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Posts Tagged proprietary

‘Fire engine envy’ + time = sales Peter Kerr Apr 01

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Fire engine envy.

No, I never knew that such a condition existed, though it kinda makes sense if you happen to be involved in the fire fighting business.

But fire engine envy is one of many factors that’s assisted Lower Hutt’s Fraser Engineering into a pre-eminent position as an Australasian manufacturer of such tenders.

Speaking at a recent gathering of Technology Valley participants (and totally coincidentally, held at Petone’s Fireman’s Arms pub), Fraser’s general manager Martin Simpson told of how firemen looking enviously at the units put together by his own company, make comments that gradually and ever so slowly filter up to positively influence decisions made by a purchasing officer.

Fraser’s manufacture virtually everything in a fire engine tender beyond an imported truck chassis and cab (though they’re thinking about building this as well).

It starts with feedback and input from real firemen.

Hosereels, pumps, valves, nozzles, cabinents and the whole kit and caboddle are designed from scratch, from single components up, on a SolidWorks 3D CAD software platform.

Most of them are then created through the use of more than $20 million of manufacturing equipment, including an increasing amount of 3D (additive) metal and other products printing.

The demands of fire fighters are an important element in designing extremely robust equipment.

“A fireman’s pumped with adrenalin when they’re in action,” says Martin.

“They don’t want to be grabbing something in the heat of the moment…and it breaks. Likewise, a pump must start first time, every time.”

Another aspect of firemen psychology is that, during some of their downtime (mostly they’re not fighting fires), they’ll often surf the net, checking out tools of their trade. (You can imagine that this sort of exercise would certainly contriubte to fire engine envy!)

Martin says that unlike some of their competitors’ fire engines, all Frasers’ vehicles are immediately able to go into service (commissioning is relatively easy). The company also concentrates on the “whole of life cost” of the tenders, noting that Fraser’s has virtually zero warranty issues. In other words, the fire engines work first time, for a long time.

It is information and feedback such as this that slowly filters through the fire services of different states and countries – helping to build Fraser’s reputation.

Martin says Fraser’s is helping to organise a major fire fighting conference to take place in Wellington in September 2014, which may be attended by up to 2000 people.

“If there’s any other fire fighting related companies who would like to attend this event that will have every purchasing officer from Australia and New Zealand there, as well as a swag from other countries, we’ve love to hear from them,” he says.


Plenty of traps along the way for pest eradicators Peter Kerr Oct 29

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No one ever said that creating and perfecting a resetting, toxin free pest trap was going to be easy.

The guys at Goodnature would be the first to agree, but, 12,000 or so sold traps later, the Wellington company that kicked off in 2005 is still trucking, slowly getting bigger.

A sticK story 18 months ago outlined how three Victoria University design school mature students bootstrapped their way to developing two unique traps that use compressed CO2 to power the possum, rat and stoat killing piston that instantly kills the pest.

They’ve since grown to eight people, and are continuing to learn lessons and modify their systems.

Goodnature’s head of marketing and market development Stu Barr says the company still has a design-led philosophy (and, as what is an attract and assassinate system these traps look good).

Stu Barr

As is almost invariably the case when creating injection moulded componentry that is assembled into a final unit, Goodnature had a few teething troubles with its new A24 rat & stoat trap.

A24 rat & stoat trap

“We had to resolve some moulding and technical flaws,” says Barr. “The reliability wasn’t up to where we need it to be.” Those challenges have now been overcome.

What has particularly been the team’s focus are new, highly effective lures, which ideally last a long time.

“We’ve developed a new food-based rat lure and possum lure and now working on non-food based lures and different delivery mechanisms for them all,” says Barr.

“We’re also working on a few simple things that support the traps in the immediate future, and other big developments that will take us a few years to perfect.”

And while New Zealand is the home base for Goodnature, the market opportunity for its traps is global. This is in a world-wide environment that is tending to move away from pest poisoning as a control method.

A recent trial of an E2 trap (a renamed A24) in Indonesia showed the potency of its system.

In the first night of the trial the two traps each killed seven rats..

“Our Indonesian partners never get that sort of kill with conventional traps,” Barr says.

“In terms of marketing, that story is better than any brochure. What people realise pretty quickly is that they can set the trap just once and kill multiple pests.”


You’ve got to kiss a lot of frogs – or, how to spot a good idea Peter Kerr Sep 17

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Engineer, entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and raconteur Neville Jordan reckons he needs to kiss about 99 frogs before he’ll find an idea worth investing in.

