US venture capital recovers … Australians concerned about global warming … How to use the web effectively … Design your new car online

US venture capital spending recovers

Venture capital is booming in the US. More than $US25 billion was invested by US venture capital last year, up 12% on 2005, according to the latest MoneyTree report by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the US National Venture Capital Association.

First-time financings reached levels not seen since the dot-com crash: 1093 venture capital virgins receiving a share in $US5.8 billion of new money.

The fastest growing sectors were the higher-risk seed funding (up 11% to $US5 billion) and expansion funding (up 30% to $US11.2 billion) compared with a decline in late-stage funding from $9.7 to $9.3 billion.

Biotech and medical device companies got the biggest share ($US7.2 billion), followed by those in software development ($US5 billion) and internet development ($US4 billion).


What do Aussies think of global warming?

Australians’ awareness of global warming is acute. Only the French are more concerned about the next six months, according to a survey of 46 countries by ACNielsen.

ACNielsen’s recent Online Consumer Opinion Survey asked 25,408 internet users around the world for their views on a range of issues including global warming.

In Australia:

  • Nine out of 10 people have heard of global warming.
  • Of those, only 8% don’t consider it a serious problem.
  • The impact of global warming over the next six months is a major concern for 24% of those surveyed.
  • For 43%, human activities alone are cited as the main cause of global warming.


10 web tips for entrepreneurs

Jeff Stibel, CEO of, offers 10 tips for small-business owners on

1. Stand out from the competition. Online you can be compared side-by-side with your biggest competitor.

2. Establish credibility. This is particularly important for small, relatively unknown firms, he says.

3. Provide in-depth information. Use the website to provide background, testimonials, directions, demonstrations or other content that speaks to your target audience.

4. Make shopping easy. Every small-business owner is trying to sell something, whether it is a product, service or idea.

5. Enhance customer relations. E-mailing the company, placing an order or securing a reservation can all be done easily online.

6. Increase customer spending. Ultimately you are trying to build a business, not just boost online sales, which means using the site to keep customers informed and make them feel happy about spending more money.

7. Expand nationally or worldwide. When a business goes online, the dynamics change significantly because websites can be viewed by many more potential customers anywhere in the world.

8. Gather customer data. Everything you do as a small business is based on understanding who your customer is. Data from web traffic can tell you where your customer is coming from and where they are going after visiting your site.

9. Brand extension. Offline, your store front is limited by your real estate. Online, your business is unlimited.

10. Drive traffic either to an online or offline location. Regardless of what type of business you operate, traffic to your site can translate into “qualified” traffic to your store.


Cool car fashion, online

Nissan Japan has taken accessorising to a whole new level with its Pino minicar, reports.

The car’s Japanese website allows potential purchasers to play with accessory options including furry seat covers, designer buttons and stuffed toys.

A full range of clickable paint colour options are also available for the Pino, sold in Japan with the tagline ‘Shift_lovely days.’

And once the consumer has settled on the look for their Pino, they can print out a tailored image of the car to take with you to the dealership.


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