As a stalwart supporter of local innovation, Dr Lyndal Thorburn is excited by the opportunities available to entrepreneurs, start-ups and entrepreneurial companies in the ACT region. Dr Thorburn provides business development support, mentoring and capital raising services through her company, Viria Pty Ltd, using the facilities and framework of the Australian Small Scale Offerings Board (ASSOB).
For over 15 years, the ASSOB has facilitated Australian companies to raise over $140 million, while enabling them to remain compliant with the complex rules and regulations concerning capital raising. Viria Pty Ltd is the only ASSOB sponsor in the Canberra region.
“The Australian Small Scale Offerings Board is still the only compliant method of raising Australian equity funding using crowd-sourcing techniques,” said Dr Thorburn in a recent interview. “Using the facilities provided by ASSOB, supported by the expertise of a sponsor such as Viria Pty Ltd, companies can successfully raise capital from retail investors as well as more structured avenues such as angel networks.”
Dr Thorburn has been a fixture and enabler of innovation in the ACT region for many years. Her interest and expertise in innovation arising from her decade with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), and her studies in both science and business.
Dr Thorburn currently chairs the Innovation Taskforce for the Canberra Business Chamber, and she has spent a number of years as Council member for its predecessor organisations. She has been a member of the Innovation Taskforce since 2009, and she was formerly a member of the Council’s Environmental Industries Taskforce.
The efforts and talents of Dr Thorburn have been recognised in multiple national awards: Dr Thorburn was the ACT Telstra Businesswoman of the Year 2004 and a finalist for the 2007 Women in Technology Awards. Additionally her company, Innovation Dynamics, won an ACT Emerging Exporters’ Award in 2006. She has since spent many hours pro bono as a judge for the ACT Telstra Businesswomen’s Awards, and previously also supported the NSW Enterprise Workshop. Dr Thorburn is also currently mentoring a Canberra-based team involved with the Women on Boards development program.
It is clear to see how small companies, small business and start-ups can benefit from Dr Thorburn’s expertise and services, especially when offered as a suite. The specific specialist services offered by Viria Pty Ltd support the development of technology-based products, their introduction to specific markets, and the negotiating of beneficial collaborative arrangements.
Dr Thorburn also has considerable experience and expertise as a Board member, with over 30 person years on for profit and not-for-profit Boards. She is currently Chair, Good360 Australia and Non-Executive Director of the emerging, Canberra-based disability employment company, Enabled Employment Pty Ltd. Dr Thorburn’s prior Board and Executive roles include: Managing Director of Melbourne-based Neopec Pty Ltd; Managing Director of Canberra-based Innovation Dynamics Pty Ltd; Non-Executive Director of the National Health Sciences Centre; member of the ACT Health and Medical Research Council and Non-Executive Director of AusBiotech Ltd.
Dr Thorburn’s work in industry policy is well known, she advises government on the best support programs for emerging companies. While most of her policy reports have been for Australian government agencies, her most recent work has been for APEC economies. In 2014 APEC published her study of the impact of regulation on innovation (APEC#2014-SE-01.21). Her industry policy work also spans more than 20 years, with ACT projects focussed on the environment sector, electronic industries and the role of the research and higher education systems in the local economy.
Over this period, notable clients have included: Dairy Australia; the Australian Business Foundation; Macquarie Research Limited; AusBiotech Ltd; Austrade/Invest Australia; several other Commonwealth Government and ACT Government Departments and Directorates; the University of Canberra; the Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers’ Association; the Australian Business Foundation and the Australian Vice Chancellors’ Committee.
In 2015 Dr Thorburn joined the Griffin Accelerator as a mentor, along with the other mentors in the Griffin Accelerator, she provides support to a selected group of start-ups. The founders of the start-ups selected receive practical advice, to help their founders establish successful companies through good strategic and financial planning, and effective risk management.
Dr Thorburn brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise, including past involvement in the commercialisation of 30 technologies, to the Griffin Accelerator teams.
Dr Thorburn also believes in giving time to charities. This is currently encapsulated in her role as Chair and Non-Executive Director of Good360 Australia. Good360 Australia is modelled on Good360, a charitable organisation that began thirty years ago in the USA. Good360 Australia takes excess new goods donated by manufacturers and distributors and redistributes them to charities. Good 360’s charity partners choose the goods they require online, using Good360 Australia’s GivingPlace platform, which in many respects mirrors an online marketplace. As Chair of Good360 Australia, Dr Thorburn helps to structure the organisation’s development (she also chairs the Board’s Finance, Audit and Risk Committee). This is a complex task as Good360 Australia has launched an innovative online platform, and is introducing both charities and businesses to what is a relatively new concept. As a proud Canberran, Dr Thorburn is also keen to see as many Canberra-region charities as possible benefit from Good360 Australia’s services.
As can be deduced from the above, Dr Thorburn is accomplished and more than capable. Her involvement with the Canberra business community helps to further the establishment of fertile conditions for innovation. She supports established companies, start-ups, and not-for-profit organisations. Visit Dr Thorburn’s LinkedIn page and the Griffin Accelerator mentor page to find out more about her skills and services.