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Viki Forrest CEOFromtheCEOFROM THE CEO

Happy Holidays and Looking Forward to 2010

Seasons greetings, ANZA Tech members. I hope that the end to this challenging year finds you and your families healthy, happy and looking forward to brighter horizons in 2010.

We cannot downplay the role the economy had in many of our business plans for 2009. While many in the innovative tech industry both in the US and Australia were able to hang on, there is no denying that plans for growth or new ventures had to be downsized to match the fact that investors, customers and potential partners simply had less money to spend.

On the upside a downturn forces entrepreneurs to do one of the things they excel at: think outside the box and come up with new solutions. For many this year, this involved re-organizing your business plans to look at new markets, new revenue channels and new products. We are undoubtedly going to begin to see the results of these revised plans next year.

At ANZA, we used the downturn to forge new partnerships and alliances that will strengthen our existing Gateway and Fast Track to the US programs and take us in some new directions in 2010. You'll be hearing a lot more about these improvements in the New Year.


We had the opportunity this year to tap into our network to get a great deal of advice and first-hand experience about the challenges to doing business in China - the world's other largest market. We are confident our Gateway to China program, kicking off in 2010 will address the complexities Australian entrepreneurs face in entering China.


Two events gave us every reason to believe that the US market is still a formidable one and that China can be an exciting alternative option for Australian entrepreneurs who understand the importance of commercializing beyond Australia and how that will continue to strengthen all three economies.


Ten remarkable companies took the stage at this year's Gateway to the US in Silicon Valley in October. They presented technologies across every level to a standing room only crowd. A month later, we were pleased to be part of the Advance "Enter the Dragon" VC forum, in which investors from the US and China came together on a videoconference to talk to Australian entrepreneurs about the possibilities in both these markets in 2010 and beyond. Australia continues to have the innovation - and the possibilities to commercialize that innovation in the world's two largest markets are going to be numerous.

Viki Forrest, CEO ANZA Technology Network


2010 Shoot Out logoEight of Australia's most forward thinking tech innovators will take the stage in Silicon Valley at the Microsoft Campus on January 20 for the fourth annual Australia Innovation Shoot Out. Click here to RSVP through SDForum for your free pass. The event runs from 8 am - 11:30 am and includes breakfast. Following each company's five-minute pitch to a panel of top-tier US investors, one company will be named "Australia Innovator of the Year."

All attendees are automatically registered to enter the prize drawing to win two free business class round trip tickets to Australia, provided by Qantas.

This year's companies, state finalists from New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Queensland, include: DigiSensory, Intelliguard, Mid-Comp International, Multitrode, Solar Gem, Synengco, and The Ross System.

You can become a fan of the Australia Innovation Shoot Out on Facebook and follow the Shoot Out on Twitter at @AUS_Innovation.

The Innovation Shoot Out is one of the many events that are part of G'Day USA Australia Week, which runs from January 9-22, showcasing the very best of Australian culture, fashion, food, wine, tourism and business.

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Liaise, the Sydney company founded by Sidney Minassian and Alon Novy, now located in Silicon Valley was named the "Emerging Tech Winner / Collaboration" by the Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal earlier this month.

Liaise's software is an e-mail helper product now available for public use. The product can search the content of your email messages on Microsoft Outlook and create a to-do list based on the commitments you have made or received.

The company has received a Series A funding round (amount not disclosed) from Southern Cross Venture Partners earlier this year.

Congratulations to Sidney and Alon and the Liaise team. We were pleased to have Sidney on our CEO Leadership Business Forum at the ANZA Gateway Summit in October. (Read more)

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More than 100 entrepreneurs, investors and tech industry executives came together in Silicon Valley, Shanghai and Sydney on November 19 for the Advance Enter the Dragon videoconference.

Moderated from Silicon Valley by Dr. Larry Marshall of Southern Cross Venture Partners and from Shanghai by Joseph W.K. Chan, Partner and Head of China VC & PE, Pillsbury, panelists addressed the unique opportunities for innovative Australian and American companies in the world's two largest marketplaces - the US and China. While much is known about the investment climate and protocol in Silicon Valley, little is on record about China. Will its formidable entrepreneurial spirit be able to foster an investment climate that will turn it into a Valley of Jade, or merely a string of pearls? (Read more)

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A series of videos "down under / ON TOP" will be making the rounds as "webisodes" showcasing Australians doing exciting things around the world. Jointly produced by actor Cameron Daddo and Advance, the global network for global Australians, the series highlights the achievements of serial entrepreneurs, top researchers, business leaders, political movers and shakers, artists, musicians and photographers. Take a sneak peak at some of the videos now. If you are interested in finding out more about this project, please contact Louis Matthews at

