Now in its 3rd year, last week’s Northern Stars pitching competition was as strong as ever - proving that tech innovation continues to thrive “up north”.
Whittled down from 200 to only 20 contestants, the event saw the finalists deliver a live three-minute pitch about their business.
The occasion took place at Stoller Hall, Manchester, and represented the culmination of months of intense competition. Amongst the pressure, and populating the stylish venue, was an array of high profile attendees: investors, peers, and sponsors from large institutions, such as E&Y Director - Elizabeth Scott.
Before the final commenced, she gave an appropriately supportive speech:
“Stimulating a culture of innovation and enterprise is at the heart of any successful economy – these companies are helping to shape and define that.”
Despite the sense of competitiveness in the room, this was a pleasant reminder that the night was as much about celebrating talent and new ideas. Regardless of the evening’s outcome, it was important to recognise the wealth of innovation in the region.
Just before the winners were announced, a presentation was delivered by previous year’s winner, CEO and co-founder of Dream Agility - Elizabeth Clark.
Elizabeth confidently entered the stage in her recognisably effervescent style, with an attitude that embodied the optimistic and positive steps Dream Agility has made since winning the competition last November.
Her entertaining presentation ‘seemed’ long, but only in the sense that it crammed so many highlights into such a short time frame.
Some of the highlights included visiting No.10 as a northern tech delegation, and being invited to conferences all over the world: from Atlanta, to South Korea and Paris. There was also a swift acknowledgement of the company's position as one of the fastest growing agencies in Australia.
There’s no mistaking that this was slick self-promotion, but it was also warranted as it powerfully displayed the real consequences of winning the competition.
The pitches revealed an array of mouth-watering prospects, with the 10 winners showing a real variety of services. They ranged from: workforce management platforms to fitness software, customer service providers to tech recruiters. Tech driven education facilitators, offline lead trackers, a language analysis tool and performance accelerators.
The judges - Suzanne Ashman of LocalGlobe, James Foster of ADV, Sarah Turner of Angel Academe and prolific investor Keith Wallington made a great contribution to the evening.
Their specific questions reflected how invested they were in each company and effectively prompted the contestants to articulate their business. As a 50/50 split of male to female judges, they were leading by example and showed an equality of gender representation in Tech. Great work people!
Well done to all the contestants and for the winners who are putting the North on the techie map. For more information on the winners please see the links below.
BigChange, Membr, Nivo, Relative Insight, Ruler Analytics, Sport:80, Synap, Technically Compatible, Tutora and VYPR.