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Discovering Singapore

Last week, DIH CEO Harley Paroulakis and Program Director Wendy Pech had the privilege of visiting Singapore with Anthony Cheng, Director, NT Trade and Investment, Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) and Claire George, Director, Economic and Industry Development, Northern Australia Development and Trade to learn about the entrepreneurial activity in Northeast Asia, research and development being undertaken and discussing areas of collaboration with The Territory.

Thank you to Enterprise Singapore, SEEDS Capital, Singapore Space and Technology Association, ENGIE Asia Pacific and Nanyang Technological University for welcoming us and showcasing the innovative environment in Singapore.

Discovering Singapore
Enterprise Singapore

Enterprise Singapore is the government agency championing enterprise development. Enterprise Singapore works with committed companies to build capabilities, innovate and internationalise.  They also support the growth of Singapore as a hub for global trading and startups.  Singapore Enterprise is the nation standards and accreditation body which continues to build trust in Singapore’s products and services through quality and standards.

SEEDS Capital is the investment arm of Enterprise Singapore and supports the growth of promising Singapore-based startups.  SEEDS Capital co-invest with independent investors in innovative startups with strong intellectual content and global markets potential.

SEEDS Capital partner startups to commercialise and expand globally by leveraging the expertise and strategic networks of their co-investment partners, in areas such as technology translation, commercialisation and market expansions.

Discovering Singapore
Singapore Space and Technology Association

The Singapore Space and Technology Association (SSTA) focuses on developing Singapore’s Space and related high technology industries.  As an active member of the Space industry, we spearhead major trade and business focused initiatives targeted at advancing the space ecosystem, host global meets and organise education and outreach programs that support the discovery and exploration of space-related activities.

Discovering Singapore
ENGIE Factory

ENGIE is a global energy player and an expert operator in the three key sectors of electricity, natural gas and energy services.  The Group supports changes in society that are based as much on economic growth as on, social progress and the preservation of national resources.

ENGIE develops its businesses (power, natural gas, energy services) around a model based on responsible growth to take up today’s major energy and environmental challenges: meeting energy needs, ensuring the security of supply, fighting against climate change and maximizing the use of resources.

ENGIE Factory’s focus is to work with startups and founders to co-develop solutions that will change the way we deal with energy and transform how cities operate. Areas of focus include Green Mobility, Smart Cities, Energy Efficiency and Renewal Energy.

australia-division

Australia Division of the Third China (Shenzhen) Innovation & Entrepreneurship International Competition

The 3rd China (Shenzhen) Innovation & Entrepreneurship International Competition is one of the largest events of its kind in China.

The Australia Division, held in Sydney over the weekend, is one of ten overseas divisions of the Competition.

This competition attracts numerous high-quality overseas projects, as well as integrate innovation and entrepreneurship resources to help foreign innovation and entrepreneurship projects connect with Chinese hi-tech industrial resources, thus expanding the Chinese market for mutual benefits and win-win results.

In 2018, the Competition attracted 1460 technology-based start-ups from 31 countries to participate and compete in five industry categories, and 135 of them won the respective country division and came to Shenzhen for the final contests, including 11 from Australia who were selected from 169 participants of the Australia Division.

In April 2019, more than 100 outstanding projects selected from the Overseas Division Competitions and Professional Competition will meet in Shenzhen and compete in multiple rounds including Professional Finals, Industrial Finals and Finals for the highest honors and awards of the competition.

Shenzhen has impressed overseas entrepreneurs with its outstanding innovation and entrepreneurship environment through the international competition. As a result, Shenzhen’s image as a city of innovation and its reputation overseas have been further enhanced. As a platform that motivates the innovation potential and vitality of the entire society, the competition propels innovation-driven development and drives new opportunities for scientific and technological innovation in Shenzhen.

Memory Lane

Recently the DIH found this article from the Office of Territory Development eNewsletter dated August 2003.  The article shows our CEO, Harley Paroulakis opening the first AVCAL office in Darwin with the late Senator Bob Collins.  The first AVCAL office opened in Darwin in a bid to “seize innovative and business opportunities”.

16 years later we have successfully opened the Northern Territory’s first venture capital fund, Paspalis Innovation Investment Fund (PIIF) which is a member fund of the Australian Venture Capital Association Ltd. PIIF has already raised $24.5 million from private investors across the Asia Pacific region.

It goes to show that very good things that are worthwhile take time and perseverance.  Something we are very mindful of at the DIH.

