November 10, 2008
On Friday night I had the privilege of MCing the Unlimited Potential Wellington to the World event. W2W showcased two things I consider very important, the application and commercialisation of research, and new business. It was a great evening, I caught up with a bunch of people I see all to infrequently, met up with a few I’ve talked to at length but never met in person, and met some new faces who I’ll be watching for in the months and years to come.
I’ve lifted the synopses of the talks from the Unlimited Potential flier;
VicLink is the commercialisation arm of Victoria University that seeks to take pure research and work on application and commercialisation of that research. VicLink had four presentations;
Daniel Crabtree – The Future of Search
Future search engines will be much quicker and find results that are more relevant, which indirectly improves productivity by increasing knowledge. Competition will force businesses to adopt these new technologies, lest they be left behind. The road to the perfect search engine is long and winding, but Daniel’s research on clustering, hard queries, and improved semantic understanding may appear around the next corner.
Prof Dale Carnegie –Robotics and Mechatronics
Robots within robots and robots that perform functions such as search and rescue or security, these are amongst the topics explored by the Mechatronics and Robotics Research Group. Victoria University’s Engineering and Computer Science Schools are drawing closer together and are looking to industry for future collaborations.
Dr Peter Komisarczuk –Internet Network Security
Victoria’s resident networking guru. Peter and his team have been developing scalable mechanisms to search the web for malicious or compromised servers and enabling blacklisting of these sites and analysing the attacks being launched. This work provides the basis for business opportunities in services and security software/system development.
Ross Stevens – DesignLedFutures.com
A web based research project that challenges design students to propose future scenarios directly to world leading brands including Fisher and Paykel, Methven, Nike USA and Vodafone. Concepts range from self replicating 3D printers to highly realistic virtual worlds. Corporate sponsorship is being sought for the initiative.
Four start-ups gave pitches;
Matt Burgess – iPredict
iPredict is a Victoria University spin-off venture that harnesses the “wisdom of crowds” by offering a web-based trading system that predicts market outcomes. Prediction markets have enormous potential in corporate and government environments in answering questions on revenue and cost forecasting, predicting regulatory and legal outcomes, policy analysis, improving the hit rate in the innovation process, and obtaining market intelligence.
Ben Wilde – Fingertapps
Fingertapps is an exciting new software framework for developing multi-touch and gestural user interfaces. The company deploys the product in both consumer devices and in-store interactive marketing settings. A number of global corporate clients have been signed already.
Clare Howden – Futrix
Futrix offers a web-based business intelligence tool. The product drills down into corporate business data and provides snappy reporting for over-worked executives. In today’s economic client, the product offers a rapid ROI by reducing time required for business analysis.
Ed Robinson – Aptimize Ltd
This will be the first public outing for Runtime Page Optimizer, a product that helps companies improve their websites by doubling speed and halving traffic costs. Aptimize is a new company, with global patents pending, and was recently endorsed by Google and Microsoft. Aptimize is on a steep growth trajectory with major website customers in the USA, Europe and New Zealand.
The highlights for me from the VicLink participants were Dale and Ross’ presentations (hey, guys have an affinity for robots and 3D printing!). As for the start-ups, Matt and iPredict have been getting a significant amount of press of late (elections are great for showcasing prediction software!) and Aptimize would seem to have a product with incredible potential (look for a review of their offing on CloudAve sometime soon). Freudian slip of the evening? Me saying “I’m sure lots of people will be wanting to take a look at Ed’s tool”!
All in all a fantastic night – many thanks to the UP committee for the invitation and well done to all of the participants.