Chairman's Address - 2012

2012 was another successful year for Capital Angels. Outreach was the theme for the year and we took Capital Angels on the road. We had three ‘away games’ this year holding events jointly at NICTA, the CSIRO and the ANU. These events raise the profile of Capital Angels, increase our networks and provide exposure of our activities to a new audience. Each of these events was well attended and cemented our relationships with our host organisation.

During the year we held a number of events which were strongly supported by our sponsors. These included the ACT government, NICTA, Empire Financial Planning, PwC, ANU Connect Ventures, the CSIRO and Ernst & Young. As a not-for-profit organisation we could not operate without our sponsors and we very much appreciate their support.

I have included some highlights for the year:

Dinner
24/8/2011
Sponsor: ACT government
Attending: 38
Presenting: Digital Core & SmartWard

Seminar
9/2/2012
Sponsor: NICTA
Attending: 51
Presenting: Windlab / Uwe / Nick / Pat

Conference
1/3/2012
Sponsor: AAAI
Attending: N/A
Presenting: Various

Cocktails
29/3/2012
Sponsor: Empire Financial
Attending: 47
Presenting: Cimtech

Cocktails
28/6/2012
Sponsor: PwC
Attending: 32
Presenting: Omega & Interferex

Cocktails
30/8/2012
Sponsor: ANU CV
Attending: 55
Presenting: HRMWeb & Imagine Team

Seminar
11/9/2012
Sponsor: CSIRO
Attending: 40
Presenting: Windlab / Uwe / Nick

Dinner
8/11/2012
Sponsor: E&Y
Attending: 33+
Presenting: OzStar / Arithmetika / Yepgot

Cocktails
29/11/2012
Sponsor: Lighthouse
Attending: TBC
Presenting: John from BigWorld

Early in the year we welcomed Professor Mick Cardew-Hall from the ANU to the committee – Mick is making great strides at the ANU in developing a holistic eco-system providing a pathway for smart innovations to become commercial success stories. Welcome Mick!

We also welcomed Pat Mooney, one of the Commercialisation Australia case managers, to the committee. Pat is very highly regarded in his role and has enabled numerous ACT and NSW companies gain funding from Commercialisation Australia. Welcome Pat!

In September we welcomed Anne-Marie Perret to the executive committee. We all know Anne-Marie from her extensive work in our community and we are fortunate to have someone so talented working with us. Welcome Anne-Marie!

In the second half of the year we started work on the ‘Entrepreneurship in the ACT’ report. The purpose of the report is multi-facetted:

  • With the Centenary of Federation taking place in March 2013 we wanted to showcase the diversity of talent and ingenuity in our community and record, recognise and reflect on the achievements of our successful, local entrepreneurs.
  • With IIF in the final stages of implementation the Federal Government (through AusIndustry) will be looking to the community to provide input on what comes next. It is my belief there is a groundswell behind the smaller, incubator lead seed type funds (ranging from $10M-$20M). Capital Angels has the opportunity (and credibility) to bid for one of these fund licenses in late 2013 when (and if) the program is launched. We need to position ourselves as a thought-leader in this space and prepare ourselves to be in pole position to make an application in late 2013 should the opportunity arise. The Sydney Angels side-car fund has just completed their sixth investment since incorporation a year ago.
  • This report helps identify successful local entrepreneurs and introduces them to the activities of Capital Angels.
  • This provides us with a report which we can use as a marketing document to promote the activities of Capital Angels in 2013 (for entrepreneurs and new members alike)

We are planning on publishing this report in early 2013 and will hold a launch event promoting our local success stories and use this as a catalyst for more entrepreneurial activity.

Capital Angels has a sub-committee working on this (me, Anna and Anne-Marie) and we have co-opted Peter Dawson to assist with some research. We have identified over 30 local organisations that can be showcased as ‘local success stories’. If there are any companies we have missed please let us know!

The timetable for this project is as follows:

  • RESEARCH PHASE: 15th October – 9th November
  • REPORT WRITING: 12th November – 7th December
  • REPORT REVIEW: Monday 10th December – 14th December
  • REPORT LAYOUT & FORMATTING: 17th December – 21st December
  • REPORT PRINTING: Late Jan / Early Feb 2013REPORT LAUNCH – ‘Founders Day’ – Late Feb 2013 (Date TBC)

With thanks…

Michele Troni has acted as Deputy Chairman throughout the year and I have appreciated his support and wise counsel during the year.

Thanks to the team at Lighthouse! Many of you will know we have a formal alliance with Lighthouse. Anna and her team are a critical part of the success of Capital Angels including hosting meetings, organising events, member communication, marketing, deal screening etc. One of the reasons for the success of Capital Angels is the enthusiasm of the team @ Lighthouse. As such I would like to send a huge 'Thank You' to Anna, Lachlan, Lyn, Lauren and Su.

During the year Cindy Reese-Mitchell left Lighthouse to start a new role at PM&C – Cindy has been a significant part of the team at Lighthouse for many years and a great supporter of Capital Angels. We thank Cindy for all of her efforts over the years and we wish her well in her new role.

Thanks Steve! - As a small, not for profit organisation we rely on the contributions of many people. In particular I would like to thank Steve Bennett and Clearcorp for producing the accounts for Capital Angels each year - this is a significant task and is done in a professional and positive way.

Thanks Committee members! - We have a diverse and strong executive committee who volunteer their time each month to participate in the

screening meetings and the organisation meetings. We could not run CA with their help! Thanks to Michele, Anna, Uwe, Lachlan, Steve, Mick, Pat, Anne-Marie, Dominic & Phil.

We also need to thank the ACT Government for their support of the early stage space in the ACT – we have grants and programmes that many other states and territories in the ACT do not have.

Over the last few months the entrepreneur community in Canberra has been lobbying for a co-working space where they can congregate, work and network. Lachlan, Anna & Mick (along with Rory & Asanka from the entrepreneur community) have been central to these activities and a demountable building on the ANU Campus (next to The Street Theatre) has been made available by the ANU for this purpose. A management committee is in the process of being formed, leases being signed and refurbishment planned. This space is another part of the early-stage eco-system which has been lacking in Canberra. I expect great things from this initiative in 2013 and see logical synergies with the activities of the co-working space with our own activities.

The early stage scene in Australia is growing dramatically with a number of new co-working spaces and incubators having been launched in Sydney, Melbourne & Brisbane - this is positive for the overall eco-system.

Finally I wanted to highlight some upcoming events in 2013:

  • 2013 Australian National Angels Conference - February 20 - 22, 2013, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. Hosted by Gold Coast Angels.

Thanks to all of you for your support during 2012 and I look forward to completing my second, and final, year as Chairman in 2013.

Nick McNaughton

Chairman Capital Angels

8th November 2012