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La Trobe Business School

Month: August 2018

LBS Three Minute Thesis Competition

Piyumini (Piu) Wijenayake won this year´s LBS Three Minute Thesis Competition and Madhura Jayaratne was runner up. Congratulations to both! They will be representing the La Trobe Business School during the 3MT ASSC College finals on the 20th of August. If they make it through, they will represent the ASSC College during the university final on the 30th of August. Ultimately, the winner of the university’s final will be representing the La Trobe University during the Asia-Pacific final at the University of Queensland on the 27th of September.

What is 3MT?

The Three Minute Thesis competition (or 3MT), is an annual international competition where PhD candidates explain their research topic to a non-specialist audience in just three minutes.

There are strict rules:

  • A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted. No slide transitions, animations or ‘movement’ of any description are allowed. The slide is to be presented from the beginning of the oration.
  • No additional electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) are permitted.
  • No additional props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment) are permitted.
  • Presentations are limited to 3 minutes maximum and competitors exceeding 3 minutes are disqualified.
  • Presentations are to be spoken word (e.g. no poems, raps or songs).
  • Presentations are to commence from the stage.
  • Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through either movement or speech.
  • The decision of the adjudicating panel is final.

Why do it?

Besides the ability to win prize money (EVERY round), graduate researchers develop presentation, research and academic communication skills. Participating in the 3MT also helps the development of candidates’ capacity to explain their work effectively.

The LBS 3MT presentations

This year, three LBS graduate researchers entered the LBS Three Minute Thesis Competition. Chi Kwan Ng presented on, “The influence of others on personal adoption of carbon reduction behaviours” and Madhura Jayaratne´s presentation was titled, “Big data fusion. Artificial Intelligence to improve our future”. Piu Wijenayake won this year’s LBS 3MT with her presentation, “How about an Artificial Hug?”. Her thesis is about how artificial intelligence & social media can help create more caring organisations. Once again congratulations!

Piu Wijenayake
Madhura Jayaratne
Chi Kwan Ng

Where and when to support our LBS graduate researchers?

  • ASSC College finals: 20 August, 10.15am, JSMH Chamber: RSVP here
  • University 3MT final: 30 August 2018, 2:15 pm, JSMH Chamber: RSVP here


The “Aldi way”

LBS researcher Dr Angela McCabe and Dr Tom Osegowitsch (University of Melbourne), wrote an article for The Conversation on the secret to Aldi’s success.

Aldi’s strategy

An important element of Aldi’s strategy is a severely limited range of “preselected” products, overwhelmingly private brands. The company’s smaller range (some 1,500 store-keeping units as opposed to 20,000 to 30,000 in a large Coles or Woolworths outlet) has several advantages – in terms of store footprints, warehousing infrastructure and supplier discounts, to name a few.

Strategy has limits

In embracing the “Aldi way”, the company has made hard strategic choices. But it’s turning away shoppers who value things other than what’s on offer at Aldi – larger choice, established brands, more service, plusher stores, in-store bakeries and delis or expanded fresh food sections. As a result, Aldi’s growth in Australia is going to reach its limits.

Read the full article here:

The secret to Aldi’s success is choosing what not to do


Angela McCabe is a Lecturer in the Department of Management, Sport and Tourism at La Trobe University. Angela McCabe’s research focuses on the mechanism of knowledge transfer and knowledge co-production in cross-sector collaboration. Her work has contributed to understanding the way in which behavioural and institutional dynamics affect teamwork and the production and dissemination of knowledge within university-industry-government networks.

LBS Innovation Series: The critical factors that determine why start-ups succeed (and fail)

Why do 9 out of 10 start-ups fail? A question of interest to Christine Christian; Chairman of Kirwood Capital, Director of FlexiGroup Limited, Victorian Managed Insurance Authority, ME Bank and Lonsec Fiscal Group, Deputy President and Board Member at State Library of Victoria and Co-Founder of New-York based Powerlinx Inc.

What drives success in start-ups?

In her presentation, Christine draws on her vast corporate and philanthropic background to explore what have been the success factors for new start-ups from her experience. Christine discusses key elements such as the skills you must develop to succeed, the importance of timing, the strength of an idea, funding for success and the execution for start-ups. Christine presents from her perspective as a co-investor in start-ups over the last 5 years where she has made 11 start-up investments.

Why do so many start-ups fail?

Together with some co-investors, Christine commissioned research using Dunn and Bradstreet data to conduct regression analysis of what drives success in start-ups. What is the biggest predictor of likely success among the common elements? E.g. strength of idea, timing, leadership, strength of the team, amount of working capital, execution, marketing etc.

Timing, timing, timing

Her answer may surprise you. Christine presents statistical evidence that timing is the biggest predictor of start-up success, although all the elements remain important. That is, to attract investors, start-ups need to bring something different to a market at a moment in time that is attractive and accessible to consumers and can be enabled by smart technology.


Watch Christine’s presentation below:


This blog is part of the LBS Innovation Series, developed by Dr Mark Cloney, Professor of Practice in Economics in the La Trobe Business School. The series was developed after the successful National Innovation Forum organised by La Trobe Business School, NORTH Link and Deloitte Consulting P/L.

More blogs in the LBS Innovation Series:

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