WizzyBoard, a start-up technology based around online games and toys, has won top prize, worth $50,000, at the Technology Entrepreneurship Forum.
The pitching competition, organised by ICT Geelong and held in the Victorian city, featured around 200 attendees and speakers including Jerry Engel, founder of the Entrepreneurship Center at the University of California (Berkeley) and Naomi Simson, founder of RedBalloon.com.au.
WizzyBoard, developed by Leigh Angus and Nimrod Klayman, was judged to be the top idea out of 50 pitches, winning $10,000 in cash, a one-week entrepreneurship course at Berkeley and a two-day technology start-up “boot camp” at accountancy firm Pitcher and Partners.
The technology works by enabling online games and toys to be augmented to touchscreen devices, such as iPads and iPhones. It adds sensors to children’s toys, allowing the iPad to recognise the type of toy when it is placed upon the tablet. The iPad can then run games that are relevant to the particular toy.
“The technology not only takes advantage of the penetration of touchscreen devices such as iPads, it takes advantage of the trend in parents allowing children to use their iPad and their desire to integrate educational content into this use,” says Angus.
Engel adds: “The technology is fantastic. WizzyBoard has a great opportunity to succeed. They are certainly on the right track with the patentable technology they have developed, and Leigh has also been able to assemble a strong advisory board which is critical to the success of young technology businesses.”
Two runners up, also set for the US trip, are TV Feeds, a website and app that allows people to have live conversations about TV shows they are watching, and Think HQ, a corporate payroll giving platform.
An award was also given for IT-based sports technology to James Lee from Q Sports Technology. Lee, who has developed a wearable performance enhancing technology for swimmers, took out a $5,000 prize. Judging was handled by a panel that included representatives from Commercialisation Australia and Melbourne Angels, as well as Engel.
“The quality of the finalists’ pitches were outstanding,” said Jordan Green, Founder of Melbourne Angels.
“In fact, we have decided to invite each finalist to pitch to our screening committee, if they have a desire for investors.”
The event, hosted by ICT Geelong, the I.T. advocacy body of the Geelong Region, was sponsored by Deakin University, Berkeley, Melbourne Angels, Pitcher Partners, CSIRO-AIS, Commercialisation Australia, the City of Greater Geelong and the State Government of Victoria.