Speaking as the IPENZ 2013 William Pickering Fellow at a Wellington lecture (part of the body’s national tour), Jordan told about 300 people it takes much research, talking to overseas people, and being introduced to a lot of ideas to find one business/startup that will potentially turn into a handsome prince (to extend the analogy; though he didn’t use this term himself).

Neville Jordan


The Sept. 12 presentation by Jordan, executive chairman of private equity investor Endeavour Capital, was on the topic, ‘How an engineer spots new technology and creates a billion dollar business.’

From his Petone beginnings, including trying to make an atomic bomb (but, as a 13 year old, wasn’t able to source uranium at his local pharmacy!), Jordan briefly outlined how the pharmacist later skewed his interest towards electronics.

Years later he pioneered the use of microwave technologies in New Zealand, floated MAS Tech on the NASDAQ, came away from a subsequent buyout of that company by larger American interests, and with a war chest of funds set up vehicles to invest in other good Kiwi ideas.

Hence the kissing many frogs correlation.

Having been successful with some investments, and less so with others (“it’s not failure, it’s a lack of success” he said in reply to a question), Jordan pondered where some of the next ‘Big Things’ may be coming from.

As an investor, he’s mindful that some technologies can pull society apart.

“How do we impact on the social fabric so we create better societies, and not cripple it in the process,” he posited?

Without giving specific answers, Jordan speculated that advances will be made in:

A fusion of electronics and healthcare (including and around)

  • Chronic pain relief
  • Hearing
  •  Blindness

A rise of new computational abilities

  • Nano-level circuits
  • Neural/cognitive systems

3D printing at home

He also gave huge credence to new education entities which are set to greatly disrupt university (including New Zealand) and other providers’ offerings.

These include Laureate Universities (which have just received $200m in funding from the World Bank, and the Khan Academy (which has over 3,500 courses on offer).

Many people have heard of MOOCs (massive online open course) which currently have three million students in 220 courses.

Jordan says education that is accessible through and because of the internet will profoundly change society – though he, like others cannot possibly envisage what that will be.


Bacteria detector set to scale up for food industry Peter Kerr Jul 02

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I’m always a bit of a sucker for innovations and improvements that add value to our biological industries.

After all, as a country we’d be fools not to play to our major strength in producing food and fibre.

An innovation’s appeal is also greatly increased when it solves a problem – and in this particular case it is instantly identifying the presence of bacteria in food products.

It’s one reason I’m keen on seeing Veritide’s real-time, non-contact bacterial scanner gain more traction. (Note: Veritide’s in the process of updating its website following its pivot to concentrate on the food industry).

The Christchurch based startup has proven its ultraviolet light and florescence reading technology to detect (usually faecal) contamination on meat carcasses – working with ANZCO to prove its concept. (Bacteria emit back a slightly different wavelength of light – a clever algorithm can interpret the mass of light information obtained from a scanner, showing whether bacteria are present).

Particularly with fresh, chilled meat, bacterial spoilage is a major challenge on what is essentially a sterile product as the animal’s pelt is pulled off. The United States (with others sure to follow) has a Zero Faecal Tolerance on its importing borders, and detecting and remedying bacterially compromised meat is a multi-million dollar problem for the meat industry.

The current bacterial detection method is to take selected swabs from the carcass and meat plant surfaces, and grow these swabs on petrie dishes over three days.

As you can imagine, such a method is pretty hit and miss, and even with hygiene standards that match hospital operating theatres, meat companies find it difficult to detect and remedy bacterial contamination.

Hence, the potential attractiveness of a real-time, non-contact bacteria detector.

Not only can it assess all of a carcass (compared to selected swabs), but surfaces can be monitored as well. Remedying contamination is also, obviously, much quicker and easier.

Having proven its concept, Veritide’s looking to finish its prototype development and testing before the end of the year, and then take a sellable portable device to market. From that point of view, it is building on the initial investment made by Endeavour i-cap, Ngai Tahu Equities and Powerhouse Ventures.

While its initial target is the meat industry, it is a disruptive technology which has the potential to be a game changer within the meat and wider food industries. Apparently (though that’s always difficult to believe), there’s little competition from a real-time non-contact point of view.

Poultry and shellfish share exactly the same bacterial detection and mitigation problems – for which an instant ID would also be heaven sent.

