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Making Ideas Make Money - SmartNet Workshops


10 June 2003

Making Ideas Make Money

It costs nothing to have a great idea - but how can you make it pay?

In business, coming up with innovative ideas and then commercialising them is what sets effective organisations apart. International expert on innovation Ed Bernacki is preparing to spend time with Kiwi organisations to help them get the pay-off their ideas deserve.

He will be here later this month to contribute to the latest round of events in the Baycorp Advantage SmartNet workshops series. Canadian-based Bernacki author of "Wow! That's A Great Idea!" will stress that the development of ideas and innovation is the key to business growth.

Bernacki, an MBA graduate from the University of Otago, believes that most "good" business ideas already exist in the heads of staff, suppliers or customers. However, few businesses use a system to leverage the knowledge that exists or to enhance it further. His “Idea Factory” is an easy-to-understand metaphor to show the need to focus ideas in order to achieve results.

The "Innovate your way to New Business" workshops have also attracted the expertise of entrepreneurship and new venture management specialist Richard Higham. Otago-based Higham will concentrate on how innovation can be turned into viable business in the marketplace.

"In our turbulent rapidly changing world, a business either moves forward to new opportunities or it dies," he says.

SmartNet co-ordinator, Christchurch-based Lyall Lukey says looking closely at how to turn innovation into business is essential, as new ideas are the currency of the knowledge economy.

A number of proven New Zealand business innovators are also participating in the workshops, focussing on how organisations can step up the rate of innovation and commercialisation.

Peter Maire, Founder and President of Navman NZ Ltd, Jeremy Moon, CEO, Icebreaker, Kevin Taylor, managing director, Niche Software and Stuart McKenzie, Quest VC are among the panellists at events in their regions.

Once again, the SmartNet workshops have the major backing of Baycorp Advantage. Its managing director, Keith McLaughlin says the sharing of information and innovative ideas is fundamental to the ongoing growth and success of New Zealand business, a philosophy that Baycorp Advantage supports and actively promotes via its sponsorship of the SmartNet workshops series.

The Baycorp Advantage SmartNet workshop series 2003 is the seventh annual programme linking knowledge generators, innovators, entrepreneurs, policy makers and business service providers.

The latest in the series starts in Christchurch on June 25. It takes in Dunedin on June 27 and Wellington on July 2 before ending in Auckland on July 3. For more information see


SmartNet is one of the largest New Zealand based innovation networks spanning industry, business, education and research institutes and government. SmartNet helps organisations keep up to date with business and technology trends, opportunities and issues. SmartNet events provide opportunities for key decision-makers to learn, network and share ideas. SmartNet also works with New Zealanders and other experts to connect them with New Zealand organisations. For more information visit


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