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Second Wave Of Entrepreneurs To The Icehouse

Second Wave Of Entrepreneurs Wins Entry Into The Icehouse

The ICEHOUSE has become a hotbed for innovation with five of the six latest companies gaining admission to the business accelerator involved in developing systems and products with a technology focus.

Their projects range from transaction engines for utility trading through to an anti-virus software package that already has customers in 30 countries. The “odd man out” is more interested in milk than microchips, with its focus on developing specialised milk-based products.

Icehouse CEO, Andrew Hamilton says the latest intake of entrepreneurs is from high value sectors that have the inherent knowledge component required to grow rapidly into truly international companies.

“What we have in the latest intake is a true demonstration of how innovative New Zealand entrepreneurs can be across a very wide range of technology-focused areas.”

Ripple Effects Limited, eCentric Ventures, Synapse Group, Advance BioActive Foods, ROCket Financial Software and iTools are now benefiting from The Icehouse’s intensive programme which includes mentoring, education and networking.

Companies seeking admission to the programme have to demonstrate potential as entrepreneurial ventures with high and rapid growth potential. The latest intake illustrates how innovation takes many forms.

Ripple Effects, for example, is targeting more than 500 million e-mail users in the world with its PrivateBase, anti virus software. ROCket is targeting farmers with a financial software package that takes complex financial information and reduces it to understandable performance measures that enable farmers to make better business decisions.

ITools is developing a web-based group collaboration and project process improvement software tool, designed for the internet. It includes workflow, risk management and budget management tools, a shared “workspace” for project participants, a central archive and tools for assigning and monitoring project tasks. ITools was a recent winner of the Kiwi Startup competition.

e-Centric’s e-Cargo meanwhile has developed an online method of planning and scheduling the delivery of land freight around New Zealand. The system, already adopted by Sanitarium NZ, has enabled the company to secure a 20% saving in weekly truck use and a 10% gain in administrative efficiency.

Synapse Group is focused on using its wireless and internet expertise to develop communications solutions, m-commerce strategies and integration services for companies. Its three main areas of business are strategic consulting, systems integration and application delivery. In systems integration, for example, Synapse has developed mobile office solutions that provide users with real-time access to their address book, diary, “to do” list and email via any mobile device with as a digital phone, iPAQ or Palm Pilot. The solutions range from providing users with a diary summary by phone, to allowing users to read and respond to e-mails.

The “odd man out” - Advance Bioactive Foods – is focused on creating “clever” foods from fresh, fat free milk. Water and lactose is removed from the base beverage, which is rich in protein and calcium, and natural dairy and plant extracts added. These are rich in active compounds that can improve health – for example improving bone strength or the body’s immune system.

The Icehouse (The International Centre for Entrepreneurship) is a partnership between Bank of New Zealand, Carter Holt Harvey, Chapman Tripp, Compaq, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, Microsoft, Telecom New Zealand, The Boston Consulting Group and The University of Auckland Business School

The University of Business School as a cornerstone partner developed the concept. The partners in The Icehouse have made a three-year commitment to contribute financial, human and in-kind resources. The partners have contributed $2 million in funding for The Icehouse with a further $125,000 secured from Industry New Zealand for the first year of the programme.

Companies chosen for The Icehouse accelerator facility in Parnell, have access to Icehouse partners’ international networks and consulting advice, access to networks that may provide capital and access to The University of Auckland’s knowledge resources including teaching staff, research, 19 libraries and more than 250 databases. They also receive assistance with recruitment of key personnel into venture management teams, have introduction to key government business development and research funding agencies.


THE ICEHOUSE
RESIDENT COMPANY PROFILES

The following is a brief introduction to the resident companies within The Icehouse.


Jimmi

Jimmi is an IT-based transaction engine and customer management system that can be used to trade any utility or services measured by time. The system can be used by utilities and other organisations with large customer bases to expand their service offerings, expand their market reach, increase revenues and increase customer loyalty. The market for these types of services is estimated to be over US$100 billion pa.

The product has global relevance to deregulated utility markets (NZ and the UK in particular) and with potential in Australia and parts of the US scheduled to deregulated in early 2002.

