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PowerDialer.co overcomes a nervous pitch to come out on top at Startup Weekend Brisbane 2015


Co-working community River City Labs recently announced the winner of Startup Weekend Brisbane after hosting the 54-hour business creation event over the second weekend of July 2015.

Cloud-based call-centre PowerDialer.co walked away with the gold prize for their start-up concept, which entitled them to $10,000 worth of Amazon credits, a mentoring package with CUA executives and a 2-month team membership at River City Labs. The team is a mix of university students, professionals and start-up industry professionals.

What was it like at Startup Weekend Brisbane 2015?

A record-number of people turned out for the launch night of Startup Weekend Brisbane, which saw over 200 people watch 64 ideas pitched to a room full of local entrepreneurs, developers and designers.

And as you may have seen via the twittersphere, Prime Minister Abbott also popped in for a visit on the Saturday, so it turned out to be quite the affair.

Of the 64 pitches, 22 teams formed around the standout start-up ideas before collaboratively working on bringing their concept to life.

Nicholas Burge of winning start-up PowerDialer.co said, “Freezing on stage hasn’t frozen my startup enthusiasm! I had a tough case of nerves to overcome which were highlighted when Shark Steve Baxter provided less than positive feedback after their pitch. Fortunately, we got there in the end!”

Entrepreneur and investor Steve Baxter commented, “The PowerDialer.co team and what they achieved is the essence of Startup Weekend Brisbane. They identified a problem, came up with a solution, validated and built some great tech and had a working prototype up by Sunday afternoon. Good pitch or not – this is what it is all about. A job well done.”

The winners told us more about their start-up…

Startup Weekend Brisbane 2015 winners PowerDialer.co
Startup Weekend Brisbane 2015 winners PowerDialer.co

We caught up with Nicholas for a quick interview and below is what he had to share with Anthill about PowerDialer.co and their experience at Startup Weekend Brisbane 2015.

What gap in the market are you looking to fill with PowerDialer.co?

Outbound calling solutions have traditionally been locked away to enterprise customers. We’re taking a solution that’s been used for decades and applying a new delivery model.

What exactly does PowerDialer do? How does it work?

PowerDialer works inside your browser and connects to your CRM to pull out call lists.

Once connected, we place calls from your computer, one after the other with a workflow that is optimised for prospecting. This allows for an increase in time that sales people actually spend on the phone and not constantly in between calls.

What next now for PowerDialer.co?

In the short term, we are trying to scope the product with essential features so we can successful take it to market when we are confident we have a product that people would WANT to buy.

Our long term goals include adding many features found the enterprise-level equivalents but focusing on the core feature of simplifying bulk outbound cold-calling.

What is the biggest challenge you faced in your whole Startup Weekend Brisbane 2015 experience and how did you overcome it?

Trying to validate our B2B idea over the weekend was tough.

We knew of a few managers in the call centre space that were really helpful, but we even tried to call Insurance companies hoping to speak to their managers but had no luck there. In the end, we were confident there was definitely a market for a product like this.

What is the biggest lesson you have learned from your whole Startup Weekend Brisbane 2015 experience?

The most important part of solving a problem or launching a business is the execution itself. Once you work out how to DO it, you can overcome most things.

We saw many teams talk about how things could work, we actually building a prototype is much better and often unveils a fair number of issues that are usually overlooked in talking about it theoretically.