Hitting the road to learn more

We headed to Sydney recently to attend the event "Reinventing the Wheel: how to get your innovation seen and monetised" as part of the 2015 Sydney Vivid Festival. The aim of the event was to learn from great minds what makes an innovation commercially attractive and investor ready. It was also the launchpad to announce the SMART 100 highest ranked innovation for 2015, an annual index presented by Anthill Magazine, of which Maida Learning was a finalist!

Here are brief profiles of who shared their wisdom with us:

James Tuckerman the event facilitator, is one of Australia's most accomplished digital publishers. He's an entrepreneur, angel investor, consultant, coach and public speaker. He is best known for launching Anthill Magazine, in 2003, from the spare bedroom of his parents' home (from little things, big things grow!) He was then 26 years of age. In 2004 and 2005, he was named Best Small Publisher in Australia by the ABA (now Publishers Australia). In early 2009, he reinvented the Anthill business model, abandoning its print origins in favour of a 100% digital product.

Simone Novello is the Managing Director of Partner2GROW. She is considered to be one of Australia's foremost Partnership Marketing Experts and has been recognised with many awards during her nearly two decades in the industry. Simone has formed alliances worth hundreds of millions of dollars with leading brands including American Express, ANZ, Commonwealth Bank, Virgin Australia, Sydney University Union and Myer to name a few.

Adrian Spencer is a dedicated grants specialist and founder and CEO of GrantReady™, where he assists organisations across Australia to access State and Federal Government grants, rebates and concessions. GrantReady™ is a leader in the field of government grants, consulting to hundreds of business and community organisations to find and apply for suitable grants.

Adeo Ressi is CEO of the Founder Institute, an idea-stage incubator for aspiring entrepreneurs with chapters in over 75 cities worldwide. The Institute launched over 1,000 companies worldwide in 2014, and the Institute's mission is to help create 1 million new jobs. (We were quite impressed that Adeo had flown in from the U.S that morning, and after a day of media commitments, was still awake and functioning!).

The speaker discussion was framed on 5 key areas:

1. Purpose and Personality
It is important to consider the balance between purpose and personality in your unique selling proposition (USP). Think about your message to your target market – is there a balance between your purpose and personality? How will you stand out from others with a similar purpose?

2. Collaboration
Seize opportunities to grow through strategic alliances. This needs to be a planned and measured activity and should consider the following:
• Is there a genuine win-win outcome for both parties?
• Is there a target market alignment with both parties?
• Is there a synchronicity of values?
The third point particularly resonated with us as we feel it is so important to ensure your business relationships and alliances are healthy and based on similar core values. Look at this from your target market's perspective: if it is not clear to them why you have aligned with a particular partner, perhaps you should question whether your alliance is a positive one.

3. Funding
It was so interesting to explore the concept of a grant strategy! A grant strategy is a way to focus your grant application process on the best opportunities for your business. It involves exploring all the grant opportunities for a set period of time and pursuing those that best fulfil your business goals and priorities.

4. Thinking of the end
We all do it – get in a rut where the daily micromanagement of our businesses overshadows our long-term goals. Always be thinking of your end goals, but be flexible that the end may change.

5. Be remarkable!
James Tuckerman got us thinking about the word "REMARKABLE". What does it mean? It simply means worthy of being remarked about! Social media is a great space where people can share information (the modern "word of mouth") - think about your brand - are people going to be interested in it, and are they going to tell their friends? Ask yourself this question: How can I make what I do shareable? You will then find what aspects of your business is remarkable!

The event concluded with the announcement of the highest ranked innovation - the winner was ROAM - an oxygen cylinder system. What an amazing, worthy innovation! Click here to find out more about ROAM.

Marketing, Innovation, Strategy

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