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May 19, 2007
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IT & Communication finalists

Tuesday, May 15, 2007
A new generation of Australian entrepreneurs is cashing in on the arrival of the Web 2.0 and mass adoption of broadband internet.


Finalists
Scott Farquhar
Atlassian

Seven years ago, Atlassian’s co-founders Farquhar and Mike Cannon-Brookes correctly predicted the internet would usher in a new type of software that would let users share knowledge in a way not possible with traditional PC-based applications. They built an “enterprise wiki” which enables users to more easily manage projects and pool knowledge via the Net. Confluence is now used by some of the world’s biggest corporations.
Ben Keighran
Bluepulse

Bluepulse’s social networking portal can be likened to a mobile phone version of MySpace, where users chat and share information such as videos. But its real strength is that it’s accessible regardless of the model or network carrier. “We want to build a huge global social media company. If to do this Bluepulse has to have an IPO, I think that would be great,” Keighran says.
Nick Cubrilovic
Omnidrive

Venture capitalists are lining up to invest in Omnidrive, an online-based storage system. Cubrilovic has already launched the first stage, and is now in discussion with makers of web-based applications. Omnidrive is revolutionary because it points to a future in which the Web usurps many of the functions of the PC and the existing giants of computing might have to make way for a new set of technology leaders.
George Parthimos
Torian Wireless

What makes Parthimos' portable internet radio so attractive is that it taps into virtually unlimited content. There are at least 100,000 internet radio stations listened to by an audience estimated at nearly 40 million unique listeners a month. Torian Wireless started taking pre-orders for its internet radios last October 2006, and Parthimos is also working on a module that manufacturers can integrate into normal radios.
Neil Pentland
Golden Orb Technologies

Golden Orb Technologies' products have such a following overseas, it comes as a shock to find out it's Australian. Golden Orb is behind the cool Buttonator site which easily generates customised website buttons. And if you've uploaded friends' photos in Pikipimp and given them new hairdos and bling jewellery, Golden Orb's responsible for that too. Their applications not only utilise cutting edge Web 2.0 technologies, they show off the community-building power of the Net.
Winston Teperson
Just OnePlace

Teperson has created a suite of product management services that allow makers of fast moving consumer goods to get them to market quicker. It now boasts customers ranging from Country Road in Australia to the world's biggest Disney licensee, Disguise. Just OnePlace's advantage comes from the fact that its software is delivered via the web. It means a business subscribes rather than spending a fortune to buy it and a bigger fortune setting up the IT infrastructure to run it.
Alex Zelinsky
Seeing Machines

Seeing Machines, technology tracks a person's gaze, head movements and other indicators of human movement and behaviour. After initially applying its technology to car safety systems, the company has produced applications for everything from robotics to treatments for glaucoma,and shows no sign of slowing down. Its list of customers now reads like a who's who of the world's top corporations, universities and military establishments.
Simon Ronald
Rocket Reader

Adelaide-based Rocket Reader started back in 1996 and has become a powerhouse of literacy applications and eBooks. Ronald realised the opportunity was not about making people faster readers but better readers, and widened the scope to cover vocabulary and comprehension, expanding to include a version for kids and a web-based version. But that's not all. Versions are planned for specific markets such as medical doctors and lawyers, as well as Cantonese and Mandarin for Kids.
Eddie Geller
Unique World

Geller heads up a stunningly successful IT services business which builds collaborative document and project management solutions. Ironically, the dotcom crash forced him to sharpen his focus and he decided to develop solutions for mid to large-size organisations “with heritage and history”, like Kelloggs and Coca Cola. He hasn't looked back, and is now expanding beyond custom solutions to boxed software that complements various Microsoft products.
Dr Graham Hellestrand
VaST Systems

VaST Systems specialises in simulation models for the building of special-purpose computer chips which are embedded in electronic devices. It's become a global leader in this extremely specialised field. Founded in 1997 by Hellestrand, VaST is now headquartered in Sunnyvale in Silicon Valley. Management and marketing activities are run out of the US, but the company maintains most of its development activities in Australia.
Judges
Sheryle Moon
A former businesswoman of the year, Sheryle Moon is the chief executive officer of the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA), the peak IT body in Australia. She has held senior positions in IT for more than 25 years, including vice-president of Computer Sciences Corporation and a managing partner with Accenture.
Dr Gautam Tendulkar
Dr Tendulkar has been with the CSIRO ICT Centre since September 2004 as General Manager Commercialisation. He is a patent and trade marks attorney with a PhD from Imperial College. At the CSIRO, he manages the patent portfolio and also the commercialisation of intellectual property.
Dr Norbert Haehnel
Dr Haehnel is the Director Developer and Platform Strategy Group, Microsoft Australia, where he is responsible for Microsoft's .Net development platform. In his role, Dr Haehnel has to constantly assess technology and market developments and predict what technologies will be popular years down the track.
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