10 06, 2019

ON Accelerate 5 Level-Up Wrap-Up

By |2019-07-12T11:55:45+00:00June 10th, 2019|CSIRO ON Program|

The last couple of months have been very busy with CSIRO’s ON Accelerate 5 programme’s “Level-Up” series of short, sharp workshops across the country. These intensive sessions have infused new skills and knowledge across some key areas that our entrepreneurial teams need to accelerate and maximise impact. A very big shout out to my Co-Designer / Co-Facilitator David Ireland. Here’s a wrap-up.

SYDNEY IMMERSION WEEK: A shallow dive into everything you need to know and to setup what’s in store in the upcoming “Level-Up” series.

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We started with Immersion Week in early February. We focused on:

·      Prototyping: How to build, test, develop and protect your solution (product and business model),

·      Teaming: How to build and manage the high performance team you need for maximum results,

·      Story-telling: How to tell a story that moves people to support you and

·      Executing: How to build a plan and execute it.

PERTH LEVEL-UP: A deeper dive into Product and Business Model Prototyping

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In Level Up 1 we focused on: Prototyping: How to build, test, develop and protect your solution (product and business model).

Thanks to Megan Gobey for a great session on Prototyping!

Thanks to Andy Lamb for a great session on Hustling!

Thanks to Rafael Kimberley-Bowen for a great session on how to build, test, and present financial models!

Thanks to Paul Watt for a great session on understanding value proposition!

And thanks for a great deep dive Angel Investors Panel session: Tracie Clark, Greg Riebe

CANBERRA LEVEL-UP: A deeper dive into Building High-Performance Teams

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In Level Up 2 we focused on: Teaming: How to build and manage the high performance team you need for maximum results.

Thanks to David Romano for a great session on how to build a High-Performance Team!

Thanks to Nick McNaughton for a great session on Venture Capital!

Thanks to Murray Rankin for a great session on Commercialisation Grants!

SYDNEY LEVEL-UP: A deeper dive into Storey-telling and Speaking and Presentation Skills

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In Level Up3 we focused on: Story-telling: How to tell a story that moves people to support you. During this Level-Up we had a super focus on pitch technique, slide deck design and media training. We are well on our way to helping this great group of teams deliver massive impact!!!

Thanks to  Jo O’Reilly for a great session on Pitching for impact!

Thanks to Catriona Dixonfor a great session on Media training!

ADELAIDE LEVEL-UP: A deeper dive into How to develop and protect your solution (product and business model)

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Level Up 4 was in Adelaide! We had two great days talking about how to build value in your IP Portfolio, how to build a brand, how to use and negotiate term sheets. We also got ready for Demo Day on the 2nd of May in Brisbane.

Thanks to David Hughes for a great session on IP Development!

Thanks to both Judy Halliday and Hugo LeMessurierfor a great session on Term Sheets!

BRISBANE LEVEL-UP: A deeper dive into Story-telling and Speaking and Presentation Skills

In Level Up5 we focused on: Story-telling: How to tell a story that moves people to support you.

Thanks to Jo O’Reilly for a great session on Pitching for impact!

Thanks to Phil Morlefor a great session on Pitching to VCs!

Thanks to Cameron Turner for a great session on all things in an Entrepreneurs journey!

Thanks to Anthony Musumeci and David Hendersonfor a great one-on-one session on all things about pitching to VCs!

Demo Day in Brisbane was on the 2nd May – congratulations to all the teams.

MELBOURNE LEVEL-UP: A deeper dive into Executing (or How to build a plan and execute it)

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In Level Up 6 we focused on: How to build a milestone based plan, focused on the key value creation steps, and focused on building towards inflection points, and executing.

Thanks to Anabela Correiafor a great presentation!

And it’s a wrap! Well done to all the ON Accelerate 5 teams!! Thanks to the CSIRO ON Team!!!

13 12, 2018

CSIRO ON Accelerate 5 – Reflections on lean/design thinking

By |2019-07-12T12:02:08+00:00December 13th, 2018|Commercialisation, CSIRO ON Program, Lean/Design Thinking|

I recently put in another week at CSIRO ON Accelerate program in Sydney. David Ireland and I run the ON Accelerate program (sits under the National Innovation and Science Agenda) for CSIRO and the broader research sector including all publicly funded universities and research centres and partner organisations like the Defence Science and Technology Group. ON Accelerate is the premiere national science and technology accelerator open to the top 10 teams from institutes across Australia (20 teams get into the bootcamp and up to 10 are selected to go on to the Accelerator). Over the course of the bootcamp we facilitated a series of great interactive sessions on the importance of Structured Customer Discovery, Value Proposition Design, Business Model Design and also facilitated mentoring sessions for the teams. The program is called ON Accelerate 5, celebrating the fifth time we have run the program.


I have recently written a lot about developing a deeper understanding of the customer and using lean / design thinking and value proposition design within organisations.


It is great to see 20 teams who have all experienced the value of quality customer discovery and lean / design thinking and value proposition design. They have all de-risked their projects and enhance the potential uptake of their product or service (solution) before launch.


