Week in brief September 25 2012

Category: News

All the smaller news to emerge this week, including: First-ever Aussie start-up joins exclusive US accelerator program; Sugar Daddy dating website suing PayPal; First solar air-conditioning in NSW; Mud Run; and more.

Sydney-based start-up Peeractive has been selected to participate in this year’s DreamIt Ventures accelerator program in the US in recognition of its innovative social commerce technology – becoming the first-ever Australian company to win a place in the program. Peeractive’s innovative social commerce technology uses real-time analytics to engage users in a dynamic and interactive shopping environment. Prices are personalised to each user and adjust in real-time to compel shoppers to make a purchase and increase conversion rates for online retailers. DreamIt is a top three US accelerator program as named by Forbes.com, and provides startups with capital, strategic guidance and resources. Peeractive is the first Australian company to be admitted to DreamIt and is the only international team in this year’s program, beating hundreds of global competitors. This pioneering technology will be launched in both in Australia and the US before the three-month DreamIt program ends on December 14. Seriously awesome stuff…

In the US District Court a lawsuit was recently filed against PayPal for unfair business practices. The case focuses on PayPal’s user agreement and acceptable use policy, which states that PayPal prohibits “activities that relate to sales of … CERTAIN sexually oriented materials or services” but not ALL sexually oriented services. The case has seen Brandon Wade, founder & CEO of SeekingArrangement.com – the world’s largest Sugar Daddy dating website – file a lawsuit against Paypal alleging breach of contract, breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing, and unfair business practices. Wade is putting it to PayPal because it has been accepting payments for the sale of membership subscriptions on adult-oriented dating website AshleyMadison.com, which encourages infidelity and cheating, while banned the sale of membership subscriptions on SeekingArrangement.com. Paypal filed a motion to dismiss, which was denied. And you thought you’d heard it all…

Brioche, a specialist bakery and café in Balmain, Sydney, has become the first business in NSW to install solar air-conditioning. Using half the electricity of a traditional air-conditioning unit, Brioche’s new system saves power, reduces the business’ carbon footprint and is said to be as easy to use for staff as a regular unit. Brioche is the first business in NSW to use the new technology, joining other homes and businesses across Brisbane, Central Queensland and Tasmania. Says Brioche owner Fiona Wilkinson, “The unit uses the sun's energy in a heat exchange, which means the solar panels are not creating electricity, but capturing heat. It is an innovative method of cooling, perfectly suited to Australia.”


If you’re looking for a somewhat unconventional means of team bonding, try having a crack at the Mud Run – a huge turn-out of thrill-seekers and fun followers for a sludgy run, crawl, leap and belly flop through the muck on a seven-kilometre mud-engulfed course of mud-pits, bog-holes and slides at the Sydney International Equestrian Centre. Companies have assembled teams to participate in the run with varying degrees of seriousness, and with the year winding down this could be a great way to top off your year. It happens Saturday December 1; for more info click here. MudRunLG


A new survey over 750 Australian small business owners by global small business financial management solutions provider Intuit Inc. has found that Aussie small business owners spend more than a third of their working lives on administrative tasks. The Intuit survey, undertaken by Galaxy Research, reveals that businesses that employ staff require owners to spend at least 40 per cent of their time on administrative tasks. Here are some other stats from the survey:
  • The main administrative tasks that take up small business owners’ time include keeping a record of all transactions (57 per cent), entering transactions in the books (40 per cent), BAS and tax reporting (36 per cent) and paying bills and wages (34 per cent).
  • As many as 39 per cent report that having to undertake these administrative tasks makes running their business less enjoyable.

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