Photoblog: The Big Pitch Event
We've collected the best moments from The Big Pitch event in this photoblog. Enjoy!
The event was already buzzing when Larry Kestelman arrived in Uber style with fellow judges Ilya Frolov and Sebastien Maslin-Eckersley. There was time for a brief meet and greet, as well as a few impromptu elevator pitches, before the event kicked off in earnest.
The panel lined up to make a formidable collective. Just a few feet from the on-stage platform where founders would make their case, questions were sure to come thick and fast, promising to pick apart pitches as they got to the bottom of the business.
If the judges weren't enough to unsettle pitchers, a full Deakin Edge sculpted a sharp-edged arena in which battle would unfold. Anyone who could crack this environment could do it anywhere... there's a reason such a venue was chosen.
As an experienced recipient of Oxygen Ventures funding and support, Rakhal Ebeli was the perfect choice to host the evening. He did so with trademark presence, guiding proceedings ably as things heated up for panellists and pitching founders.
Following an accomplished first pitch by Bluesky's David Mah, Kym Huynh took to the stage to showcase his startup, WeTeachMe. After a grilling on retention, Huynh came out on top, escaping the 'dragon's den' unscathed.
With a visceral presentation of his startup's PC, Mac and console game, KartSim, Black Delta's Zach Griffin caught the attention of the audience and judges. Soundbites prove that snappy is smart when you're up against the clock: "If you're fast in real life, you'll be fast at KartSim."
Patrick Barrett, founder of ECAL, took centre stage as he explained his marketing concept with a coolness and clarity which belied the high-pressure environment. The way he soaked up a barrage of tough questions only confirmed – he'd done this before.
Following a "robust" private debate about overall the winner, Larry Kestelman presented the trophy for the publicly voted People's Choice Award. It went to Black Delta and their exciting go kart simulation game, KartSim. Zach Griffin took home a collection of sponsor prizes.
After a night filled with quality pitches and tough questions, ECAL and WeTeachMe came out on top. They signed pre-term sheets with Oxygen Ventures' Larry Kestelman and Investment Director Ilya Frolov – ECAL taking $2.5 million and WeTeachMe securing $2 million funding.
It was all smiles, even after the heated debate over the winner, as the judges gathered for a press-pleasing picture after the event had reached its dramatic conclusion. With Larry Kestelman keen on making it an annual affair, we'll see you next time!