INCUBATE startups impress at Demo Day
INCUBATE has once again shown the diversity of talent on offer at this week’s Demo Day, the ‘shark tank’ style night, where budding entrepreneurs pitch their startups to investors, industry heavyweights and other entrepreneurs.
This is INCUBATE’s sixth intake with eight startups offering a diverse range of ideas. Competition was fierce on the night with presentations ranging from easy payment services to hiring services to a social news organisation and were pitched to an all-female panel of experienced industry professionals, including Heads over Heels CEO Natasha Rawlings and ATP Innovations CEO Petra Andren.
INCUBATE, the University of Sydney Union’s award winning startup accelerator program, aims to foster a proactive entrepreneurial community within the university space. Backed by tech giant Lenovo, INCUBATE is leading the way in helping university students, with an average age of 22, turn their idea into reality.
Through financial support, mentoring, networking and advice, entrepreneurs are able to build their startup to be the best it can be, with 14 weeks of training, workshops and advice, culminating in the final pitch at Demo Day.
Many of the innovative ideas presented showed creativity, social cause and pragmatism, with first year University of Sydney student Giorgio Doueihi creating a practical solution for the real life problem of managing school assessments and timetabling. Giorgio co-founded his startup, Fluid Education, in high school after failing to find an easy way for schools, students and parents to communicate necessary information. Along with co-founder Declan Scott, they created a mobile app that provides schools and high school students with easily accessible and relevant information, management and communication. Fluid Education took home the Lenovo Choice Award, winning over $10,000 in technology from Lenovo.
Startups like Tuckerbox try and create solutions to real life societal problems, providing a quick fix for food wastage by offering a straightforward process for restaurants and cafes to sell their food cheaply at the end of the day using a mobile app. Rather than the food go to waste, it can easily be sold through the app to local consumers and food lovers. Startups have already achieved significant success – the Forever Network utilises the social media community to produce and deliver online content, with their first news site Basketball Forever boasting an impressive 740,000 Facebook fans, and Tzukuri, a startup providing trackable sunglasses from class 3 has raised over $1million from leading US and Australian investors.
Lenovo Managing Director Matt Codrington emphasises the importance of student innovation, from startups like Fluid Education: “we know our future will be built by the highly creative and capable minds that are continuously pushing the limits of what can be done while they’re still at university… INCUBATE is something we feel is critical to encourage those with big ideas to come forward and develop them.”
INCUBATE co-founder James Alexander stressed the importance of students applying for startup accelerators, encouraging all students with the spark of an idea to apply, particularly for the sense of excitement and willingness to take risks so prevalent in the student community.
INCUBATE are hiring their next intake of startups. You could be pitching at the next Demo Day – find out more and apply now.