Bringing together 23 entrepreneurs and 23 industry leaders the event, organised by SlatteryIT, provides an opportunity for fledgling businesses to pitch their business ideas and network with potential investors and mentors. The top prize – which will be announced later today – is a $40,000 Innovation Excellence Award from the NSW Government.
A further three $20,000 awards from the Government are also on offer along with other prizes including a trip to Silicon Valley, sponsored by ATP Innovations; a PR campaign from Click PR; six months’ free office space in iLab’s Queensland incubator; and a half day meeting with tech pioneer Gordon Bell.
A further 23 start-up businesses also showcased their products and services at the event, although were not invited to make formal presentations.
Among the products selected to present at Tech 23 was Smart Sparrow, which sells an e-learning platform, mainly targeted at universities to underpin online learning initiatives which is already making headway in Australia and overseas.
The company was spun out of the University of NSW in 2011 and had its public launch in mid 2012. Smart Sparrow has already secured a $3.3 million NBN related grant to develop and operate the Biomedical Education Skills and Training network.
A totally different tack is being taken by StreetHawk, which is using GPS, smartphones and big data to attempt to drive up traffic for retail stores, and Adbiddr, which uses webcams to “see” who is walking past digital signage and then uses that information to serve up appropriate content.
StreetHawk CEO Natasha Rawlings said that “Retail was on the brink of total disruption” courtesy of the internet and mobility. StreetHawk works with retailers to encourage them to develop apps which customers can download, once a customer is within 500 metres of the retailer’s premises, they can be sent offers, and once the customer actually enters the store the store’s point of sales terminals are updated with that information.
Lessons from the veterans? read on