World expert on entrepreneurship shares wisdom with NSW business leaders

27 September 2011

Professor George Foster Seminar

NSW Trade & Investment hosted a world expert on entrepreneurship, Professor George Foster of Stanford University, on 27 September as part of its support for the start-up business sector.

Professor Foster, who is Australian-born, led an international research team which delivered the 2011 report "Global Entrepreneurship and the Successful Growth Strategies of Early-Stage Companies" for the World Economic Forum.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Stoner, who spoke at the event, said: "The NSW Government was thrilled to host a talk by Professor Foster for about 180 members of the NSW business community.

"Professor Foster oversaw an international research team which examined companies from around the world to prepare the first major global report analysing the entrepreneurial and early stage sector.

"This report exposed the complex nature of the sector and offers important insights including factors that can help and impede growth."

NSW Trade & Investment's support of the early stage sector covers a range of initiatives focused on delivering customer value that drives innovation and delivers new business opportunities.

Support from NSW Trade & Investment has included:

  • Funding support of 11 consortia under the Collaborative Solutions program, which helps small groups of companies come together to develop mobile applications for the retail, tourism and hospitality industries;
  • Hosting of a stand showcasing 12 early stage ICT companies at the CeBIT Australia exhibition in May;
  • Sponsorship of the Sydney StartUp Weekend in July, where over 80 young entrepreneurs and developers got together over 54 hours to build new business models and prototypes;
  • Sponsorship of the MEGA program, in which 12 participants pitched digital business concepts they developed over an intensive four months of workshops and seminars;
  • Sponsorship of the Tech23 innovation event in August, including providing $150,000 in cash prizes for award winners;
  • Sponsorshop of the Fishburners not-for-profit collaborative workspace in Ultimo, where 60 young entrepreneurs and developers work alongside each other to develop new technologies and business models; and
  • The Australian Technology Showcase program which supports innovative NSW SMEs to build skills and capabilities and develop international markets for locally developed technologies.

Mr Stoner said the global environment for innovation is changing from the managed big business economy of the past to include a new, more dynamic, entrepreneurial economy.

"Today's environment means that a start-up can access resources from a variety of online providers to rapidly scale a company to deliver products to a global market," Mr Stoner said.

"The NSW Government is looking to support SMEs with the courage and the vision to be part of the wave of entrepreneurial activity that is sweeping the world."