Eight regional entrepreneurs pitched their innovative ideas to a full house of investors, industry leaders and business people at The Lock Up this month as part of the Business Centre’s Start House 100 Incubator Program.
After working their way through the 12-week program, these eight start-ups presented their best cases to an impressive guest list from Hunter Valley and Sydney. The well attended event is testament to the growing interest of regional startups from big players in Sydney and beyond.
Pierre Malou, CEO of the Business Centre, said our region is making marks across the state and we are seeing exciting developments from the broader region working collectively to bring opportunities to regional cities like Newcastle.
“We are seeing these startups graduate through the program and break into networks and access opportunities that they would not have otherwise,” Pierre said.
“The calibre of the pitches presented last night was outstanding and is greatly due to our Start House Manager, Gordon Whitehead’s guidance through the program.
“It is a promising future for these innovators and this is just the start of their business journey.
“We are so pleased to be part of the innovation corridor and to grow and nurture these startups on their way to global growth.”
The event was sponsored by The Garis Group, whose contribution supports the next generation of regional innovators, seeking to give back to the business community that has given the group so much over many years of operating.
Senior Consulting Accountant and Founder of The Garis Group, Jim Garis said the group was excited to be part of the Pitch Night and to see the up and coming entrepreneurs of the region put their best foot forward.
“We were so thrilled to be a sponsor of this event. The quality of the pitches on the night was amazing and just goes to show the depth of entrepreneurial potential that exists in the Hunter region. We look forward to continue working with the Business Centre to build opportunities for emerging talent in the region,” Jim said.
Prizes on the night were awarded by the panel of judges to Cube Performance for Excellence in Pitch Presentation, ChezLeon for Excellence in Innovative Concept and Medconnex for Excellence in Global Scalability.
Matthew Jones of Cube Performance described his business intelligence software platform, The Cube, as a way for businesses to make educated decisions regarding all manner of forecasting and reporting that is not available in a similar platform at this point in time.
ChezLeon is the brainchild of CEO and inventor, Cheryl Pollock, who developed a way to treat lymphedema after being diagnosed with cancer and suffering from this debilitating and painful condition herself. Lymphedema is the blockage of lymph vessels which can lead to excessive fluid retention often encountered after cancer treatment.
ChezLeon’s passive massage wear allows the limbs to be constantly massaged to encourage the flow of fluid. With patents pending in hundreds of countries around the world and already granted in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, Chezleon will be a godsend for the 45 million people suffering from lymphedema across the world.
Lewis Quill, CEO and one of the Founders of Obelisk Systems, made an impressive pitch on behalf of his company, which has designed an extensive programme of STEM (Science Technology Mathematics and Engineering) robotics and resources to ensure this crucial subject, which is being introduced into schools across the country and world, is able to be easily incorporate by already time-strapped teachers.
Medconnex’s Founder, Scott Cunningham describes his startup as the Trivago of medical supplies, describing how the web platform will remove a layer of cost (to the wholesaler) and spoke of the opportunity to tap into the $129 billion worldwide medical supply market.
Accessibility in the City Founder, Chad Ramage knows first-hand the difficulty of accessibility for people with a disability.
He has taken this challenge and turned it into an app with huge potential not only for profit, but also to improve the lives of those who find accessibility difficult.
Accessibility in The City will provide accessibility information in an electronic format. Chadis expecting all manner of public venues to participate, from stadiums, to cafes, educational facilities and councils wanting to be part of this venture.
Kerrie Dudley pitched her startup, Dr Cred, a cloud platform which provides a credential service to time poor doctors. Dr Cred has the potential to expand into many other professional fields, therefore, expanding its already extensive market further.
Elite Robotics is a Newcastle startup using the latest vehicle control technology to develop the next generation of autonomous lawn mowing robots. Using advanced techniques, their autonomous system will be able to detect, track and avoid obstacles whilst obtaining the most efficient path possible. Their innovation goals, however, do not stop there. They are looking to implement their technology into a wide range of commercial and consumer level products as they push to innovate within the automation industry.
The last pitch for the night was Uokoo. Uukoo is a social network platform for people living with dementia. The platform was designed based on international standards of Person Centred Care. Uuokoo allows family members and carers to access and share music, videos, photos and narratives to aid in the quality of life of the person living with dementia.
Start House 100 is a dedicated business incubator and accelerator program aimed to help high value businesses to startup and maximise their potential.
The program aims to see 100 businesses succeed over the next five years. It also has a target of seeing 50 women founders graduate from the program, and the creation of 500 high value jobs in the region.