Territory Stories

tencent

DIH meets Chinese innovation power house Tencent!

Thanks to the support of Austrade, DIH had the privilege to meet Tencent Holdings Ltd at their amazing head office in Shenzhen at the recent Facing South Conference led by the Northern Territory Government.

DIH CEO Harley Paroulakis and DIH Expert-in-Residence Boris Shao met with Tencent Holdings Ltd Senior Director Hellena while in Shenzhen last month.

Darwin Innovation Hub will work with Tencent to collaborate on a 2-way innovation deal flow development between China and Northern Australia. Thanks to Austrade Shenzhen Manager Ms Selina Yuan, the DIH now has a fantastic contact and formal relationship in place with one of China’s most prestigious innovation companies.

Tencent is the Chinese digital media and telecom conglomerate that owns WeChat and has recently bypassed Facebook, taking out fifth place for the largest corporation in the world. Tencent is also the world’s largest gaming, social media company, and is considered one of the world’s most valuable technology companies. WeChat hit 938 million monthly users back in May of last year, it is easy to see why the corporation is so valuable.

calling business

NT News – Calling business start-ups to Croc Pitch

Deputy Chief Minister Nicole Manison is encouraging  aspiring entrepreneurs to enter “Croc Pitch.”

Darwin Innovation Hub has launched the ultimate pitch event designed to uncover the best innovation and business ideas the Territory has. The entrepreneurs will pitch their business ideas to a panel of judges.

Ms Manison welcomed the event. “Innovation is vital to the growth and diversification of the Territory economy,” she said.

DIH founder and chief executive Harley Paroulakis said the Croc Pitch prize includes a $50,000 BISI grant from the Department of Trade, Business and Innovation that will be matched with a $50,000 cash investment from the Paspalis Innovation Investment Fund. DIH has partnered with Startcon’s National Pitch Competition to give the NT winner a chance to pitch for a $1 million investment.

“The DIH is in a position to provide mentoring, investment analysis and feedback to start-ups through its expert in residence program,” he said.

Darwin will host Croc Pitch during October Business Month as a part of Innovation Week.

Pitch bootcamps will be held during August and September in Darwin and Alice in the lead up to the event.

In addition to the cash, first prize includes high-calibre mentoring, sponsored membership in the DIH, a visit to the Austrade Landing Pad in Shanghai as well as the opportunity to compete in the Startcon National Pitch final in Sydney with a further $1 million investment prize up for grabs. Startcon brings together over 600 start-ups and 400 leading investors from 15 cities across a series of one-day events in each city.

 

Article appeared in NT News Wednesday 18th of July 2018 

nt news

NT News – Facility brings the talented together

Innovation hub designed to help start-ups capitalise on their ideas.

The creation of the Darwin Innovation Hub in mid-2017 provided the Northern Territory with its first custom built innovation facility that brings together entrepreneurs, start-up opportunities, talent and capital – all under the one roof.

DIH founder and Chief Executive Harley Paroulakis said the incubator had partnered with the Federal and Northern Territory governments and Charles Darwin University.

“In July 2017, Paspalis successfully tendered for and was awarded the Federal Government’s Incubator Support Program for the Northern Territory, a partnership with the Northern Territory Government and Charles Darwin University,” he said.

“This has resulted in the creation of the Darwin Innovation Hub, a new incubator in that will attract and support start-ups through the commercialisation of research, co-working, seed funding, mentoring and introductions to valuable international networks.”

Paspalis has invested about $3 million into building up the infrastructure at the hub, and will now invest an additional $500,000 cash plus in-kind support alongside the Northern Territory Government’s $250,000 and Federal Government’s $500,000 to implement the program.

“I’ve really thrown myself into this project 100 per cent, which puts a lot of pressure on me to make it work. By year three we want to see 75 start-ups, 25 commercialised; $10-20 million in venture capital invested and the creation of 100 jobs in the ecosystem,” he said.

One of the other goals of the DIH relates to leveraging our vicinity to the Asian region. Mr Paroulakis wants to send an NT business to China and bring a Chinese business to the Territory.

“First, we attract a Chinese company to the Northern Territory that is able to test bed an innovation or technology in a Northern Territory industry,” he said.

