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September 12, 2019

Ten entrepreneurs walk into a bar

Next month, five pubs will become innovation hubs for an evening as the world's first Raising the Bar Entrepreneurship event makes its debut.

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  • Words: Jessica Bassano
  • Portrait of Jennifer Ma: Julian Cebo
  • Portrait of Tom Rayner: Supplied

Earlier this year, the City of Norwood Payneham & St Peters was transformed into a giant classroom as experts from a range of industries took over pubs just east of the city as part of Raising the Bar Adelaide. CityMag’s own publisher spoke.

Come October 1, the council area will host a second event tailored to those wanting to refine their hustle, be inspired, or simply satisfy their curiosity when it comes to the world of entrepreneurship. Over the course of the evening, 10 thought leaders will explore topics like using your passion to change the world and future-proofing your job from robots.


Raise the Bar: Entrepreneurship
10 Entrepreneurs. 5 venues. 1 night
Tuesday, 1 October, 2019

A well-seasoned speaker at corporate meet-ups, Myriota business development executive Tom Rayner will discuss some of the advancements in technology that’s enabled the satellite communications company to have a cosmic impact.

Tom says he’s looking forward to seeing what new conversations the bar setting will stimulate. “Hopefully it’s… an inspirational, broadening-people’s-horizons type of casual event, given it’s a really casual setting. People should be there to learn and have fun,” he says.

Spun out of the University of South Australia in 2015, last year Myriota raised $15 million through a Series A funding round from companies including the venture capital arm of Optus’ parent company Singtel. The start-up has since joined forces with a number of national and international businesses, opening new opportunities for a wide range of industries.

“One is in asset tracking. So [tracking] anything from shipping containers to pallets to cargo containers… [anywhere] outside of the traditional communication range,” Tom says. “We’re also doing a lot with some other industrial applications, like utility metering. I think in particular around water measuring in the Murray Darling Basin… we can provide that using the low-cost connectivity to monitor water extraction points from all up and down the Murray Darling Basin.

“I’ll be giving a brief overview of some of the advancements in technology that’s enabled this new class of technology to advance over the last few years,” Tom says.

“We’re obviously in the satellite communications space but there are some people doing some really good things in rocket launching and there are some people doing some really good things in micro-propulsion in satellites ­– and people making some satellites themselves actually. So, hopefully people will get a little bit of an insight into what’s happening in the space eco-system.”

Even though Tom’s job requires him to regularly provide insights into Myriota’s complicated technology advancements, he says he’s still astounded by the company’s capacities.

“The idea that you can have a cow talk to a space craft that’s the size of a loaf of bread, that’s 600 kilometres up, travelling at seven-and-a-half kilometres a second and you can have hundreds of millions of these things doing it at the same time is fairly mind boggling,” he says.

While Tom speaks to the rapid developments of satellite miniaturisation, advanced manufacturing and cloud processing infrastructure, in a pub – just around the corner – Jenni Ma will be discussing her key learnings when it comes to raising capital to fund these sorts of projects.

Chapman Capital Partners managing director, Jennifer Ma


Chapman Capital Partners managing director, Jenni says she’s worked with a plethora of early stage companies going through a lot of growth.

“The kind of things that come up quite often, that are particularly essentially pain-points with companies, are like evaluation: how much is my company worth?” she says.

“It’s always a challenge when you’ve got a founder who’s got amazing ideas, and a lot of them have great prosects, but the valuation that they may place on it versus what an investor may place on it is a common challenge that we have to navigate and try and be sensitive to… The other common issue that I see is that there’s two sets of expectations, in terms of founders.

“I think it’s just being mindful that there are different types of investors for different kinds of situations and that not all investors will suit and that… relationship building is important when you’re bringing on your investors. They will effectively end up being your long-term sponsors and partners so getting that personality fit and cultural fit early is important.”

A newcomer to Raising the Bar events, Jenni says she’s interested to hear from her audience.

“I’m hoping there might be some two-way conversation. I’ve seen a lot through my 20-years’ experience but I know that won’t cover the spectrum of what we collectively as a group would see. So, I’m hopeful that others will be able to share their stories too,” she says.

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