Venture capital improves corporate governance

COMPANIES receiving venture capital backing are generally better at corporate governance when they list on the stock exchange than those that have not gone down the venture capital path, according to a study by the Australian School of Business.

Based on 11 years of research by Associate Professor Jo-Ann Suchard in association with the Australian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association, the study examined corporate governance at companies that had gone through an initial public offering.

It finds that listed companies with VC-backed boards have more independent directors and a higher percentage of independent directors with industry experience than non-VC companies that have gone to an IPO.

“It is established in international markets that venture capitalists add value through various types of activities beyond just giving money,” Suchard says.

Her research shows VC-backed firms have more independent directors. “These were not just non-executives, but directors who didn’t have any prior or existing relationship with the company, so they weren’t lawyers or bankers or accountants who had a prior working relationship,” she says.

Suchard says VCs use their networks to bring in specialist independent directors to help run companies, and therefore provide better corporate governance, which should help protect shareholder interests and contribute to better performance over time.

Luceille Outhred, chief executive of South Australian technology innovation group Digislide Holdings, says having VC backing has definitely helped her company achieve stronger corporate governance.

“We’ve gone through seed capital raising and angel raising, and each time we’ve gone through a different stage, as a natural consequence of the business growing but also as a necessity for raising additional capital at a higher level, our policies and procedures have tightened up,” she says.

“We always had a goal of listing on the ASX or the New York Stock Exchange, or Nasdaq, so we have constantly been upgrading our policies and our procedures, both operational and governance.


“Digislide has received about $12 million in venture capital funding and we would be in a position to lodge with ASIC for an ASX-listed company if we choose to do so, because all our policies are at the highest level and the implementation is at the highest level.”

Dr Katherine Woodthorpe, chief executive of the Australian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association, says VC-backed companies are used to working with a board, whereas many other companies that list for the first time have not previously done so.

“A lot of companies think they don’t need a board in the earlier stages of being a company and so people are just not used to having a board,” Woodthorpe says.

“It is difficult, however, finding independent directors, particularly people who are interested in working with smaller technology companies, which are perceived as having higher risk.”

Ivan Kaye, director of BSI Australia, which provides venture capital funding through its Australian Distributed Incubator arm, says a condition of putting money into a company is that they move towards having the right structures in place.

“There are generally independent or non-executive board members put on by the VC.

“As a result of that, the shift from a private company to listing is smaller than with a company that hasn’t had VC backing.”

Mike Hershorn, director of Four Hats Capital, manager of the Nanyang Innovation Fund, says one of the first things to improve in the field of corporate governance is a company’s financial reporting.

“That’s really the first step, because if the board doesn’t have accurate financial reports it can’t work well to improve the company.”

VENTURE FORTH
* Companies with venture capital backing tend to have better corporate governance

* Independent directors have a stronger presence on the board

* The right governance structures are often a condition of VC funding

* Better governance brings better financial reporting

Source: The Australian, 28 Nov 2008

Coffee with 3 entrepreneurs at Geek Terminal

 

It is a beautiful Wednesday morning. Shen has invited Jeremy, Ridzuan and me for a coffee session at Geek Terminal. Each and every one of us chatted about anything under the sun. The most surprising thing we got to know from Jeremy is that Nokia had involved in many businesses in Finland. Nokia is a giant conglomerate someone like TATA in India. They used to sell car tires specifically designed for winter. (They had already sold their tires businesses. See link here)

 

So who are these entrepreneurs?

 

1. Shen, Founder/ Managing Director of Jorbb.com

 

Jorbb.com is Singapore’s newest site created expressly for non-executive jobs, for individuals seeking freelance, contract, part-time and casual employment. 

This innovative and uniquely interactive portal enables its users to not only post their resumes, but also photos, slideshows and video profiles.

 

Website: http://Jorbb.com

 


 

2. Jeremy, Managing Director of Metaversum Asia Pte Ltd (Singapore)

 

Metaversum develops and operates the 3D online world Twinity. This visionary project mashes up the real with the virtual world. Members of the Twinity community enrich and expand their lives by integrating their real life into the virtual world. Twinity is set to launch this summer and is currently in private beta. Founded in July 2006, Metaversum is financed by leading venture capital firms and has offices in Berlin and Kiev.

 

Company Website: http://www.metaversum.com/

Twinity website: http://www.twinity.com/en

 

 

 

3. Ridzuan Ashim, co-founder of Widgeous

Officially incorporated in early 2008 by 2 individuals, Widgeous is in the business of creating a web technology-based solution for solving the problem of having too many isolated channels of communication. Keeping to philosophy of keeping things simple, the company has built a platform which allows people to keep a centralised repository of their contact information. With that, others who wish the contact the individual can now do so simply by specifying the individual’s Widgeous ID. Widgeous then helps to decide the most efficient method for delivering the message.