I have also seen corporate product management teams experience workshops like this in action. The workshops enable teams to understand the need to develop a deeper understanding of the customer and to focus on early adopters and innovators in their customer groups.


Having now run many of these workshops for research teams and product managers, I’ve made some observations about the typical things that surprise participants when they undertake these programs:

  • How valuable it is to have a deeper understanding of the customer,
  • how valuable it is to identify potential early adopters and innovators, and
  • how valuable it is to enhance your solution language to resonate with customers.


This clearly highlights the importance of structured customer discovery and value proposition design processes, both for new innovators and for existing businesses.

I have been amazed at the exciting new projects CSIRO ON Accelerate 5 teams are

working on. I can’t wait to see these products and services in the market!

11 07, 2018

ON Prime teams present promising innovations to the business community

By |2019-07-12T12:10:48+00:00July 11th, 2018|Commercialisation, CSIRO ON Program|

Last month members of Perth research, science and business communities met at Curtin Business School to hear about the work of the latest cohort of research teams to graduate from CSIROs ON Prime programme. The teams presented their projects, and their learning from the ON Prime 4, and how their innovations will benefit business in Australia and impact the world.


I thought I’d share a quick overview on what the teams have been working on and what’s next for them on the commercialisation journey. If you’re interested in getting involved to assist any of the teams, in any way, please get in contact with me.


Eco-Ore is providing a safe and cost-effective process to extract rare earth metals, which are used in all our technology. The team has gained valuable insights into their potential customers priorities and a lot of information that has informed the final formulation of the solution. The Eco-Ore team’s next steps will include building a pilot plant and validating their solution at scale.


MicroBright has developed a strengthening toothpaste which is less damaging to enamel than products currently on the market. The Team has gained valuable insights into the barriers in the market, the importance of user-friendly language, and clearly defining market segments. The MicroBright team will incorporate all of the inputs into the next stage of development.


On-Farm Grain Storage, developed by researchers at Curtin University and existing business GGHS, is providing advantages in agriculture like decreased yield/quality losses and lower operational costs for farmers. The team has gained valuable insights into the real main concerns for farmers, with some previous assumptions challenged! This has enabled the team to develop a plan for infield trials and to reformulate a marketing strategy for the new storage solution.


Insight from Imagery has created sophisticated video mapping and object recognition technology to quantify the changing planet and help solve problems and make decisions in business. They offer increased data quality and accuracy. This team is exploring different markets such as building inspection companies, oil and gas and environmental, with plans to take a look at other industries such as forestry and agriculture.


The Ceramic Membrane Filter development team have developed a product for faster filtration, lower energy consumption and easy, lower-cost maintenance. Solutions base on the technology opens up opportunities in a range of industries such as water filtration and wineries – growing industries in key market around the world. The teams learnings included the necessity to develop the whole filtration solution rather than just the filter membrane and that different customer segments have different needs.


So what’s next for these teams? That largely depends on industry support, grant funding and investment opportunities to develop their products further to commercialisation. But as ON Programme coordinator David Bird said at the event, ‘ON Prime never finishes’, and teams have the opportunity to continue their research and development with the support of the ON Tribe alumni programme, and for some, to attend the ON Accelerate intensive programme. The advice was, ‘Identify your support people and keep the communication flow going.’


It’s great fun being part of CSIRO’s ON Prime and ON Accelerate programmes and I am looking forward to ON Prime 5, which is just around the corner. Applications for ON Prime 5 close on July 13.

1 04, 2018

CSIRO’s ON Accelerate teams showcase their journeys in entrepreneurship

By |2019-07-12T12:13:45+00:00April 1st, 2018|CSIRO ON Program|

Over the past few months I’ve been having an amazing time embedded in CSIRO’s ON Accelerate program, the pre-eminent science and technology accelerator in Australia, involving 30 universities and other groups and departments across the country.


As one of the national program’s two facilitators, together with my colleague David Ireland, I have travelled around Australia’s cities with the 10 finalist teams to deliver a 13-week series of workshops to them and expose them to top experts in IP portfolio development, finance and financing, team structure and development, and pitch development and skills. These teams of scientific researchers were chosen from some 40 entrants and have been working through the ON Prime program and then the ON Accelerate program to develop their research into marketable products to address the needs of customer segments in the community. For example, Genics has developed a new pest detection system that cuts cost and time delays for Australian prawn farmers; Diffuse Energy has produced a small wind turbine with nearly twice the power output of existing same-sized wind turbines, and Noisy Guts is using the natural noise of guts for health screening.


For these scientists, the program and upcoming showcase of their journey at the Demo Night on the 19thApril represent an exciting time for their research.


For me personally, working with David in designing and leading every workshop in the ON Accelerate program, it has been a personally rewarding journey to see our models and delivery methods in action and spending time refining them to provide participants with maximum value. It’s been fantastic to see the scientist teams develop their entrepreneurial skills, learn about product-market fit and develop business models to take their technology to market-readiness.


The invitation-only Demo event will be live-streamed and you can access the video link or find out more about participating teams.