Another crazy/great week! Matt and Alan flew back to Australia from 500Startups in Mountain View, Alan heading home to Melbourne and Matt staying in Sydney to represent us as one of 23 startups pitching competitively at Tech23. Vincent followed along online while he banged out more third-party integration code, while I sat in the audience so Matt had a friendly face to look at when he presented. Turns out that the audience was full of friendly faces, and he didn't need me there, because Matt's five minute pitch on BugHerd was won the People's Choice for Best Presentation, and also won the Most Promising Emerging Tech Award from event supporter AMP.
Matt "Pitchmaster" Milosavljevic on the panel and in his pitch
Why are we doing all this pitching? Well, we came out of the day's networking with a few really solid new leads for that $500K funding round we're hoping to close soon, in order to hire our fourth full-time BugHerder (who'll be helping us with "the Youse" UI and UX) and also to begin some actual marketing (not the mere occasional blog post and tweet you see from us so far).
Our cool little tool
It was great to get our little issue-tracking tool selected as one of the twenty-three Tech23 entrants, much less win some prizes in such a strong field. I mean, for crying out loud Kaggle crowd-sources predictive algorithms that model climate change and the progression of HIV in a population and gives away millions of dollars in prizes. Wow, you know? Wow.
Mind you, we think BugHerd's cool too, and it was great to have that belief validated by the Tech23 audience, all of whom are familiar with the challenges of team communication when building new web products. We got cheers from the audience when Matt demoed how quick it was to log an issue and send it to a team member, and in the breaks Matt and I were three-deep in people wanting to talk about the product and how they might use it themselves. The Twitter love-fest featured in Matt's presentation is also still going strong on Twitter.
Tech23 is in its third year, a one-day pitchfest for Aussie technology talent that is part showcase, part community get-together and part serious fund-raising. Each year it's matured and taken things to another level, and this year's Tech23 was remarkable for the quality of the startups on show and the quality of the investment discussions between startups and potential investors.
Whereas in 2009 the mood was "let's exchange business cards, and maybe when you have a million paying customers we could talk about getting you back in to pitch to us", in 2011 the hallways, staircases and nearby coffee shops were full of elevator pitches being given serious attention and genuine discussion aimed at signing a term sheet as soon as possible.
Rachel Slattery and the team at SlatteryIT are now seeing the fruits of their investment in the past three years of Tech23. I wouldn't be surprised if next year ticket prices went up, a ballot for tickets was introduced, or if the event changed to a larger venue that would allow for multiple stages and industry streams. As a presenting startup the event couldn't have been better organised SlatteryIT team member Rene Testro was meticulous, helpful and had us all prepped to go weeks in advance.
Congratulations Rachel, Tech23 seems to be the premiere tech funding event in the Australian calendar, and you've earned it.
I've listed all the Tech23 startups below.
Agworld » agworld.com.au
buildAR » buildar.com
Centryc Solutions » centrycsolutions.com.au
Cinergix » http://www.cinergix.com/
Effective Measure International » effectivemeasure.com
Filter Squad » filtersquad.com
Friendorse » friendorse.com
goCatch » gocatchapp.com
Hyperlocalizer » hyperlocalizer.com
iAsset » iasset.com
InterfereX » interferex.com
Kaggle » kaggle.com
Momentum Cloud Technologies » momentumcloud.com.au
Navisens » navisens.com
Orion Virtualisation Solutions » orionvm.com.au
Roamz » roamz.com
Specialist Link » specialistlink.com.au
StageBitz » stagebitz.com
The Early Warning Network » ewn.com.au
Thereitis.com » thereitis.com
vtalk Holdings » vtalk.com
ZeroMail » zeromail.com