The platform is also an open platform that allows application developers to build applications that fully utilize their cross-channel capabilities.

Website: http://widgeo.us/

 

 


 

 

 (From Left) Neo, Jeremy, Shen, Ridzuan 

Explore Singapore – Heritage Tour

 

Singapore is constantly changing. Given a short span of 43 years, Singapore has transformed from a fishermen village to a highly developed and urbanized city. Although our history is short, we do have a very rich and unique culture.

 

Make a guess! Where is this place? (Picture below)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you know where this place is? Club Street – A narrow hill dotted with idiosyncratic shophouses. It is a place where you can find trendy bars, restaurants and galleries!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you want to get a taste of our island’s colourful past, rich heritage and vibrant culture? Why not join the guided tour to one of the oldest (and now coolest) shopping street this weekend?! Discover hidden parks and fascinating alleyways amongst other historic gems in this heritage walk through the hip and happening Ann Siang Hill.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When:

29 November 2008, Saturday, 10am – 12pm & 3pm – 5pm

Where:

Singapore Philatelic Museum, Singapore City Gallery

Ticket Sales:

Adult: $6, Student/Senior Citizen: $4

 

Limited spaces available. For bookings and enquiries, please call 6321 8321.

 

The Old Days of Club Street is one of the exciting events from Explore Singapore! It is held in conjunction with National Heritage Board. For more details, please visit site: http://www.exploresingapore.com.sg/event-details.php?event_id=6

 

 

BLOG2u (website: http://blog2u.sg) is the social media agency for Explore Singapore!

Dim Sum Dollies Day Out!

 

As part of Explore Singapore!, let Singapore’s very own delectable Dim Sum Dollies take you in song and dance as they introduce you to Singapore’s history in a whimsical fashion. With a brand new skit, they will showcase our history and culture with their trademark Singlish wit.

 

Who are they?

The Dim Sum Dollies are a musical cabaret group in Singapore, played by Selena Tan, Emma Yong and Pamela Oei. The Dollies are known for their loud and colourful costumes, spectacular dance scenes and their comical but incisive approach to contemporary social issues in Singapore.

 

 

 

Date

29 Nov, Sat

Time

1 pm, 3 pm

Venue

National Museum of Singapore

Fees

Free with museum admission

Adult: $10, Student/Senior Citizen: $5, Family Pass (3 Adults and 2 Children): $30

Limited capacity, on a first-come, first-served basis.

 

Catch this unique musical performance at the National Museum of Singapore!  There’s no better or bigger introduction to Singapore’s heritage and culture than one made by the Dim Sum Dollies. I guarantee you won’t be able to find such performance other than Explore Singapore! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DIM SUM DOLLIES DAY OUT! is one of the exciting events from Explore Singapore! It is held in conjunction with National Heritage Board. For more details, please visit site: http://www.exploresingapore.com.sg/event-details.php?event_id=2

 

BLOG2u (website: http://blog2u.sg) is the social media agency for Explore Singapore!

Hungry Go Where Big Eat Out! II

 

It is another hot Saturday afternoon! However, the hot weather didn’t stop us from eating all the good foods during this HungryGoWhere Big Eat Out!  Thanks to BLOG2u for inviting me to this event!

 


  Mark Lee’s visit to Po Piah Stall. Hmm…Yummy!!  


Wow! A lot of people!!! Indeed, Singaporean love to eat!! 


Picture of the Old Chang Kee truck

 


It is powered by Biofuel!

Well this event is not only about Food! All the foods you have purchased during this event will be donated to Andrew and Grace Home. You are doing your part for our society!

 

Besides good foods, the highlight is the heritage tour of the Peranakan Museum. Well, the tour is guided by Mark Lee (so you can expect a lot of jokes and laughter) I feel that the tour is pretty educational and Mark Lee has done a terrific job in introducing the custom and practices of Peranakan. (Who say Mark Lee can’t speak good mandarin??)

 


 

 


 

 


Mark Lee’s Tour (Mandarin)

 

Picture with the other 2 bloggers – daintyflair  (left) and Ms Tam Chiak (right) 

 

 

HungryGoWhere Big Eat Out! is one of the exciting events from Explore Singapore! It is held in conjunction with National Heritage Board. For more information, please visit the official site at http://www.exploresingapore.com.sg/event-details.php?event_id=1

 

This is the sponsored review by BLOG2u (website: http://blog2u.sg)

HungryGoWhere Big Eat Out!

Are you a food gourmet? Wondering where to find good hawker food? Look no further for the HungryGoWhere Big Eat Out! this Saturday(22 Nov 2008) at Peranakan Museum.

 

Besides indulging in the most happening Heritage Hawker foods from around Singapore, you may get to meet Mark Lee, Singapore’s most famous comedian and Dr Leslie Tay, Singapore’s top food blogger!  Early birds could even get a special tour of the museum guided by Mark Lee!

