On October 7 2015, startups from ilab’s Germinate 7 accelerator program pitched their businesses to a full house of investors, business professionals and entrepreneurs at Customs House, Brisbane.
Opening the night was the Hon Chris Whiting MP who congratulated the ilab startups and highlighted the key role that startups have as part of the government’s new $180m Advance Queensland policy. There has never been a better time to be a startup in Queensland.
The Germinate 7 crew were a diverse cohort with business covering Fintech, Internet of Things, Training, Genomics, Shedtech and Dronetech.
Shed Project, a startup from Toowoomba, was the first team to kick off the pitching with a novel idea aimed at disrupting the 1$B Australian shed industry. CEO David Masefield and co-founder Joy Taylor are players in the creation of Toowoomba’s startup scene. Masefield boarding a plane, the next day to accept an invitation from Techstars to share his personal Startup Weekend experiences in Madrid. Buen viaje Dave.
MOVUS pitched their IoT Fitbit for Machines platform targeting the industrial and construction machinery industry. Movus were hit by some very specific and challenging questions from the crowd but knocked them out of the park with a demonstration of their deep industry knowledge.
MOVUS CEO Brad Parsons reflected afterwards: “As a Germinate 7 Founder I was nervous and excited to be presenting to an audience of 100 however this is all part of the growth that entrepreneurs experience. Pitch night is the graduation of the Germinate teams and a fabulous night overall.”
The last team before the break was Skyborne Technologies; a company with a very cool name and an even cooler product – tilt rotor drones. Skyborne’s pitch by UQ graduate Tom Cran solicited social media requests for a demonstration but unfortunately due to the enclosed space and CASA regulations, the demonstration was not possible…
Since its Germinate program relaunch in 2012, ilab has grown to become one of the most experienced accelerator/ incubator programs in Australia, celebrating its 100th participant, Redback Technologies, who gave a presentation on their disruptive solar energy storage businesses.
Eban Escott, CEO of long term ilab resident Working Mouse, delivered a humour-filled account of his ilab experiences where he has grown his startup to 17 employees. He was hustling for a startup ute to help him move to his new premises.
Returning to the Germinate pitches, SMSFCheck, an investment audit service for growing Self-Managed Super Funds, kicked started the pitching again after the guest presenters. GenomicOS, Atlassian for GenomicOS and personalised medicine, followed with some an intriguing technology that allows scientists to process data faster and cheaper using cloud processing. Closing the pitching for the evening was Carol Hautot, CEO of Dynamic Conversations, a startup from Cairns looking to overhaul the SME training space.
Following the pitching event, Jeremy Colless, partner Artesian Capital, provided great insight into the changing landscape of the capital raising environment in Australia.
Mike Avey, CEO of Brisbane Angels gave a great wrap for the evening: “These events are critical to the development and growth of our state and nation. The innovators have always been with us, and are indomitable, but they often need support and guidance as well as funding.”
The event was concluded with the 90+ guests enjoying a fantastic networking event, delicious canapés and exchanging ideas.
The six teams that have pitched have completed the Germinate 7 program, validated their customer segments, developed compelling value propositions, built strong networks, created prototypes and built early customer traction.
Even though another successful Germinate program has just concluded, the ilab team is already hard at work having just opened applications for the Germinate 8 program.
Applications for Germinate 8 are open now and close midnight 31 October. Apply here