So, as said at the beginning of this blog, Veritide solves a problem in our biological industries – it doesn’t have to go hunting for a market; there’s an obvious need. Compared to many other innovations it is what it commonly referred to as a no-brainer.

And, to mangle a metaphor…..the world’s their oyster.

On that basis, anyone’s free to give Veritide chief executive Craig Tuffnell a call on 021 945 944, or email on c.tuffnell@veritide.com for more information or to find out how they could be more involved.


Lightning Lab startups ask – ‘where’s the money’? Peter Kerr May 21

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Lightning Lab 2013 saw nine startups pitch their digital products to would-be investors last week, seeking expansion capital for ideas that 12 weeks before mostly existed on paper.

The Wellington Demo Day saw highly polished presentations, with clear development plans and just as clear ‘here’s how we and our investors are going to make money’ to about 300 people at Te Papa’s Soundings Theatre. About half the audience were financiers.

Any investment secured goes to the next stage of development and expansion into global markets.

My initial underlying thought was jealousy.

Why? Because the participants have obviously learned so much.

Tui Te Hau, CEO of Wellington startup incubator Creative HQ up summed this rationale better than I can.

“Lightning Lab is turning out 30 entrepreneurs with a harder edge and keener and smarter drive to succeed than many. How far they go is up to them, but these companies are 12 weeks old and they already have more scars than most get in several years.”

These nine companies were whittled from 87 applications to LL late last year, and each received $6000 per head from a set of founding investors. By being part of a three month intensive acceleration programme, their digital concepts have been validated, built and established with early customers.

The startups have been mentored by local and international advisers, faced hard deadlines in growth targets and a structured model for accelerating early stage business growth based on international best practice.

When Te Hau talks about scars, she’s not exaggerating – but obtaining them so quickly and with the ability to ask advice such as “what should we do now” in such a concentrated manner – is something so valuable it really can’t be priced.

What is patently clear is that the 30 participants, and their wider networks, have had such an injection of entrepreneurial spirit and possibilities that multiplier spinoffs and benefits can only result for Wellington and New Zealand.

Put another way; this programme, with its hand-holding, arse-kicking and question-asking intensiveness will create a virtuous circle of increasing wealth.

And sure, like all of us, these startups have, and will make mistakes.

But, they know what needs to be done to get back on track, or alternatively how to fail-fast (and then get on with another project).

Because the Demo Day was asking for money, what can be reported publicly is limited.

Suffice to say that (and you’d have to imagine that the mentoring has been also strong in this area) the investment dollars being asked for by the startups seemed reasonable and appropriate.

Many of the companies had potential exponential growth rates, but realism ruled.

It is now up to the individual companies themselves to reveal if or what investment(s) have been made in them – and as this becomes known Lightning Lab will have its own raison d’etre validated.

For the record, those presenting were:

LearnKo – delivers online learning programs to English language organisations in Asia, harnessing Australasian tutors, training them and providing them with content to deliver through an online classroom

Publons – platform for crowd-sourced peer-review of academic articles, where academics build a reputation for their contributions. An alternative to the extremely slow, expensive and closed status quo of the past 300 years of academic publishing

Adeez – specialist mobile marketing platform, enabling brands and their agencies to increase their ROI on mobile marketing

Expander – tracking and analytics platform that protects brands by providing them with powerful tools to combat counterfeit, while connecting manufacturers and consumers

teamisto – turn a typical business sponsorship donation to an amateur sports club or team into an effective advertising channel with measurable results

Questo – works with organisations by providing a platform to create activities with incentives and rewards to engage their visitors. A mobile app and analytics engine provides the ability to track, measure and evaluate their visitors’ behaviour

promoki – social media platform that gamifies photo and video contests. Help brands co-create advertising campaigns with their audience and distribute crowd-filled media across multiple social networks

Kidsgomobile – software device to help parents teach their children to become responsible users of their first smartphone. Tool that notifies parents if their child engages in potentially risky phone behaviour and helps them resolve these issues

WIP – platform that enables professional video makers to share their work-in-progress videos with their team and clients to gather precise and meaningful feedback

Without doubt, some of these startups will go on to become much larger businesses. Without doubt too, most of them would not have got to this ‘go’ position without Lightning Lab.

The learning has been immense, and a thumbs up to those investors and sponsors who put their hands in their pockets from the get-go to kick the whole thing off.

Applications for the next Lightning Lab 2014 will open in September this year.


