DCC hosts Engineers Australia (Vic) Entrepreneurs Workshop
Davies Collison Cave in conjunction with Engineers Australia – Victorian Division, co-hosted the Entrepreneurs Workshop during Engineering Week (2nd – 6th August).
The evening was designed to assist engineers and engineering students who may be thinking of running their own company, commercialising a product or service, and/or already running their own venture.
Attendees heard from three engineers who had gone on to become highly successful entrepreneurs: Jordan Green, President and Founder of Melbourne Angels; Rick Harvey, Chief Technology Office of Lockbox; and Wayne Fitzsimmons, Partner in the Mooroolbark Group.
Jordan shared with the audience his journey from starting his career with IBM to becoming an entrepreneur, venture capitalist and Angel investor. He discussed how venture capitalists must share the same sort of “craziness” that inspires inventors to innovate and pursue a vision, as well as the opportunities available to fledgling entrepreneurs through Angel investors who may invest time and financial support.
Next was an enthusiastic and engaging presentation by Rick who spoke from the perspective of a founding member of successful technology company, OpenDirectory Pty Limited, and about how luck was really “preparation met by opportunity”. shared his experiences of the necessary risks which are faced when beginning a venture and the importance of choosing a good team. He also spoke about the importance of creating value in your company and how intellectual property can be a useful weapon in commercial negotiations.
Wayne, who worked with Rick in his role as a Managing Director of OpenDirectory Pty Limited, built on Rick’s discussion on the importance of having a good team. He emphasised that it is important for an entrepreneur to know themselves, pick a complementary team and then build absolute trust with that team. Wayne also spoke about how it is important to consider new platforms and re-evaluate your technology in order to further generate revenue and ensure the longevity of your business.
Steven Wulff, Senior Associate of Davies Collison Cave, also presented at the workshop. Steven discussed how various forms of intellectual property protection, including patents, trade marks and registered designs, can be applied to the same product in order to assist commercialising technology. He illustrated the interaction of different forms of intellectual property protection by treating the attendees each to a Berocca Twist N’ Go. The inventive cutting mechanism used in this product was a point of strong interest for the engineering audience.
At the end of the workshop there was an extended question and answer session with all of the presenters. The questions covered a wide range of topics from how to approach potential investors in the fledgling stage of a venture without compromising your intellectual property, to the potential of the proposed National Broadband Network. The workshop was an excellent opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs to directly engage with such successful businessmen and was highly valued and well utilised.