Victoria celebrates ICT excellence and innovation at 2015 iAwards (and Snobal gets a tip of the hat too!)

Last night at a packed gathering in RMIT’s Storey Hall we were surprised, proud and well, a little thrilled to be awarded a Merit Recipient in the Start Up Company Award Category at Victoria’s 2015 iAwards.

The winner was Sinefa, a company working on network optimisation. Congrats Sinefa.

iAwards Start Up

The iAwards recognises and celebrates ICT companies at the cutting edge of technology innovation and entrepreneurship.

The Startup-Company category recognises “a company who develops an innovative and potential superior ICT Product, but the company itself is still considered at the early stage of inception” and is judged across iAwards criteria such as business model and financial, innovation, investment viability and Unique Selling Proposition.

Other iAwards categories included Industry, Service, Society, Student and the Hills Young Innovator of the Year Award.

Other category award winners: CSIRO & City of Port Phillip for MyClimate Tool an online GIS based environmental planning tool, The Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne & Conduct for  Okee in Medical Imaging and 1800RESPECT for the Daisy Smartphone App (empowering women affected by sexual assault) by Tigerspike.

A full list of the winners and categories can be viewed here.

The state of tech innovation in Australia

State Labor Member for Bundoora and Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier of Victoria Colin Brooks, MP spoke about the place of innovation and technology in Victoria.

But, it was Ron Gauci keynote that perhaps resonated most with many of the audience.

Ex- Storm boss, IT “veteran” and current Interim Chief Executive Officer at Federation Square, Ron Gauci spoke about the state of technology innovation in Australia.

Ron spoke passionately about how vibrant tech innovation is in Australia and some of the success stories. He also spoke about how tech innovation seems to have lost its way.

“…this country used to be one of the (tech) innovators but we seemed to have fallen behind.”

Ron shared how his 2yo grand-child knows how to FaceTime him. How “our kids are raised today with innovation in their DNA” and spoke about the importance of Australia understanding how we are setting ourselves up for the future, to respond to and fully take advantage of the wealth of tech innovation in this country.

Just quietly, I felt like hugging him.

Ron had with vision articulated what perhaps many innovators and in particular entrepreneurs and start-up companies may have felt in the room.

That Australia’s tech innovation scene, tech innovators and entrepreneurs need  more lovin’.

It also made me reflect about social business leader Bonin Bough  and his much discussed 2011-12 concept of “digital fitness”.

Bough is the Vice-president of global media and consumer engagement of Mondelez International and has spoken widely about the need for organisations to be “digitally fit”.

When Bough spoke about Digital Fitness he spoke about it in the context of organisations but many of his thoughts can be applied to countries (in particular, political, industry and government leaders)  and how they embrace , foster and support technology and innovation. As Bough says:

“Digital is no longer just a piece of what defines our culture. Digital is our culture…..failure to adapt will mean failure to survive”.

Congrats to all the winners and Merit Recipients.

Next up. The National Judging Gala Dinner on the 25-27 August. Stay tuned.