It’s only the second week of July, but it feels like I have lived a month and a half since the start of July. But it’s been good, and one of the great things that have happened recently was that Josari was one of seven finalists for the IPIEC GLOBAL 2019 pitch competition.
Paul did a great job of presenting. Even though we weren’t the among the two finalists who will get to go on to China, this was great exposure and an excellent networking opportunity. The winners were ClearSKY Genomics and Sticky Cell. Both are healthcare startups tackling important issues are the patient outcome. So there is no shame to losing to them. I missed the Sticky Cell pitch, along with that of Puml, because I was a bit late to arrive. But I did get to hear ClearSKY Genomics pitch and realised this was my second encounter with them. ClearSKY Genomics was at the Launch Festival!
I walked in while Watch Your Talk was pitching, and yes, I was careful coming in, but I think I might have messed up Hallie Wang from ACIC’s social media captures! Watch Your Talk also presented at Startcon last year, and they were one of the semi-finalists. At the time I wrote, “The pitch was good, but I am very sceptical of the idea. The startup wants to build an app that monitors speech to detect signs of depression. The founder assured the audience the app was based on sound science. But I would need to see the research behind it to be convinced.” They seem to have the app now and are doing closed beta testing. Being a five-minute pitch, as opposed to the two-minute Startcon pitch, they could share more details. So I was more convinced about the technology but not the business model. But let’s see how they develop!
The second pitch I got to hear was for Brekkie from iNovoTech. It’s a breakfast machine for the elderly, and other mobility challenged individuals. During the pitch I kept thinking “vaporware” during the presentation. I mean, during the questions from the judges it became clear that they don’t have a working machine. They have a 3D printed something, but I wasn’t sure what. But they are confident they can build a machine after raising some money. I think they need to work on their pitch and be more clear about where they are in the development process. Because right now, there is an element of smoke and mirrors in their pitch that doesn’t sit right with me.
Next up was Josari. So I got to see my name up on the big screen! It’s nice to consistently see myself as part of teams of Abide, Josari and included in my clients’ websites as part of their team. Given that this time last year, I was mostly an observer. Seeing my name up there as part of teams certainly makes me feel like I have come along with Start with Tinni!
Next was ClearSky Genomics, who are trying to build an interface that makes gene sequencing information easy to understand. Therefore, make it a regular part of the diagnostic process. I like the idea, and I hope it takes off! Given that IPIEC Global was all about pitching to China, it made sense that ClearSky was chosen was one of the two finalists. ClearSky Genomics is undoubtedly a solid technology that can make a huge difference if it can be appropriately commercialised.
Finally, we come to my favourite pitch, part from Josari of course, Perkii Probiotics! Why was Perkii my favourite? They gave us drinks! It’s always nice to have a startup, although Perkii is very much a scale-up, that can put a product in your hand. The drink was very nice, and I will be buying more. I don’t know if I believe the health claims of probiotics. Still, I am trying to reduce my Coca Cola consumption. So if drinking more Perkii means I drink less Coca Cola, that alone will lead to an improvement in my health regardless of whether probiotics actually do anything.
The final thing I wanted to mention was that UQ was very heavily represented at the event. Puml is in HYPE UQ SPIN Global Sportstech Accelerator. The research backing Perkii came through UQ. ClearSky Genomics is also affiliated with UQ. Sticky Cells too seems to have come out of research done at UQ. So that was an interesting observation. Overall, solid pitches and a great event!