One of Brisbane's biggest and best startup events took place last week and it was a huge success. On the face of it, the investor pitch night might be confused for a standard pitch night - you have an idea, you pitch it to some business savvy experts and they provide criticism. However this wasn't like every other pitch night. At the investor pitch night, startups were king.
Investors took turns pitching to startups, telling Queensland's best and brightest startups why they should be seeking investment from their VC funds. Our very own Eban Escott was invited to form part of the menacing panel of judges along with Danielle Lewis (Scrunch), Elliot Smith (Maxwell MRI), Jack Nolan (Popgun labs) and Sharon Honeybell (Opmantek).
On arrival you could be forgiven for thinking you were entering a sold out concert. The Triffid was packed with young entrepreneurs and there was a certain electricity in the air. Over 800 people at a Brisbane startup event is unprecedented! That's evidence of the fantastic job Mark Sowerby and his team did organising and promoting the event. It's also an insight into the startup culture in Brisbane.
After Joel Turner (yes, Joel Turner from Australian Idol) opened the night with some light beatboxing it was time for the hunters to become the hunted. Tamara Loehr from PieLAB talked about the importance of having the right people lending their expertise at the right time. She also discussed how PieLAB uses sweat equity in conjunction with regular equity to grow a business. Our friends at Brisbane Angels outlined how angel investors choose which startups to invest in. Everyone's favourite shark, Steve Baxter also presented and emphasised that traction trumps opinion when it comes to growth. But the winning pitch belonged to Elaine Stead (Blue Sky Investments). Her awesome mix of Game of Thrones references and investment strategy was enough to secure her place on the iron throne.
While the cashed up VC's were busy wooing startups, we put a challenge out to our twitter followers. We asked for your app idea, pitched 140 characters or less. @Scottish_Claire tweeted â€˜simplifying the childcare search experience. Matching families with childcare in your community.' @Obligo_co pitched an app that keeps track of buying rounds of drinks with your mates at the pub. That'll definitely catch out any Lannister's that don't pay their debts.
Codebots was an official sponsor of the evening and we're happy to be a part of such a successful event. If you want to check out event highlights, search #IPN17