Solar Gem wins G'Day USA Australian technology Shootout

Green technology company beats out six competitors
  • Tim Lohman (Computerworld)
  • 22 January, 2010 11:12

Australian green technology company, Solar Gem, has been given a major boost in the US after it took first place honours at an Innovation Shootout competition held at Microsoft’s Silicon Valley Campus.

The Shootout, which is aimed at showcasing Australian technologies to venture capitalists for global commercialisation, saw Solar Gem win out over six Australian competitors — Digisensory, Intelliguard, Mid-Comp International, MultiTrode, Synengco, and Zarloc.

Solar Gem’s technology seeks to provide affordable off-grid energy based on clean solar power systems, particularly to developing nations without electricity and lighting for their rural and regional populations. Under the Shoot-Out participants were allotted five minutes to convince a panel of Microsoft staff, Silicon Valley venture capitalists and industry analysts that their technology had potential for success in the US.

The Shootout is part of the G’Day USA week. Austrade’s San Francisco-based senior trade commissioner, Nigel Warren, said the event showcased the Australian innovation and promoted business collaboration between Australia and the US.

“In Silicon Valley it is difficult to be heard above the ‘noise’, so this event aims to provide the opportunity for innovative Australian companies to be heard by leading decision-makers and ensures Australia is front-of-mind for investors looking at the Asia Pacific region,” he said in a statement.

Yesterday, Queensland Premier, Anna Bligh, took to Silicon Valley to tout the state’s technology sector to an audience of 200 business and IT innovators.

According to Austrade, two-way trade with the US in 2008-2009 was valued at $53.1 billion, making the US Australia’s third largest trading partner.