Roboinvest, an Australian-run, New York-based start-up, has made the final of a worldwide funding competition for financial services ventures.
The business was named alongside nine other finalists for the Innotribe Startup Challenge 2012 – Ballooning Nest Eggs, Inc., Bilbus, Emerge Financial Wellness, LendStreet, P2P Cash, Seculert, Snappay, Vuru and XYverify Corp.
Roboinvest will present at a New York “showcase”, which will precede similar events in Northern Ireland and Thailand, before competing for a $50,000 prize.
The start-up, which provides stock market guidance for investors, was picked from more than 60 applicants and is the only Australian-led business to make the shortlist.
Roboinvest was launched officially launched earlier this week by Michael Giles, who has relocated from Australia to the US to build the business. Giles blogs regularly for StartupSmart.
Giles was previously shortlisted for a similar start-up competition, run by CNN Money.
He says: “There aren’t many financial tech competitions for start-ups out there, so I felt I had to take the opportunity. The sector is a bit different from other web services as the technical side is so complex.”
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“I entered partially for the funding, but also for the validation of having my idea vetted by high-level industry professionals.”
So, what tips would Giles give to start-ups entering such competitions?
“The first thing to do is apply,” he says. “It sounds obvious, but many start-ups see these opportunities and then don’t apply.”
“Don’t assume that someone will have a much better idea than you. Give it a shot – no-one will judge you harshly for it. Make sure you refine and practice your pitch and who your customer is.”