Email sales tool allows companies to ‘dress to impress’ Peter Kerr May 07

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On the face of it, creating clever emails with embedded graphics and other gee-whizz stuff that acts as a smart sales tool should be pretty easy.

But (apparently), there’s only three companies around the world have pulled off the feat – including Auckland-based LiveLink Connect.

The three-year old six-person entity (you can hardly call it a start-up now), was incubated through The Icehouse and has had two angel funding rounds for a total of about $450,000 invested.

Its founder and managing director Jason Roberts (disclaimer….an old mate of mine) had been in sales and marketing roles for a number of years and more often than not found email a terrible sales tool.

“It was hard to share information between distributors, retailers and customers, and, if as a salesman you sent an email, you had no idea if it was opened,” says Roberts.

“As a salesman, you want to ensure your email dresses to impress and ensure the ability to perfectly time your follow up call, so that was one of the things we set out to do.”

Roberts et al have created what they call ‘everything email’, which as well as being robust technology is also able to work with other email products LLC has on a collegial basis.

For example, company logos are rendered properly no matter what type of device the email is read on (and estimates now are that 50% are done so on a mobile device), whether it has been opened, or even if a disclosure document has been read.

The latter ability is especially important for those selling financial services such as insurance or broking other products – and having an electronic proof of a disclosure having been opened is becoming an increasingly important sales tool for LLC.

“What we’ve created, and continually improving is technologically complex, though, being cloud-based means it has to be simple, easy, secure and cheap,” he says.

“The information and data we can provide back to our clients about what actions have occurred as a result of the email makes its an invaluable marketing and sales tool – exactly what we set out to achieve.”

Roberts says LLC’s next major development is a sophisticated and integrated ‘statement stopper’. That is, to halt the sending of letter-based bills such as electricity, and instead has them sent by email.

LLC’s tracking ability indicates whether a customer hasn’t opened a company’s email, and a paper statement can then be automatically sent by snail-mail.

At that stage, Roberts expects to feature on the radar of a larger company looking to expand its offering, “so in five years or less we’re definitely looking to be acquired.”

Given that LLC is export-expanding, and is now trialing its technology with CMC, a division of giant Indian company Tata, that five year window may be short.

Not too bad for a sales tool that seems a sitter but obviously is a difficult one to pull off.


Adding a hole lot of value to a piece of pine Peter Kerr Apr 04

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We all know that we’d prefer to export more than just a log of pine to overseas markets.

At the same time, the NZ Inc desire to add value to our raw commodities such as trees is almost tiresome through over-use.

So, it is a pleasure to be able to highlight a company and person doing something different and in their case, making a better pine pole.

Now TTT Products (and no, I’d never heard of them either until going through a recent exercise to maximise the return from a 20 year old four hectare block of pines that I’m involved with) isn’t a small firm. Its North Island headquarters at Tuakau covers 20ha, specialising in creating pine poles of many different sorts.

It may even seem to be a coals to Newcastle scenario, but TTT exports a fair number of these poles all around the Pacific and even to Europe and North America. This is partly because only pinus radiate (and Southern Yellow Pine) can take up the anti-insect, anti-corrosion chemical preservatives that then guarantee a longevity when buried in the ground.

However, the other clever product from TTT, partly ‘inspired’ by the recent Christchurch earthquakes, is what is called a MultiPole (and the basic focus of this blog)

It is a pole that’s actually a tube – TTT managing director John Reelick having perfected (and is keeping secret) a means to drill a long 50 – 150mm diameter hole in a pole. The pole is no weaker, and indeed, because the preservative chemicals can also be applied from the inside out, even more protected against rotting when in the ground.

What MultiPoles allow is a range of tools and complementary products such as cement or grout, that can be deployed because of this hole/tube.

For example, a water jet can be used to help clear the way and push the pole into the ground.

There’s a swag of engineering proofs and performance criteria, and Reelick and his team have further refined the MultiPole over the past couple of years.

Equally, the company’s demonstrating the versatility and application of poles as a modern building material for (rebuilding) Christchurch. They’ve built five storey offices, and a 15 storey model has also been proven as viable for the Garden City.

Which, is quite a lot of value-add for commodity, and an example of taking a raw material and making it work better.

Fantastic stuff all round. Keep up the good work TTT!

P.S.

The MultiPole appears to be a perfect, exportable, value-add product beyond a commodity. I’m sure John Reedick and his team have ideas they would like funding to research and perfect.

Callaghan Innovation has the mandate to be proactive – go give these guys a hand up.

