Xavier Juillard, North Sydney Innovation Network

Xavier Juillard is a University of Technology, Sydney student about to finish his Bachelor of Business with majors in marketing and management. Beside his work at IGA and his internship at North Sydney Innovation Network, Xavier is a keen triathlete currently training for his first Ironman that will take place in Port Macquarie in 2019. (On Twitter: @XavierJuillard)

Pitching for business progress

The North Sydney Innovation Network hosted a Life’s a Pitch event on the 16th of April at the Griffith Hack boardroom in North Sydney. (Sign up and check out all our events on out Meetup page.)

This event allowed startup owners and others to first receive coaching from an experienced pitcher, in this case Matt Joyand then have the opportunity to present their business to a real (and supportive crowd).

The pitches were assessed by three judges that later asked questions about their businesses. Our awesome judges this time around were: Allan Aaron, Commercialisation Advisor at Australian Government Department of Industry and Science; Megan Flamer, Program Director at BlueChilli Group; and Tim Staley, Principal and Patent Attorney, Griffith Hack. Coach Matt also provided feedback on the way that the entrepreneurs presented.

Round up of the 7 businesses

Paul Axisa was our first pitcher of the night presenting Virtual Sally, an artificially intelligent listening device. This tool can be used during meetings to analyse the conversations and instantly respond with meeting minutes.

Mickey Lynch then presented Simple Space, a SaaS office space management solution that allows companies with extensive amounts of floor space to visualise, manage and optimise office space allocation and utilisation to achieve a better occupancy rate and reduce rental cost.

Annette McClelland & Michael Griffin were the most tech-oriented pitchers of the night with Tekuma. They presented us with a drone controller that allows the user to much more easily direct not only the drone but also its camera. They also mentioned the fact that such technology could be used in the future to have better control over automated industrial equipment.

Annette and Michael also provided insightful feedback on the event: We really enjoyed this event, it was great to see the breadth of problems the companies are working on and hear them pitch with passion in North Sydney.

“We were glad to receive immediate feedback and network with all the attendees during the event. Most of all, we loved that people took the time to play with our controller & drone after the pitches; it’s always worthwhile getting more user feedback,” they said.

Francisco Fleming presented us mPhyt, a digital concierge and wellbeing platform that empowers older adults to age active and healthy.

Siobhan Hayes pitched the app EasyShare. This app reduces the hassle of collecting money to pay the rent in a collocation. It collects the money and pay the rent on behalf of the residents and allow each roommate to see who has or hasn’t paid its share.

Lloyd Perry was our second last pitcher of the night with Sellcrowd, a marketspace for hiring top sales talent by-the-hour. The app also allows salespeople to work remotely and earn money in their spare time with just their voice.

Bruce Straw was the last but not least pitcher with Waste Product. Bruce has presented a filtration system that uses plants. This installation could be used at water treatment facilities and would decrease the amount of energy needed to clean the water. Bruce later commented that it “was great to meet such awesome people and products” on the night. Thanks Bruce, great to have you!

Feedback from the judges

The judges were positively impressed with not only by the quality of the pitches but also with the ideas that the pitchers came up with. They commented on the quality of the content presented and the progress that some of the startups had already made.

The judges also emphasised the importance of having an extensive knowledge of the potential competitors within the market that would allow them to create an accurate SWOT analysis. This is valuable advice for anyone in a startup or considering starting a business.

Another comment made by the judges was about the importance of having adequate IP protection early in the creation of the business. This can be tricky to navigate so learning about IP basics is a good start and there are quite a few IP experts in the NSIN Facebook group (so feel free to ask a question there).

Congratulations to EasyShare and Tekuma

The winner of the night was Siobhan Hayes with EasyShare and the runner up was the Tekuma team. As well as being able to take away the accolades, Siobhan also won a strategy session with pitch mentor Matt Joy. And both the winner and runners-up also went home with a free massage with Eric Vigo from Massage for Health Professional Australia.

If you’re interested in pitching, register to attend on Meetup and read more on our blog about our tips for participating.