At the time of selection for The Icehouse, Jimmi had scoped and built a demo, evaluated and tested a prototype and applied for a patent. The company has raised capital from a major international utility and is focusing on securing matching funds to complete the full build.

Ripple Effects Ltd

Ripple Effects Ltd has developed PrivateBase, a potentially world-leading anti virus software programme that already has customers in over 30 countries. Response to date from customers and the IT media has been impressive.

Its target market is the more than 500 million e-mailer users in the world.


Synapse Group

Synapse Group is focused on using its wireless and internet expertise to develop communications solutions, m-commerce strategies and integration services for companies. Its three main areas of business are strategic consulting, systems integration and application delivery.

In systems integration, for example, Synapse has developed mobile office solutions that provide users with real-time access to their address book, diary, “to do” list and email via any mobile device with as a digital phone, iPAQ or Palm Pilot. The solutions range from providing users with a diary summary by phone, to allowing users to read and respond to e-mails.

Synapse has also developed solutions that enable customers and employees with secure mobile access to access core information such as corporate intranets, CRM software, Enterprise Resource Planning systems such as PeopleSoft and Call Centre systems.

eCcentric Ventures (eCargo)

eCcentric Ventures was formed in 1999 to enable New Zealand organisations to release the benefits of e-commerce in a fast, practical and cost effective way. It has developed a set of technologies designed from the ground up to create and support web marketplaces. These include a rapid development environment for building e-commerce solutions and an asset relocation system.

Companies started by eCcentric include TradeMe.co.nz, an on-line trading community ranked among New Zealand’s top five sites, with more than 63,000 members, SafeTrader.co.nz, an escrow based payment service and eCargo.co.nz.

The latter, launched in October 2000, is an online method of planning and scheduling the delivery of land freight around New Zealand. It is backed by a 70% shareholding by Carter Holt Harvey and is based in The Icehouse. The system, adopted by Sanitarium NZ, has enabled the company to secure a 20% saving in weekly truck use and a 10% gain in administrative efficiency. It enabled the company to outsource all its land freight operations through a fast and accurate method of communicating, gathering information and accomplishing freight transactions.


Advance BioActive Foods

Advance Bioactive Foods focuses on creating “clever” foods from fresh, fat free milk. Water and lactose is removed from the base beverage, which is rich in protein and calcium, and natural dairy and plant extracts added. These are rich in active compounds that can improve health – for example improving bone strength or the body’s immune system.

The Advance team has already successfully commercialised two value-added milk brands, Sun Latte and Sun Organics. It now has an eight year plan which includes expanding the Sun Latte brand into the Australian market, along with other value-added dairy foods. Success in key urban markets in Australia may see further expansion to targeted consumer markets in Asia.

ROCket Financial Software

ROCket is a financial software package that provides a comprehensive analysis of the performance of a farming business. It has been operational in prototype form for over a year in Australasia and is gaining market acceptance and recognition.

The ROCket package develops annual accounts into relevant and useable management information, develops annual budgets and business plans and provides benchmarking measures for continuing business improvement. It takes complex financial information and reduces it to understandable performance measures that enable farmers to make better business decisions.

ITools

ITools is a web-based group collaboration and project process improvement software tool, designed for the internet. It provides a consistent location where work group members can go to find information about the work being done on a project and it serves as an archive when the work is completed.

ITool benefits include: -

 Project standardisation – Project Management Institute standards and project processes have been incorporated into the iTools workspace
 Internet capability – it runs over the internet and allows anybody with a specific Web browser to access activity and project information
 Accountability – makes users accountable for the tasks and process activities they are assigned
 Shared workspace – it allows users to access and work with all relevant information
 Comprehensive workflow management – allows users to map the flow of a project using standard business processes and principles such as risk and issue management, change control, defect, problem and approval management
 Activity management – enables users to assign tasks and monitor progress
 Task level time sheet and cost centre – financial monitoring of a task in progress
 Notifications – escalations, activities underway and over-bidget, e-mail notification or overdue activities
 Authority level dashboards – provides different views for each user depending on authorisation level
 Document repository – a central point for importing, storing and viewing common activity and project documents.

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