To recognise the success and growth of Australian startups in 2010, and bring awareness to Australian innovation, entrepreneurship and the quickly emerging Australian startup sector, iPitch.com.au held the inaugural iPitch i10 Awards. We’re awarding 10 high potential and innovative startups out of the nearly 450 Australian startups in the iPitch community.
The iPitch startups are geographically spread across all states of Australia, ranging from seed stage to expansion and later stage, and across industries such as Internet & Web 2.0, Software & SAAS, Education, Green & Clean Tech, Mobile Services, Online Retail, Lifestyle, Travel and others.
The judging panel was Alex Sparkes, David Kowalski and Gareth Rose with entry closing 17th December, 2010.
The variety of innovative ideas and business models was incredible. Reading through so many different problems and solutions, technologies, market gaps and 2010 achievements was very encouraging to the health and growing potential of the Australian startup sector. In the end there were several startups on our final shortlist (we’ll be keeping a close eye on) that appear to have very high potential but were a little too early stage to make our top 10.
A special thankyou to the iPitch i10 Awards sponsors: Your Empire - Accounting & Bookkeeping, Shelston IP – Legal & Intellectual Property, Servcorp – Office and Virtual Services, StartUP Marketing, The Good Juice – Digital Marketing, Creatio – Web Design and Development, and Green Lane Digital – Angel Investment and Startup Incubator.
The 10 winners for 2010 are:
Chorus uses new processes for analysing customer sentiment to tell a company exactly how their customers currently feel. Only launched at the start of October, the company has already released version 2 of its cloud based product, recently signed up its first customer paying a monthly subscription, and been accepted into Startmate 2011. This might be our wildcard, but with a quality offering, significant achievements since launch and strong upcoming mentorship, Chorus is one to keep an eye on.
With the explosion in daily deals and group buying sites in Australia over the last few months, keeping track of the 20 odd sites and all the deals is time consuming. Seeing a clear opportunity, AllTheDeals was the first aggregator to launch in Australia. Since then there are other aggregators, but with a solid offering of deals, categories and ways of viewing the deals including a website, deal slideshow, iphone app, RSS feeds and email alerts, and solid growth over its 6 month life, AllTheDeals looks to have a solid future. Still with such a competitive and quickly changing industry it’s too early to say where this one will go.
Big Richard is a designer brand of condoms and underwear. The business was incorporated at the start of 2010, and since then they’ve designed and manufactured their condoms, launched online actively selling at www.bigrichard.com.au and are now in discussions with major retailers to stock the brand. With significant buzz around their marketing activity, online videos, condom courier and unique ideas targeting the youth market, Big Richard might well become an iconic global brand.
Creately is an intelligent diagramming and design platform based in the cloud. With Creately people are able to collaborate on their software designs, process maps, flowcharts, organisation charts, logic diagrams etc. At the start of 2010, Creately were in their revenue infancy and definitely in a pre-growth stage. During the year, they’ve grown their revenue each month, set up strategic partnerships and are poised to release new products and enter the desktop market. With plans to raise capital and continue their expansion, Creately are now certainly in their growth stage.
igrain.com.au is an online market for buying and selling grain. Launched in November 2009, at the start of 2010 the business was still proving itself as a viable means. Throughout 2010, igrain.com.au has steadily gained traction, proved itself to be a viable place for to buy and sell grain and grown its user base by 20% month on month. It now has over 1,000 users and 5 staff and sold over 50,000 mts of grain through the website. With a proven business model, igrain.com.au has significant growth potential.
mHITs allow payments using a mobile phone by SMS. Founded in 2004, the company was restructured and the service relaunched in 2007. Since then they’ve grown revenues at >200% p.a. They started 2010 with a somewhat unclear market focus, unsure how and in which markets their technology could be best applied. Since then they’ve clearly segmented their markets within two categories – western countries and developing countries. In Australia, operations have been expanded and a new SMS ordering and payment point-of-sale solution is being rolled out. In the developing countries market, they’ve deployed four new services in Papua New Guinea, and are now implementing their export strategy in other developing countries including Africa and the Asia Pacific region. An early stage company that has refined its focus and continues to have solid growth opportunities.
MMGN.com is one of the largest video gaming community in Australia, competing directly with two American Internet giants - IGN and Gamespot. With MMGN.com being Australian it has the ability to deliver local, more innovative and better products and features than them both, and as such MMGN is poised to grow quickly. At the start of 2010 MMGN.com didn’t exist. They were a loosely coupled network of smaller sites, with no centralized brand and undercapitalized audience. In 2010, they rebranded all the sites under one name - MMGN.com, grew organically, built the new identity, and formed ties major international gaming publishers like Rockstar, EA, Ubisoft, Activision and more. With a profitable business, MMGN is now looking to make strategic partnerships, expand its advertising revenue and develop other revenue streams.
Mobeseek showed in 2010 that mobile has finally arrived as a viable marketing channel, by delivering a number of campaigns that outperformed the online campaigns of multiple top tier brands. Mobeseek’s approach was to focus on creating long-term ROI-driven marketing outcomes for top-500 companies and government agencies by building, maintaining, and advertising permanent mobile websites for their brands. In a market where less than 4% of top 500 companies currently use mobile, Mobeseek is perfectly poised to take advantage of the massive consumer shift to the consumption of media via smartphones and tablets which will mandate all companies having a persistent effective mobile presence by 2013. Founded at the start of 2010, Mobeseek has grown rapidly to secure major campaigns with five top 500 clients and booked significant revenues which are projected to triple in 2011. Mobeseek is a startup success of 2010 and one of the companies to watch for 2011.
Shoes of Prey
Shoes of Prey allow women to custom design their shoes. They then handmake the shoes and ship them. The business launched in October 2009, so at the start of 2010 they had low revenues and just one employee plus the founders. Over the course of 2010 they’ve been featured in numerous of the top fashion magazines around the world, grown 10 times, reached profitability, expanded into Russia and Japan, and now make over 50% of their sales in overseas markets. In 2011 they intend to triple their size and reconfigure their operations for massive growth over the next 5 years. This is a startup with a proven model, great market recognition, that’s growing quickly.
BuzzNumbers is a Social Media Monitoring, Analytics and Reporting Software as a Service company. Their B2B customers use the service to make sense of all the online and social media conversations about their brands, products, competitors, people and industry issues. At the beginning of 2010 BuzzNumbers was just 2 headcount and working from a friend’s dining room table with only a few thousand in monthly revenue. Over the course of the year they grew monthly revenue over 25 times, expanded their staff to 10 headcount and gained more than 40 enterprise customers including Microsoft, RedBull, Optus, and WeightWatchers. Over the next 18 months they intend to scale and grow revenues a further 10 times and become a wildly successful and profitable private technology company. With massive potential, BuzzNumbers gets our top pick!
Congratulations to the 10 winners!
You will all be contacted in the next day or so to arrange your prizes!
Thank you AND Congratulations to all entrants in the iPitch i10 Awards. Aside from the 10 winners, there were many, many other exciting businesses with high potential.
We look forward to hearing about the results of all iPitch Startups for 2011.
That’s our top 10, what’s your top 10 Australian Startups for 2010?