If you want to flag a trend in Australian startups, then Tech23 is a good place to spot it. From the line-up last week it looks like Australian startups have embraced enterprise software, something it seemed reluctant to do for a long time, preferring to try to make more ‘sexy’ consumer plays, despite the success of Atlassian.
The line-up showcased a huge mix of companies from “smart” rowing equipment, to GPS-enabled sunglasses that promises you can never lose them, to aged care avatars that help remind you to take your medication, but undoubtedly the theme seemed to be around enterprise solutions – getting down to the basics of helping industries and businesses become more efficient.
Intelligent Fleet Solutions, Maestrano, and Red Eye kicked off the Tech 23 event, setting the tone for the types of technology companies that dominated the day. The three were joined by Peepable, the only truly consumer focused software startup of the day, which is aiming to make video more searchable.
The day really belonged to Tzukuri’s 20-year-old founder Allen Liao, who stole the show with his cool and collected presentation on sunglasses you can’t lose, taking away the Tech23 2014 People’s Choice Award. Liao has already been approached by Apple to distribute his product through Apple stores next year, and is working on partnerships with large fashion brands. He’s not currently taking investment.
Now in its sixth year, Tech23 2014 confirmed the event’s status as a benchmark for the Australian startup community.
Industry leaders, enterprise and start-up sponsors, and Tech23 alumni companies came together to donate prizes including thousands in cash, meetings with influential people and trips overseas, after government funding for the event was pulled.
“The scope and impact of Tech23 continues to grow exponentially,” says event founder Rachel Slattery. “This year we had companies from six states representing products and services that range from big data technology to location services, enterprise applications to healthcare.”
“I’m consistently amazed by the level of innovation and ambition our Tech23 show. The technology on display today boasted benefits for business and community alike.”
The Tech23 Innovation Excellence Award went to Intelligent Fleet Logistics for their vehicle routing and scheduling optimisation technology.
The Tech23 Greatest Potential Award was won by Clipp for their bar tab app. They also won a $5000 cash prize from PayPal.
Doarama, creators of a 3D GPS track visualisation program, has won a trip to Silicon Valley thanks to ATP Innovations.
Bluedot Innovation, a technology for precise, battery friendly location services, has won a trip to Boston thanks to Bigtincan; and $5000 cash from REA Group.
REA Group also awarded a second $5000 cash prize to Sound Scouts, a game which detects hearing loss in children.