06/02/2008 - 22:00

Pitching for a base hit

06/02/2008 - 22:00

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The Australian Small Scale Offerings Board is planning to revive the concept of a venture capital pitch event in Perth, to give emerging companies an opportunity to showcase their credentials.

Pitching for a base hit

The Australian Small Scale Offerings Board is planning to revive the concept of a venture capital pitch event in Perth, to give emerging companies an opportunity to showcase their credentials.

The event will be a pitching competition for Western Australian-based projects and businesses to promote their investment opportunity.

It will be hosted by Sydney-based ASSOB, which in the past year has facilitated capital raisings by several WA companies, including Live Technologies and Firmware Technologies.

The event will involve mentoring by an ASSOB member and a training session explaining what investors look for.

Event manager Kate Ingham said ASSOB was planning to have five companies make presentations at the pitch event, but expected others would participate in the training and mentoring.

ASSOB held its first pitch event in Sydney last year and is planning to hold a series of pitch events in other states.

The ASSOB initiative follows several short-lived attempts to establish similar venture capital networking and funding groups in Perth.

Former Live Technologies chairman Rob Garton-Smith established Venture Capital Network in 2004 but it held just one meeting.

Strattica Group’s Michael Kyriacou, with backing from Engineers Australia, established a similar networking group, known as Commercial Technology Network, in the same year.

Stoneridge Ventures director Matt Callaghan was involved in setting up Founders Forum in 2003 to help ‘early stage’ ventures pitch for backing from ‘angel’ investors. The Perth chapter of Founders Forum failed to match the success of its Gold Coast namesake and held just two meetings.

The ASSOB initiative is designed to support innovation and educate investors and the general public on current opportunities.

ASSOB has been granted exemptions from certain provisions of the Corporations Act, designed to make fund raising easier.

Companies looking to raise capital through ASSOB do not need to prepare a traditional prospectus, and they are not restricted to ‘sophisticated’ investors.

Live Technologies, founded by WA’s 2006 Inventor of the Year Roland Butcher, has raised $600,000 through ASSOB to support development of its optical technology.
Local company Firmware Technologies has raised $1.3 million through ASSOB.

A third WA company that has used ASSOB is minerals explorer Noble Mineral Resources Ltd, which has raised about $400,000.

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