ECAL's Patrick Barrett was both very relieved and excited when his startup was named joint winner at The Big Pitch.
Two-and-a-half years after launching his concept, he's claimed half of the $5 million funding pot. The ECAL founder will also benefit from the one-to-one mentoring of Oxygen Ventures’ Larry Kestelman.
“We can now scale up the business,” Barrett said.
Barrett, 38, first developed the concept for his startup in 2010, launching in January 2012. He describes ECAL as a dynamic calendar-marketing platform that allows publishers to more deeply engage with their customers. At the click of a button users can, for instance, access a football schedule rather than having to manually enter it into their own calendar.
ECAL provides the capability for a publisher to change, edit and update information directly into a consumer’s personal calendar. Users can choose their content, their preferred device and receive all updates directly with no hassle or intrusion.
The startup acts as an agency for the owners of the content, who use its platform to both create the content and engage with their consumers. Their potential is clear, already counting major sports and entertainment organisations in the United States and Europe as clients. They have also signed up just about every major sport in Australia and New Zealand.
Operating with a staff of less than five, but with offices in Melbourne and San Francisco, ECAL is ready to scale to a global level following funding; it already notches up 65 percent of its business in the United States.
Barrett brings the extensive experience of eleven years running his own businesses. He’s just the sort of founder Oxygen Ventures loves. His background includes running a marketing agency specialising in major events, corporate sponsorship and hospitality. He has also been a sports marketing executive for major organisations including the British Horse Racing Board in London.
ECAL’s share in the first prize will be used to drive marketing to help capitalise on this new opportunity and to further develop its product.
“The mentoring will be very valuable particularly with the support of Larry and his expertise in building brands and successful commercial models’’, Barrett said.