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Long a staple of startups Down Under, the COMET grant program will come to an end on January 1, 2010. The program that supported many ANZA TechNet companies in their US market exploration endeavors will be replaced with a new government program, Commercialisation Australia. This program is set to begin shortly. One of the offerings of the new program will be funds of up to $2 million (AUD) of repayable assistance available for early-stage commercialization opportunities. Australian Anthill has been one of the best sources covering this story. Click here to read more.
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  • Tradeslot won the Guy Manson award for the hottest company at this year's ANZA's Gateway to the US Summit in Silicon Valley on October 7. Led by CEO Jesco d'Alquen,the Victorian-based B2B auction technology company received a 25% discount into the ANZA Fast Track program. Tradeslot joins the prestigious list of past winners of this award, including Neuro Vision Technology, Buzka, Silenceair, cineSync, Digislide and In the Chair (now StarPlayit).
  • Digislide and Spinergy, two Gateway alumni companies led by entrepreneur Luceille Outhred, has secured a $1.2 million government grant to further advance opto-electronics and clean technology research and development. Digislide was awarded the funds under the South Australian Innovation and Investment Fund. Digislide also made news last month when they announced they had secured $18 million in capital investment commitments from London-based investment company, GEM Global Yield Fund Limited.
  • Red Lizard Software was named the company most ready to do business in the US at Tech23 in Sydney on October 27. Twenty-three Australian companies gave short pitches and then answered detailed Q&A from industry experts across multiple platforms. As a result of this win, Red Lizard earns a slot in the 2010 ANZA Gateway to the US program.
Do you have company news to share with the more than 6,000+ ANZA TechNet members? Send your company update to

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Anthill_LogoAUSTRALIAN ANTHILL ONLINE is available in free daily digests as well as weekly recaps. It is the source for where Australian ideas and business meet. An easy must-read for anyone interested in the Australian innovative and entrepreneurial community. Click here to subscribe today.

ADVANCE - The dynamic and diverse community of Australian professionals overseas committed to advancing Australia and Australians. Keep connected and find out about important events happening in your area of the world. Membership is FREE. Sign up by clicking here.

SILICON BEACH AUSTRALIA - Join the conversation and keep up-to-date on this Google Groups site devoted to the Aussie ICT sector.

AUSTRALIAN AMERICAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE - San Francisco chapter (includes Silicon Valley) meets every third Thursday of the month for networking and drinks at the King George Hotel, 334 Mason (at Geary) from 6 pm onwards. Open to all Australians and non-Australians in the San Francisco Bay Area. The AACC provide a variety of social, cultural and business platforms. To find out more - click here.

DATELINE MEDIA - Receive a daily dose of business, tech, life sciences, issues and trends from the USA with an Australian angle. Subscribe to Dateline Media's free condensed format email list and keep up-to-date on what's happening in the world's largest marketplace.

SOUTH FOOD+WINE BAR - Aussie and Kiwi ex-pats working in Silicon Valley are flocking to San Francisco's hip new restaurant showcasing the best of Down Under food and drink. South Food+Wine Bar features the cuisine of top chef Luke Mangan and a critically acclaimed wine list. Book your lunch, dinner or weekend brunch plans in advance -- South is a popular place!

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January 9 -22, 2010 - USA - G'Day USA Australia Week showcases the very best of Australian culture, fashion, food, wine, tourism and business at various locations throughout the US. For a complete schedule of events, click here.

January 12, 2010 - SUNNYVALE, CA - SDForum presents third annual conference on The State of Clean Energy: Global Challenges and Opportunities. A critical look at the adoption gap here in the United States and what our leaders are doing to play catch up with the rest of the world. Panel sessions include The Greening of Corporations, Global Investment Climate and more. Keynotes by Dian Grueneich, California Public Utilities Commission and Sally M. Benson from Stanford University. Early-bird registration by December 18. ANZA TechNet members can receive $10 off registration by using the code ENERGY. Click here for registration and details. 

January 20, 2009 - MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA - G'Day USA's Australia Innovation Shoot Out. Eight of Australia's most forward thinking technology innovators take the stage in Silicon Valley for the fourth annual Innovation Shoot Out. They have just 5 minutes to convince a panel of top-tier U.S. investors that their technology is ready to play on the global stage. Only one can win and be named "Australia Innovator of the Year". Click here for more information and to RSVP through SDForum for your free pass.

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ANZA. Innovation Rewarded.

Are you following ANZA Technology Network on Twitter? Follow us at @anzatechnet.

Keep up with relevant industry news, announcements and opinions as they relate to Australia, New Zealand and America doing business together in Silicon Valley and beyond on the ANZA Technology Network blog.
Let the 6,000+ ANZATechNet members know about your event. Send details to Viki at and we will include it in our next newsletter and upcoming events e-flyer.

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