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How is it that a blog post can be delayed so long when so much is going on?

The question answers itself. Since pivoting our GoPC Rainmaker technology into BankVault 20 months ago everything has been on steroids. The team have:

  • evolved out Raspberry Pi model through several generations into a miniature USB thumb drive. We released a massive version 2.0 of that today with another cool development which we’re lodging another patent application on.
  • we’ve built out our team with top level senior managers
  • we’ve released BankVault-Web and BankVault-App which are now rebranded as BankVault-Professional
  • we’ve introduced temporary storage, virtual keyboard, and other features making the technology even more secure.
  • we’ve re-architected the back end systems and refining this further to create an Enterprise version.
  • we won the Fintech category of the World Cup Tech Challenge in Silicon Valley on 1st June 2016. With the media interest etc I lost at least a couple of weeks of emails that I’ll never get back to.
  • we’ve set up a Sydney office and I’ve moved to live on the east coast.
  • we’ve taken further investment and chasing a new round again now.

Each one of these bullet points deserve a blog post in their own right.  There’s just not enough time to do it.   So with space for only one picture here is winning the Top Fintech Startup (pre-global stage) at Micrsoft’s campus Silicon Valley.

[Silicon Valley Microsoft Campus]

I’m still on this incredible ride. If I distill it into a single point reason – we worked out how to narrow our focus on one specific acute pain point. There’s still dozens of other things we can be doing but the game now is go narrow and deep to allow us to then expand exponentially.

And the near term future is all about providing:

  • Safe Environment where no ransomware can run.
  • Bundle insurance with BankVault.
  • Channel Partnerships

My team amazed me recently by pitching a new cyber security angle for GoPC. It was under our nose the whole time but it took Corrado Fiore our Solutions Architect talking to Peter McCredie our new head of Marketing for the lights to come on.

After days of grueling debate we tested our hypothesis in the market and over the last 2 months every single business we’ve pitched to has bought it asked for an evaluation.  We even have a government department and one of Australia’s largest banks now evaluating it.

BankVault was born. It’s literally 10x easier to sell, it’s 10x higher margin, and spearheads everything else we do. We’ve lodged a new patent application and now investing behind success to grow this derivative product that runs on the Rainmaker platform.




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One entrepreneurs journing: pitching, raising, hustling and risking everything.

Here’s a talk I made last week about my entrepreneurial journey and some of the war stories. I personally find the war stories to be the most interesting and so I decided to share some of ours.

Morning Startup, a vibrant group of entrepreneurs who turn up at 7:30am every second Wednesday. There were 70 registrations which is a remarkably strong group.



Andreesson and other Silicon Valley VCs have chimed in warning on the growth of vacuumous business models built on hype and hope.

My own lesson from surviving the GFC in Silicon Valley was the sooner you work on the hardest issue of all, what it takes to get a customer to pull out their credit card, the better off you and your investors will be. The day investment sentiment turns is the day you need to be viable. For most SMB entrepreneurs revenue is fundamental but Startup entrepreneurs think they can out smart that fundamental. Some do but for every one that does thousands vaporize. A proportion of those could have done it better and become viable businesses.

GoPC moved away from a Freemium model straight after the GFC. I remember meeting the CEO of Gh.o.st in 2009 when they had some 700,000 subscribers. I asked him how they were monetizing and he told me they had ideas but being funded by Sequoia Capital this wasn’t urgent. The following year they ran out of funds and were shutdown.

We actually tried a Freemium model again in 2013 with Rainmaker. Consumers were able to get a complete virtual machine free and simply pay for add-on applications and storage. We finally accepted that Rainmaker should just target SMEs, not consumers. They have much deeper pockets and real IT problems that need to be solved. I’m happy to say its working.

And this month we just starting trialing another consumer play with a new technology product called Raindrop, but it’s monetizing from day one.  http://raindrop.gopc.net.

On Thursday 25th Sept 2014, I’m presenting the background story of technology innovation, evolution and entrepreneurship that went into creating GoPC.net.

Hosted by Engineers Australia, ITEE, IICA, IET and IEEE at the Engineers Australia Auditorium, 712 Murray Street, West Perth, Australia. The event is catered with food and drinks so includes small $30 cover charge.

If interested in coming along then here is the Flyer and Registration page: http://tinyurl.com/q5ju3gn

IEEE 2014 Event Sponsor GoPC.net - Flyer

The interview with Robert Scoble in San Francisco after GoPC.net was recognised by Rackspace’s Australian CTO Alan Perkins.

Big thanks to Robert for the invitation to be interviewed.

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Woohoo indeed!

GoPC.net is through to the penultimate round of a startup competition being run out of London. 1,000 startups from 72 countries vying for $1.7m investment.

I’m not reading too much into this but its reassuring to make the shortlist. I’m not surprised – we have some cracking good innovotions. I expect there would still be 100 in the race which puts us somewhere amongst the top 10% of startups applying from all over the world.

Next to sharpen the pitch.   I’m also preparing to return to Silicon Valley in 3 weeks and for Robert Scoble’s video.  Although its busy these things layer on one another as good practice runs.


eGroup.org.au have asked me to present the background war stories behind GoPC.net  It’s very much a personal story of an entrepreneur’s awakening which I hope will be interesting and useful.

GoPC was recognised at Silicom Ventures Summit at Stanford University in 2009 as one of the leading Cloud Computing startups in Silicon Valley.  When the GFC hit we elected to self fund and keep control but the last 4 years have been as tough as a long dark winter. This month however I am returning to Silicon Valley to launch a truly ground breaking new technology code-named “Rainmaker”.  Rackspace.com invited us to present Rainmaker and have recommended further investation be done.  Robert Scoble, a prolific technology evangelist followed by 4,000,000 influential early-adopters, has arranged a video interview with me next month that will launch GoPC like nothing else could.

So what are the lessons learned over the last 9 years that increase our likelihood of success?  Where are the risks?  Should we raise more capital and lose control after having conquered all the hurdles? This will be an interactive presentation where I’ll be happy to share my own insights and answer questions.

Registration beforehand is needed for catering:    https://egroup.tidyclub.com/public/events/394-september-forum-gopc-case-study

I apologise the event isn’t free.  eGroup charge $25 to non-members to cover costs which includes finger food and drinks.  The venue is at Wray and Associates Patent Attorneys in West Perth.

I’m personally inviting those who have in some direct way helped or inspired me along this journey.  I really look forward to sharing Tuesday evening with you.

Stoked to see StartupSmart.com.au do an article on our Pitch night and help build the publicity around this event.


Seats are almost sold out now. The line-up has been condensed to a top 10 and we’ll be refining this further over the next few days with some dry runs and coaching to help the entrepreneurs sharpen their pitches. It’s now getting very hard to pick between them. Definitely some billion dollar ideas amongst the line-up. Can’t wait for Wednesday night.

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I’m running another LESANZ “Innovators Pitch Night” at IBM on 31st July. This is to showcasing 7 investor-ready entrepreneurs to the investment, startup and commercialisation networks in Perth.

Please help me get the word out.  I am filtering and coaching pitches this week so still open for submissions from investor-ready startups.

With the event oversubscribed last year we will be limiting numbers and there is a cost to cover catering so please register early to ensure a place.

Venue: IBM West Perth, 31st July from 5:15pm – 8:30pm
Judging Panel: Larry Lopez, Ray Hart, Dr Marcus Tan
Moderator: Graeme Speak
Full Details Here: http://bit.ly/162eyQX

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