It can be difficult for start-up companies or business ideas to get a foot on the inside track of business financing.
Aside from repetitively presenting ideas to unimpressed, pitch-weary investors who’ve heard it all before, there’s not much else to be done unless recognition is granted by some external body.
Such acknowledgement can be a boon to the way new ideas are received by both investors and the public, and there are a number of such agencies in the business of delivering such accolades.
Yesterday saw the NSW Minister for Small Business, Frank Terenzini, congratulate the winners of the second annual Tech23 Business Innovation Awards, an event organised by Slattery IT with support from the Australian Technology and Innovation Pathways programs from Industry & Investment NSW.
Twenty-three of the country’s most promising and innovative information and technology companies were given the opportunity to present their ideas, technology and business models to a 400-strong group consisting of potential investors, entrepreneurs, mentors and customers.
The five award winners were:
Marathon Robotics: Innovation Excellence Award $50,000
Marathon Robotics’ advanced robot technology supplies smart, autonomous targets for training marksmen on live firing ranges. These robots mounted with human-shaped targets react in a natural manner to one of their number dropping from a hit, and flee for cover. With their individual pre-programmed autonomy the entire scenario can be controlled by a single operator, minimising infrastructure while maximising realistic, challenging target presentation.
iCetana: Broadband Innovation Award $25,000
iCetana’s intelligent video surveillance software reduces the amount of screen real estate a human operator is required to cover by intelligently recognising and flagging aberrant movement possibly indicative of undesirable behaviour. This customisable application allows customers to define the parameters of “normal movement behaviour”, which may not be of much use down at the rugby club.
Taggle Systems: Outstanding Collaboration for Innovation Award $25,000
Taggle Systems of Sydney are working in concert with Telstra to develop the Taggle, a small, low-cost, long-life tag that can be used to transmit locational information, along with a optional variety of other data such as temperature or meter readings, allowing customers to track mobile deliverables and, quite possibly, errant spouses.
Solar-Gem: Community Contribution Award $25,000
Solar-Gem of Sydney develop off-grid clean solar power systems affordable enough to be a viable option for developing nations lacking electricity and lighting for their more rural populations.
BuildingIQ: Greatest Potential Award $25,000
BuildingIQ from Rushcutters Bay provides automated HVAC supervisory control systems to commercial buildings that intelligently incorporate increasing green building ratings, lower energy costs and CO2 emissions with no significant physical change in infrastructure.
Mr Terenzini finished by thanking Rachel Slattery, of Slattery IT, for developing, organising and moulding Tech23 into one of Australia’s foremost business innovation events.
“The diversity of the applications at Tech23 this year demonstrated how ubiquitous technology has become – and will continue to become – in driving our new economy,” he said.
Though it may seem industrial award programmes such as these are a little self-congratulatory, they are a vitally important part of the publicising process, and are thus a great avenue for both start-ups and investors to discover each other.
With the amount of information bombarding both ends of the industry through regular technological channels, it’s easy for a tiny gem of an idea, or an angel sitting on a small mound of gold, to get lost in the maelstrom. Events such as these connect such motes.
Stefan Abrutat is an award-winning freelance writer, blogger and editor in a wide variety of fields, from sports to science, the philosophy of science, humourism, history, travel and food.