Thursday, October 13, 2011

TiEcon Sydney - Pitch Event

The TiEcon Pitching contest was a fast-paced event with over 15 contestants vying for the chance to pitch to Sydney Angels to win funding for their endeavour.

The event was MC'ed by talented young industrial designer and winner last year's TiEcon Pitching event, Eric Chau. Judging was conducted by an impressive panel featuring Dilip Rao, President & Director of Mentoring at TiE Sydney, Mathias Kopp, Co-Founder of Sydney Angels and Simon Raik-Allen CTO at MYOB.

Due to the overwhelming number of entrants, the planned 2-minute question time following the pitch had to be cut out. Additionally, pitchers were not allowed to read from notes, nor were they allowed any presentation materials. Death by Powerpoint avoided!

There was a really interesting array of pitches including Waterline Foundation (nationwide fitness charity event), Shop2 (social recommendation engine for clothes), CEO hire business,  3d games animation company, Teebii (textbook rentals) and Locongo (community marketplace where people can buy and sell local experiences).

The event attracted entrants from a range of backgrounds, ages and industries. It was interesting to see the energy and passion in these entrepreneurs and how they responded to questions from a discerning panel of judges. The fact that they only had three minutes challenged contestants to be concise and connect with the audience quickly. After 15 rapid-fire pitches, the judges were sent out to deliberate while the audience voted for the people’s choice winner.

Entrants were judged on clarity, the size of the problem, the compelling nature of the pitch and the judge’s belief in the team. Before the winners were announced, the judges gave their thoughts on the pitches and how they chose the winners.

Mathias Kopp from Sydney Angels mentioned that angel investors not only back the idea but the person and team behind the idea. They were looking for a start-up with high growth potential and a strong team.  Similarly, Simon Raik-Allen said that investors don’t just invest in the business, they invest in the person. As such he was looking for passion and drive along with business viability.

The winner of the people’s choice award were UNSW students Zhiyi Tan and Eric Hercog from, student textbook rentals. They also went on to win second prize, two hours of Mentoring by Bill Bartee of Southern Cross Venture Partners.

As for first place, the judges said that the winner had spotted a significant and easily understandable problem, and announced that first prize went to Kevin Truong, also a UNSW student, from Locongo. Locongo is a website where real people can offer local experiences direct to travellers and other locals.

Kevin stated “This is a great way to bring authentic experiences to the masses and is going to solve the problem of what to do when you arrive in a new city and how to truly engage with the local culture.”  Kevin now has just over a month to prepare a pitch to Sydney Angels for funding.  Kevin is also looking for anyone that could provide experiences that others enjoy, anything from small bar crawls to lessons in for just about anything. Check out for more information.

We are pleased to confirm Ernst & Young and RosesOnly as sponsors of the CIE. We would like to thank the Farrell Family Foundation and Gary Zamel for their generous donations. We also acknowlege the continuing support of the Australian School of Business. All of our sponsors help provide the means to host networking events, award prizes, and reimburse our suppliers and service providers. In exchange, these donors receive good karma and public recognition as supporters of innovation and entrepreneurship. To become a sponsor of CIE and support our community engagement activity, please contact us at

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