First prize: An all expenses paid UK IT-shop for aspiring Aus SMEs

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First prize: An all expenses paid UK IT-shop for aspiring Aus SMEs

International Business Wales is calling on Australian IT companies to enter this year’s Wales’ International Technium Challenge, a competition for SMEs where the winner gets to set up a post in Wales free of charge for a year.

Run by International Business Wales and now in its second year, the International Technium Challenge is a business planning competition open to SMEs from Australia, New Zealand, China, India, Japan, Korea, South Africa, France and the USA.

Gareth Davies, head of A/NZ International Business Wales, said the competition is open to all sectors but would be of particular interest to those with an interest in expanding beyond domestic markets.

“This competition is not restricted to any particular sector so any Australian SME looking to extend its market is welcome to enter,” he said. “In fact, for a company that has the ambition to open up shop in Europe then this is probably the best reason to ever do it.”

Although Australia only attracted six businesses to the competition last year, Davies expects that number to significantly swell this year, particularly as the grand prize will enable the winning company to free up resources tied-up in support and maintenance for better practices such as innovating products and services.

“With free office space in a Technium centre and valuable business advice and ongoing support, the winning company can invest their finances and energies far more efficiently. This includes either accelerating plans to set up a sales and marketing office or working with UK channel partners and distributors to deliver their offering to a larger customer base, rather than struggling with new overheads and understanding an unfamiliar market” he said.

One finalist from each region will fly to Wales for one-on-one advice sessions with legal and business experts, then present their business plans to the judging panel before the overall winner is selected.

Not only will the winner receive a year's free desk space within a Technium centre but they will also be afforded an extensive support network that; receive advice from UK solicitors, UK patent & trade mark attorneys; and receive PR coverage in UK media.

New Zealand based accountancy software developer, Xero, was last year’s grand prize winner and has since moved to the UK where it has already launched a new product.

Entries must be submitted by March 2008 for review by a local judging panel, where five successful applicants will then be short-listed by early April 2008.

For more details, call the International Business Wales Australian office on (02) 8211 0657.
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