“Our industry sectors or ‘sandbox’ are vast and wide-ranging from energy generation opportunities, agritech, oil and gas tech, mining and exploration technology, aquaculture and research and development opportunities at Charles Darwin University. The second, backing a Northern Territory innovation company to set up in China. Our company is also open to the possibility of developing partnerships with Chinese companies in the innovation and investment sectors potentially via a parallel venture capital funding agreement that focuses on Belt Road innovation investments between our two countries.”

DIH offers many aspects to help start-ups reach their potential including an expert in residence program. DIH has partnered with CDU to provide expert in residence activities within the university and VET context. The experts project includes events, workshops and mentoring at both DIH and CDU that will underpin the DIH Innovation Program.

There are three experts in residence. These are Dean Alle who specialises in IP & Research Commercialisation; Karmen Karamanian who is a brand expert, graphic web and app designers and Matt Bell who has specialist skills in cloud accounting, business set up, administration and accounting.

“We’re excited to bring three new experts into the HUB, as part of the federal Governments Expert-in-Residence program,” Mr Paroulakis said. “This program will allow DIH to boost its innovation support.

“The program will provide expert mentoring and strategic planning to provide our start-ups with the best chance of commercializing both locally and nationally.

” Specialist support will be provided to link opportunities across the region as well as into overseas markets.”

 

Article appeared in NT News Wednesday 18th July 

best ideas

NT News – Croc Pitch calls for Territory’s best ideas

Aspiring entrepreneurs are invited to pit themselves against one of the Territory’s most prehistoric creatures in a contest of ideas.

The Darwin Innovation Hub has launched “Croc Pitch” – the ultimate pitch event designed to uncover the best ideas the Territory has.

The entrepreneurs will pitch their business ideas to a panel of judges.

DIH founder and chief executive Harley Paroulakis said the top Croc Pitch prize included a $50,000 grant from the Department of Trade, Business and Innovation that would be matched with a $50,000 cash investment from the Paspalis Innovation Investment Fund.

DIH has also partnered with Startcon’s National Pitch Competition to give the NT winner a chance to pitch for a $1 million investment.

“The DIH is in a position to to provide mentoring, investment analysis and feedback to start-ups through its expert in residence program,” Mr Paroulakis said.

Darwin will host Croc Pitch during October Business Month, as a part of Innovation Week. Central Australian competitors are invited to attend Croc Camps in Alice Springs to test their propositions, polish up on pitching skills and receive practical advice from experts and previous pitch competitions judges.

These “pitch bootcamps” will be held during August and September in Darwin and Alice Springs in the lead-up to the Croc Pitch event in October. In Alice Springs, DIH is teaming up with Desert Knowledge Australia to deliver the August Croc Camp.

In addition to the cash, the first prize includes mentoring, sponsored membership in the DIH, a visit to the Austrade Landing Pad in Shanghai, as well as the opportunity to compete in the Startcon National Pitch final in Sydney.

As the biggest pitch competition in the Asia-Pacific region, Startcon brings together more than 600 start-ups and 400 leading investors, in 15 cities, across a series of one-day events in each city.

Regional winners from each city receive flights and accommodation to Startcon 2018 where they pitch in front of 4000 people.

The winning start-up will be announced in December during the Startcon conference.

For more information on this initiative, visit darwininnovationhub.com.au/crocpitch

 

Article appeared in NT News Tuesday 17 July 2018 

Written by Ashley Manicaros

NT News – Northern Territory’s first venture capital fund opens

THE Territory’s first venture capital fund has started.

The Paspalis Innovation Investment Fund has already raised $20 million with another $30 million of investment capital committed from private investors across the Asia Pacific region.

The fund is run by the Paspalis Group of Companies and is managed by Paspalis Asset Management and its trustee, One Funds Management Limited.

It has been accepted as a member of the Australian Venture Capital Association.

Paspalis chief executive officer and fund investment manager Harley Paroulakis said the fund stood to provide some meaningful economic stimulus to the local NT economy.

“It is a balanced fund that has an 80 per cent allocation to Territory Bonds and 20 per cent allocation to NT venture capital projects,” Mr Paroulakis said.

“That’s a new source of capital for housing, transport, health and education services and a precious source of venture capital for industry, research and innovation in the NT.

“Companies may originate from any part of the world, however, to be considered for investment they must be competitive businesses that create an economic advantage for the Northern Territory.

“Our investment range is between $50,000 for early stage start-ups and $2,500,000 for larger projects all of which can demonstrate potential growth of at least 15 per cent per annum.

“The fund will look to invest in Northern Territory companies seeking growth in the Asia Pacific region and Asia Pacific companies looking to do business in the Northern Territory.

