 Australian applicants to participate in a week-long, all expenses paid visit to the global IT epicentre, Silicon Valley.

Winners selected from a shortlist of 30 included Bullant Technology, Functional Software, Identity Software, InnovIT, OzTell, Sienna Technologies, Retriever Communications, Sandstone Technologies, SecureGate, HarvestRoad, Prescient Networks and FABS systems.

Judging panel chairperson and Austrade National Manager for Information Communications Technology Industries Alison McGuigan-Lewis said the six judges were looking for technology businesses that provided unique solutions to solve a problem in a larger market.

"The ten entrepreneurs will effectively be 'virtual ambassadors' for Australian technology in the Valley, marketing not only their own businesses, but being representative of what is available in Australia," she said.

According to McGuigan-Lewis, judges looked for a good business framework over 'wow' technology.

"The panel asked 'is the right management team in place to implement their international business plan? What is the business model and revenue stream, and will it work in the US?' " said McGuigan-Lewis. "Companies may be the first to market with unique technology, but what is their sustainable competitive advantage to keep the 'me-too' followers at bay?"

Bullant Technology chief executive officer Gary Aitchson said the win would open doors for Bullant to gain international exposure in the IT industry.

"This opportunity will provide Bullant with firsthand knowledge of US IT industry dynamics, critical market success factors, investment and marketing trends," he said.

Austrade invited submissions in March, searching for ten innovative Australian companies with "enabling technologies for e-business or Internet enlivenment applications" to win the 'immersive' Silicon Valley experience.

The aim of the competition is to provide the opportunity for 'best of breed' technology companies in the Internet enablement space - software, hardware or services - to gain a first hand feel for US IT industry trends.

Austrade also recently recognised the achievements of five Australian software companies in an inaugural ceremony sponsored by the agency see story).

Three Sydney-based software developers, a Wollongong firm and Adelaide-based company were recognized at these DesignWorld awards.