Photoblog: The Big Pitch Event

We've collected the best moments from The Big Pitch event in this photoblog. Enjoy!
 

Larry gets conversant with attendees as the night begins in Fed Square.

Larry gets conversant with attendees as the night begins in Fed Square.

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 was a daunting prospect, featuring Melbourne's enterprise elite and a lot of business savvy.

The panel was a daunting prospect, featuring Melbourne's enterprise elite and a lot of business savvy.

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.

 

A packed Deakin Edge provided the backdrop to The Big Pitch.

A packed Deakin Edge provided the backdrop to The Big Pitch.

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.

 

Newsmodo founder, Rakhal Ebeli, hosted the evening with finesse.

Newsmodo founder, Rakhal Ebeli, hosted the evening with finesse.

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.

 

WeTeachMe founder Kym Huynh took to the stage to proclaim the virtues of his startup.

WeTeachMe founder Kym Huynh took to the stage to proclaim the virtues of his startup.

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.

 

Black Delta's founder Zach Griffin takes pole position ahead of a pitch by Etasker's David Chung.

Black Delta's founder Zach Griffin takes pole position ahead of a pitch by Etasker's David Chung.

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."

 

ECAL's Patrick Barrett in front of the ever-attentive judging panel.

ECAL's Patrick Barrett in front of the ever-attentive judging panel.

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.

 

Zach Griffin accepts the People's Choice Award from Oxygen Ventures' Larry Kestelman.

Zach Griffin accepts the People's Choice Award from Oxygen Ventures' Larry Kestelman.

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.

 

They couldn't be split: Dual winners ECAL and WeTeachMe founded by Patrick Barrett and Kym Huyhn respectively.

They couldn't be split: Dual winners ECAL and WeTeachMe founded by Patrick Barrett and Kym Huyhn respectively.

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.

 

The cream of the crop: Melbourne's enterprise elite gather at The Big Pitch

The cream of the crop: Melbourne's enterprise elite gather at The Big Pitch

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!