“The common thread is that every deal has to benefit the Northern Territory.”

The chief executive officer of the Australian Venture Capital Association, Yasser El-Ansary, said the fund was a first for the NT.

“The Paspalis Innovation Investment Fund is a historical first in the Northern Territory and for the Australian Venture Capital and Private Equity Industry and only reinforces the growing importance and need for this important asset class in regional Australia,” he said.

Mr Paroulakis said key offshore markets of interest included China, Singapore, Israel, Germany and the United States where Austrade has established landing pads for Australian growth companies.

 

Written by Ashley Manicaros

Article appeared in NT News, 17th July 2018

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one belt

NT News – One Belt One Road Conference

This week, Darwin welcomed delegates to the One Belt One Road Conference

CHINESE Ambassador Cheng Jingye believes the Territory is uniquely placed to take advantage of his country’s Belt and Road Initiative deepening Sino-Australian relationships.

And at least one Territory business is looking to be actively involved in China’s BRI with Darwin Innovation Hub telling a collective of Chinese dignitaries on Tueday night it intends to press ahead with two projects consistent with the Belt Road policy.

Speaking at a “One Belt, One Road” conference organised by the Australia Chinese Business Council NT, Mr Cheng said the Oceania region was the “natural extension” of the maritime silk road.

DIH founder and chief executive Harley Paroulakis said the goal at the hub included attracting a Chinese company to the NT as well as providing the opportunity to send an NT company to China.

“First, we attract a Chinese company to the Northern Territory that is able to test bed an innovation or technology in a Northern Territory industry,” Mr Paroulakis said.

“Our industry sectors or ‘sandbox’ are vast and wide-ranging from energy generation opportunities, agritech, oil and gas tech, mining and exploration technology, aquaculture and research and development opportunities at Charles Darwin University.

“The second, backing a Northern Territory innovation company to set up in China.

“Our company is also open to the possibility of developing partnerships with Chinese companies in the innovation and investment sectors potentially via a parallel venture capital funding agreement that focuses on Belt Road innovation investments between our two countries.”

Mr Cheng said active interactions would lead to further exploration of possible co-operation between China and Australia under the BRI framework.

“Local co-operation is an integral part and important basis of China-Australia relations. Darwin is the North gateway of Australia,” he said.

“ The excellent location of NT equip it with special advantages in developing its trade and economic co-operation with China and participating in BRI.

“It’s my belief the NT will make full use of its own advantages and seize further opportunities in its co-operation with China.”

The One Belt One Road conference continues on Wednesday with a number of panel sessions.

CHINESE Ambassador Cheng Jingye believes the Territory is uniquely placed to take advantage of his country’s Belt and Road Initiative deepening Sino-Australian relationships.

And at least one Territory business is looking to be actively involved in China’s BRI with Darwin Innovation Hub telling a collective of Chinese dignitaries on Tueday night it intends to press ahead with two projects consistent with the Belt Road policy.

Speaking at a “One Belt, One Road” conference organised by the Australia Chinese Business Council NT, Mr Cheng said the Oceania region was the “natural extension” of the maritime silk road.

DIH founder and chief executive Harley Paroulakis said the goal at the hub included attracting a Chinese company to the NT as well as providing the opportunity to send an NT company to China.

“First, we attract a Chinese company to the Northern Territory that is able to test bed an innovation or technology in a Northern Territory industry,” Mr Paroulakis said.

“Our industry sectors or ‘sandbox’ are vast and wide-ranging from energy generation opportunities, agritech, oil and gas tech, mining and exploration technology, aquaculture and research and development opportunities at Charles Darwin University.

“The second, backing a Northern Territory innovation company to set up in China.

“Our company is also open to the possibility of developing partnerships with Chinese companies in the innovation and investment sectors potentially via a parallel venture capital funding agreement that focuses on Belt Road innovation investments between our two countries.”

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Mr Cheng said active interactions would lead to further exploration of possible co-operation between China and Australia under the BRI framework.

“Local co-operation is an integral part and important basis of China-Australia relations. Darwin is the North gateway of Australia,” he said.

“ The excellent location of NT equip it with special advantages in developing its trade and economic co-operation with China and participating in BRI.

“It’s my belief the NT will make full use of its own advantages and seize further opportunities in its co-operation with China.”

The One Belt One Road conference continues on Wednesday with a number of panel sessions.

Article Appeared in NT News July 10 2018

Read it here