Born global as a lifestyle

A born-global business is a firm that has deliberately ventured overseas soon after their establishment (within two years).[i]  Thirty-five per cent of respondents to the 2017 Australian Business Foundation’s Born to be Global are ‘born global’ by this definition.[ii]

Born global as a lifestyle

Rod Cuthbert

Acquired by TripAdvisor in 2014 for $200m, ‘curated’ travel site Viator was founded in Sydney in 1995 by high school drop-out Rod Cuthbert.  ‘[I didn’t like] the American model of finishing high school, going straight to college, getting a degree, going to work for a large corporation . . . I just couldn’t be bothered taking exams in my final year of high school. I got a job operating a mainframe computer’.  In 1995, Cuthbert started a web development company with a friend where all of his initial clients were in the travel industry. The business model was easy:  ‘You just had to go into the lobby of your hotel and look at all the brochures on the rack’ and put them online.[iii]

Robert Mailler

Toowoomba-based Beeline Technologies (BT) began when a NSW farming family developed their own global positioning system (GPS) steering assist system.  In 1993, grower Mike Mailler challenged his mathematician and engineer son, Robert, to design and build a steering system that would drive his self-propelled sprayer in a straight line. He attributed a 40 per cent increase in production to the new system.  Now Canadian-located and Chinese-owned and in use in fifty-five countries, it has been re-branded Hemisphere GNSS.[iv]

Graeme Clark

In the mid-1960s, Graeme Clark began researching the possibility of a ‘bionic ear’, an electronic, implantable hearing device that implants in the cochlea, the inner ear. The focus of his research was to enable profoundly deaf people to hear speech.  Coclear Australia holds over two-thirds of the worldwide hearing implant market, with more than 250,000 people receiving one of Cochlear’s implants since 1982.[v]

John Wikstrom

Founded 20 years ago by John Wikstrom and Stuart Norris, Magic Memories started off taking photos of people riding Queenstown’s gondala in 1995. The business now offers tailored photography packages to the guests of 100-plus tourism attractions throughout Asia, Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand, and is aiming for annual turnover of $250 million by 2020.[vi]

[i] Liesch, P. W., Steen, M., Middleton, S., & Weerawardena, J. (2007). Born to be Global: A closer look at the international venturing of Australian born global firms. Australian Business Foundation. Retrieved from

Chetty, S., & Campbell-Hunt, C. (2004). A Strategic Approach to Internationalization: A Traditional Versus a “Born-Global” Approach. Journal of International Marketing, 12, 57–81.

[ii] Australian Trade and Investment Commission. (2017). Australia’s International Business Survey 2017. Retrieved January 2, 2018, from

[iii] Bloomberg. (2018). Viator, Inc.: Private Company Information -. Retrieved January 3, 2018, from

Chowdhry, A. (2014). Travel Site TripAdvisor To Acquire Viator For Approximately $200M. Forbes. Retrieved from

Demant, J. (2011). Successful Entrepreneur Bypasses College with Viator Founder Rod Cuthbert | LifeAfterCubes. Retrieved January 3, 2018, from

White, K. (2014, July 28). TripAdvisor deal marks long journey to exit for Viator founder Rod Cuthbert. Retrieved January 3, 2018, from

[iv] Corporation, G. R. and D. (n.d.). Australian innovation: new GPS steering system saves time and $$$ [australian innovation: new gps steering system saves time and $$$]. Retrieved January 3, 2018, from

Quick, G. R. (2007). Remarkable Australian Farm Machines. Dural Delivery Centre, N.S.W: Rosenberg Publishing.

Quick, G. R. (2012). Tall but True Tractor Tales by Graeme R. Quick. Rosenberg Publishing.

Rob Mailler | LinkedIn. (n.d.). Retrieved January 3, 2018, from

[v] Cochlear Australia. (2012). Cochlear celebrates 30 years of hearing revolution. Retrieved January 3, 2018, from

Eshraghi, A. A., Nazarian, R., Telischi, F. F., Rajguru, S. M., Truy, E., & Gupta, C. (2012). The cochlear implant: Historical aspects and future prospects. Anatomical Record (Hoboken, N.J. : 2007), 295(11), 1967–1980.

Mudry, A., & Mills, M. (2013). The Early History of the Cochlear Implant: A Retrospective. JAMA Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery, 139(5), 446–453.

[vi] Entrepreneur of the Year: Finding the right gaps to tweak. (2015, July 30). NZ Herald. Retrieved from

Hunter, T. (2015). Queenstown’s Magic Memories scoops international business award | Retrieved January 3, 2018, from

Ryan, H. (2017, May 9). Investment in NZ tech sector triples. NZ Herald. Retrieved from

Steeman, M. (2015). Queenstown entrepreneur makes the cut in national awards. Retrieved January 3, 2018, from

Technology Investment Network, & New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. (n.d.). 2017 Investor’s Guide to the New Zealand Technology Sector. Retrieved January 3, 2018, from

(unsplash-logoKeyur Hardas)

(unsplash-logoKeyur Hardas)

Follow me

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

entreVersity | Design Entrepreneurship

Re-imagining education for entrepreneurs through #DesignEntrepreneurship


Enjoy this blog? Help spread the word :-)

Visit Us
Follow Me
Creative Commons License
Except where otherwise noted, the content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Copyright Howard Frederick articles are all timestamped and protected by Blockchain.