ictoria, Australia, March 31, 2007 --(PR.com)-- Forty Victorian-based technology and biotechnology companies presented for slots in ANZA Technology Network’s Fast Track to the US program in Melbourne last month, and now ANZA CEO Viki Forrest and her team of US market experts have the difficult task of awarding just 15 of the companies with a spot that will put them on the path to US export success.
“The companies in this round are showing very high potential for success in the US, they’ve done their homework and understand the challenges,” said Forrest. We’ve seen a great blend of innovation and business savvy in this round.”
The ANZA Fast Track to the US is a three-round, three-phase marketing-intensive program open to innovative Victorian-based businesses. It has the support of the Victorian government, which provides matching funds of select companies’ costs for the 15-month program. Under a joint agreement with the Victorian government, ANZA conducts three intake, or Phase One, rounds in which companies showcase their products and business plans.
The presentations are followed by feedback from ANZA executives and market experts, who then weigh each company’s potential for success in the marketplace. Those companies that ANZA believes are ready for the US market are offered limited slots in Phase Two of the Fast Track in which they are matched with a US-based mentor with critical expertise in their particular market sector.
Representatives of the 40 companies echoed one another repeatedly following their presentations in stating that it’s ANZA’s reputation for matching each company with the right mentor that has attracted them to this particular market traction program above all others. Nearly all of the companies are firmly established in the Australian market and many already have made inroads into the US. However, they admit their Australian know-how can only take them so far in a market that is more than 10 times the size of their own.
“We need a mentor who is US-based to help us position the company correctly, help with contacts and help establish us in the US,” said a Phase Two hopeful with an IT consolidation platform product. “The Australian market has approximately 180 to 200 mainframe customers for our product. The has 15,000 potential customers.”
Another potential Phase Two participant from the vision sciences industry explained, “Our business plan calls for 75% of our sales to be US-based, and 50% of all sales will be on the West Coast of the US. We need help in this area and we know it.”
ANZA’s base in California’s Silicon Valley and prime access to mentors and financial and legal resources in that area are other reasons why so many Victorian tech and biotech companies are attracted to the ANZA Fast Track.
ANZA invited just seven companies from its first intake round in August 2006 into Phase Two of the program in which they were matched with mentors. During Phase Two, the companies work with their mentors to develop an actionable Go to Market Plan specifically tailored to the company’s needs. These companies have mostly completed navigating this difficult terrain in preparation for Phase Three—launching their marketing plan and building relations with US partners, investors and customers.
Jason Polites, Managing Director of Synetek Systems in Melbourne, an original Fast Track company now entering Phase Three explained the intricate value the program has brought to his on-demand business applications firm. “We’ve gotten intimate insight from our mentor in Silicon Valley that would otherwise be very difficult or impossible for us to know.”
“Successful exploitation of the US market opportunity is contingent on two things,” Polites said, “A broad and relevant set of relationships and a local advocate to assist in the execution—and ANZA provides both these things.”
ANZA’s third Fast Track intake round for innovative Victorian technology and biotechnology companies will take place in Melbourne in July.