Critical Arc wins pitching comp at Australia’s largest start-up conference

The team behind Critical Arc, a software for security management, has won the SydStart pitching competition today, beating 11 other finalists to win a prize package of expert consulting, education and prizes. Critical Arc also scored the highest score as a finalist heading when it was selected to join pitching session.

SydStart is one of Australia’s largest conferences focused exclusively on startups. The conference sold out last week, with 1200 tickets on offer and 100 businesses exhibiting at the conference.

The conference covered a range of topics, but is best known for its pitching focus. It offered startups the opportunity to pitch their businesses to the audience and an expert panel of judges, but limited the number of pitches to 12 finalists.

The team at SydStart received 60 applications for the pitching competition. They’ve released fairly detailed scoring information and notes for each of the applications, which makes for insightful reading for any start-up operator planning to pitch.

The judging panel for the live pitches made up of three to five judges from a panel of successful entrepreneurs and investors. Critical Arc is a security system that uses people’s smart phones as sensors in critical security situations. In their own words: “At CriticalArc we are providing an external nervous system that can gather information from the sensory functions of smart devices to build real-time situational awareness for any organisation that is responsible for the wellbeing of large groups of people. In other words, we are enabling omnipresence.”

Here are the 12 finalists who pitched today, in order of their finalist score they had heading into the pitching:

  1. Critical Arc: a cloud-based platform for security companies and management. More info.
  2. Get Reading Right: phonics tool to teach early spelling and reading. More info.
  3. Punt Club: an online platform for forming and managing betting clubs. More info.
  4. Watt Cost: a company creating technology that notifies you via SMS of energy savings opportunity in real time. More info.
  5. Airtasker: an online platform to crowd source errands and basic tasks. More info.
  6. Get Pocket Book: a budgeting app that combines all your financial information in one place. More info.
  7. Work Division: data entry and form processing platform. More info.
  8. Fit Us In: an app that lets people find and attend gyms without contracts. More info.
  9. Cloud Safe 365: software that makes setting up cloud-hosting for Amazon Web Services simpler. More info.
  10. Drive List
  11. Wynbox: a buy-to-win app for customers that retailors can engage customers without discounting. More info.
  12. Car Next Door: a peer-to-peer car loaning system. More info.


The conference also offered the 15 runners-up the opportunity to pitch to a smaller audience with no judging panel. There was also a mass pitching exercise that was open to everyone called Pitch Rush, where attendees swap elevator pitches and keep moving to hone their pitching skills.


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