They already know their market, and have a special product with, as IT businesses like to call it, a secret sauce (how to make the holes).

In the scheme of things, a very good CI investment bet for a multiple (or multipole in this case) return.


What a problem for ikeGPS…..managing its growth! Peter Kerr Nov 29

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ikeGPS chief executive Glenn Milnes with the hand-held device, with plenty of back-end smarts, that can measure and model anything

The ikeGPS has the world at its feet – so much so it is going to have to carefully decide which of many markets it should attack first.

The hand-held device integrates hardware and software and enables anyone from a utility to a mining company to measure and model anything.

By taking a photo combined with laser measurement, and knowing exactly where the device is located through GPS (global positioning system), all parts of the picture can be captured as data.

Any part of the picture can be measured accurately, and that information added to the data stream.

What it means in practice is a tool and package that, for utilities that have assets such as poles for power and broadband distribution which need verification of location and use, a cost reduction of two thirds says ikeGPS chief executive Glenn Milnes.

“Compared to such companies using a measuring stick, we can improve employee productivity by 70%,” he says.

The pole utility measuring and modelling market in the USA alone is estimated to be worth US$5-6 billion alone. But considering industry segments such asenergy and mining who have external assets which they want and need to know where they’re located, how big they are and what condition they’re in; then you’re talking massive market potential.

And also a slight conundrum for Wellington-based ikeGPS.

“The biggest mistake a business can make is try to cover the whole market,” says Milnes, who has a background in the European telecoms market, and in the Wellington venture capital industry before moving to the CEO role 18 months ago.

So, a strategic decision has been made to pursue the utility , defense and intelligence markets in America, and a sales and marketing office is being ramped up in Colorado, with the back end technical R&D and manufacture to remain in Wellington.

The currently 25 person team will look to add another 15 staff, mostly in New Zealand, mostly in the software interface area.

This also indicates a change in the company’s approach, founded in 2005 by current CTO Leon Toorenburg.

“Even two years ago we were all about the hardware,” says Milnes.

“Today, in terms of our engineering resources 70% of what we do is software driven.”

And though ikeGPS has patents and trade secrets around the hardward, its increased software focus is to “provide an end-to-end industry solution,” he says.

Thus, ikeGPS makes its backend software, proliferated on a customer’s IT platform easy to use and install.

To take advantage of the massive interpretation and measurement ability of this system though – well, the customer needs the hardware. And obviously, while there’s competition, ikeGPS sees itself being a few steps ahead at the moment.

“There’s a few layers to our competitive advantage,” Milnes says. “With the software and algorithms needing to network together, and the calibration required; it’s really not that straightforward. It really isn’t just about the hardware.”

The elegance, security and ease of use of the end-to-end solution provided by ikeGPS is also one of the reasons the company has been able to sign a recent development contract with In-Q-Tel, a US company which carries out a lot of strategic development for American intelligence agencies.

ikeGPS is the first Australasian company to be accredited by In-Q-Tel, and will bring remote measurement for asset security assessments.

“They have the capacity to bring a lot of really big customers to us,” he says.

Which again brings the NZ company back to the ‘dilemma’ of what markets to attack first.

Milnes is confident that the private and venture capital backed company can scale up sales and distribution (and NZ manufacture of the hardware).

A decision will probably be required in the next few years around further partnering with others.

“At the end of the day, we’re a platform,” says Milnes. “Do we let others build on it is a strategic question, along with how we’d manage that?”

In the meantime, ikeGPS soon shifts its sales and marketing focus to the US, and will concentrate on the niche vertical market of companies who have poles (and lots of stuff hanging off them).

“We’re looking to become dominant, experts in that; at the moment,” he says.

The company has doubling yearly growth, and Milnes envisages that will continue – at the very least.

The company’s keen to raise its profile and continue to attract clever engineering minds as it continues to develop its products and solutions.

Managing such growth will be a challenge – the past 12 months has seen a lot of change, and preparing for the next phase is equally so.

But, as challenges go, managing growth isn’t a bad quandary to have!

P.S.

In case you’re wondering what ikeGPS stands for; it’s ‘I know everything’.


We all own our agricultural story…..that’s the problem Peter Kerr Nov 20

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This post also runs at pasture Harmonies.

The trouble is; we all own New Zealand’s agricultural story.

That is, the huge collective effort that went into figuring out, developing and improving the soil, pasture and plant/animal interaction that is our pastoral method: is part of our collective birthright.