 

 

HungryGoWhere Big Eat Out! is one of the exciting events from Explore Singapore! It is held in conjunction with National Heritage Board. For more information, please visit the official site at http://www.exploresingapore.com.sg/event-details.php?event_id=1

 

BLOG2u (website: http://blog2u.sg) is the social media agency for Explore Singapore!

 

 

Date: 22 Nov, Sat

Time: 12 pm – 5 pm

Venue: The Peranakan Museum, 39 Armenian Street

Fees: Discounted Museum Admission – $2 per person (Usual: Adult – $6, Concession – $3)

 

p.s. I am going down for the Mark Lee’s tour. If any of you guys are interested to go with me, please drop me a note.

 

Don’t know how to go to Peranakan Museum? click 39 Armenian Street for directions.  

Sponsored Review: Feel the air of entrepreneurialism!

Feel lost in the job market? Lack of motivation? I believe these are some emotional struggles among young Singaporean. However in the midst of poor market condition, there always exist an opportunity. Successful entrepreneurs usually emerge during bad weather. Why not get yourself de-stressed and feel the air of entrepreneurialism with Global Entrepreneurship Week 2008?

Global Entrepreneurship Week (The Week) lasts from 17 to 23 Nov 2008. It is a celebration of innovation, entrepreneurship and creativity. The Week will bring together millions of young people across the globe through online and local activities and encourage them to think innovatively and unleash their ideas.

This is not an “All Talk, No Action” event. M.Y. FBI Holiday Camp, targeted at children (age 10-12), will required participants to think of creative ideas to sell their craft on 22nd November as a closing for the camp. All profits will go to a charity benefiting children which will be selected by the participants themselves.

Besides business educations for the young children, Youths-4 Charity Flea market is targeted at youths from Secondary Schools and ITE with a focus on social entrepreneurship. Youths-4 Charity Flea market is a competition. Each team will be required to produce items/ crafts for sale on the flea market. To make the competition more realistic, rental and interest will be imposed.

The Global Entrepreneurship Week 2008 is organised by ACE and NUS Enterprise. The sponsored review is provided by BLOG2u (http://blog2u.sg). If you wish to find out more information of the event, please visit the official site: http://www.entrepreneurshipweeksg.org

Recycle your unwanted IT Products with HP Green Campaign

Guys, 

HP (Stock quote: HPQ) is organizing a recycling campaign this coming Saturday. If you have old and unwanted HP products, you can head down to HP Booth at Yu Hua Village to trade with a new ones under terms and conditions. This initiaitve is spearheaded by National Environment Agency.  

Date: 15 November, Saturday 

Venue: Blk 252, Yu Hua Village@ Jurong East Area (Main Site) 

Time: 11am – 7pm 

For details: Please visit the HP website here or NEA website here

 

Can we drive “armored-vehicle” on the road?!

 

If you are an entrepreneur or business developer, you are constantly fighting for sales otherwise you will lose out in this highly-competitive market. Time is everything! As a sales person or entrepreneur (especially those at the early stage of startup), you need to be highly efficient even on the move!

 

Meeting your clients is like engaging a fire fight. You need weapons and transportation for wars. Your products are your bullets and your car should be like your armor vehicle. Besides transportation capabilities, armor-vehicles have fighting and communication capabilities. Question here, “besides transportation, what else can our car do?”

 

I am sure all of us agree that car is a liability. Why? Simply because we do not see much of owning a car except for the ERP (for those who don’t understand, it is the acronym of Electronic Road Pricing), car loans, petrol charges and road taxes. We need to look at uses or applications of car beyond transportation.

 

I come across the term “Mobile Office”. One of the examples is to convert your vehicle into a mobile place. I believe this is the area that can be further explored. In fact Volkswagen (Stock Quotes: VOW.DE) has the concept of such car. Below are some of the photos of Volkswagen T6.  

 


 


 


 

The T6 model has won the “Best Lifestyle Interior” in the Interior Motives Award 2008. (Source: Car Body Design)

 

I am using this example only to prove my point that we need more applications on wheels. In fact, I believe that the design of the concept car can be further developed to suit the needs of the mass (especially entrepreneurs who might not have an office to work since office rental can be quite expensive).  Sounds hard? But it is not very hard for the technicians to change or modify your car parts. If you watch MTV channel, there is a TV program called “Pimp My Ride” that actually helps to “renovate” your car.

 

 

Enough of Wonderland! Let’s get back to reality. In Singapore, we have seen car loves spend ten thousands of dollars just on installing lighting and car audio system. I am sure there is a demand of office usages on cars. But, Can we have such car modification in Singapore? Bear in mind, you might be installing additional battery (approval from LTA – Land Transport Authority ) to power up your equipments such as communication devices which might transmit wireless signal (approval from IDA – Infocomm Development Authority).  Things are not going to be that simple. I believe there are more factors to consider.

 

I am very willing to hear more. Please drop your comments.