Unfortunately, NZ Inc has never (and as such never could) apply for a worldwide patent for the knowledge. There’s none of it that’s uniquely identifiable. If, perhaps way back in the 1930s when some of the eminent scientists of the day were working up their theories of how to grow grass/clover better, there may have been some form of IP we could’ve called ‘ours’.

That horse has well and truly bolted these days – indeed, there’s mid-Western American universities who would attempt to claim the mantle.

However, no one has ever claimed the STORY.

No one has ever said, ‘well, we work with rather than against nature, seasonally’. If you want a comparison, it is much like the way the Seregenti ‘works’; with animals grazing then moving on to new, fresh pastures in a circular pattern that is probably as old as the time we’ve been walking upright.

To mix metaphors, this method of growing, grazing, resting pasture is a globally unstaked claim.

By that token, we, NZ Inc can and should nab it. What we’d be laying claim to is responsible pastoralism – and for want of a title/name/brand, I’m proposing we call it pasture Harmonies (otherwise we’d spend all our time debating what to call it).

I’m sure there would be a bit of a furore if we did – but so? (The only bad publicity is no publicity).

From a big-picture point of view for NZ Inc, and particularly the companies and farmers with a financial vested interest in agriculture, naming our story would provide the missing glue, the rationale to allow us to work together when it best suits.

Because one of our main challenges, identified in a host of reports over the past 30 years, is there is no NZ Inc strategic vision.

That’s because there is nothing (yet) to consolidate around.

But the moment we named our agriculture’s comparative advantage, and allowed those who wished to participate (including partnering overseas farmers and companies) to use pH as a co-brand, co-story, is the instant we’d give ourselves a non-commodity future.

The moment we said, ‘this is ours’, and named the method, is when we’d change our offer to the world.

We’d also make more money.

Or, is making money something we shouldn’t aspire to?


Getting to a BLISful state a long and winding road Peter Kerr Oct 11

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Dunedin-based BLIS’s oral cavity probiotic products have “spent a long time on the runway”, as it chief executive Dr Barry Richardson described the other day.

(Briefly wearing a journalist hat, I interviewed Richardson for BusinessDesk). There’s a certain irony in the eleven year old stockmarket listed company’s current position – with its share price less than a cent.

The quirk of fate is that with 50 worldwide patents on its ‘good’ bacteria, Streptococcus salivarius, which crowds out baddies that can cause bad breath and tooth decay, BLIS is potentially on the cusp of a huge ramp up in demand from other manufacturers of products.

Part of BLIS’s strategy is to allow other manufacturers of lozenges and ice cream (among numerous products) to use their probiotics and validated health claims in their own products.

Undoubtedly shareholders have long tired of hearing that nirvana is just around the corner, but with recent United States FDA approval of safety and efficacy beyond its (to date) dietary supplement certification, BLIS’s runway looks truly set for takeoff.

Added to that is the fact that around the world other independent science teams have been further proving BLIS’s claims of its probiotics marketed as K12 and M18 do work.

All that would be fantastic for Dunedin – as the freeze-dried probiotic ingredients are all manufactured in New Zealand, and any addition to its commercial base can only be good for the city and its university.

However, this is a roundabout way of showing and saying that:

  • There’s a heck of a challenge in converting a good idea to a blazing commercial success – it takes time (and then some) and money
  • A stockmarket listing as a capital-raising exercise for a fledgling biotech company will often be an exercise in frustration and ongoing requirement to disclose, disclose, disclose
  • And lastly, and hopefully something that doesn’t come to fruition – BLIS could be ripe for takeover by a savvy investor aware of the potential it has now created

Particularly with regard to the latter possibility, a stripping out of the IP and production from BLIS would be another sad state of affairs for NZ Inc biotech.

Our country’s greatest potential increase in national wealth is adding wealth to our biological resources and raw materials – that is, doing clever things to and with biological bits (+ bytes if we can combine it with the digital side of things).

But to achieve this, we need to maintain and grow the supporting infrastructure, including the expertise and processing that BLIS has onboard.

Then, not only can BLIS people grow its own portfolio of products (and there’s more in the pipeline apparently), but some of these clever people might head off to set up other ventures. Equally, outsiders can tap into the BLIS skills in the kiwi ‘can you give me a hand’ manner.

So….hang in there BLIS. After more than a decade of trying to get your probiotic plane off the ground you might at last be ready for takeoff.

When that happens, it’ll be good for all of us.


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