Exciting PitchFest finale ends CeBIT Australia 2018

17 May 2018

The winner and runners up of the PitchFest at CeBIT 2018

It may have been the end of three days of intense business and marketing at CeBIT Australia 2018, but the energy levels never flagged.

The final afternoon of CeBIT was punctuated by goodwill among the 300 strong exhibitor gathering and an exciting startup showdown at PitchFest.

Afternoon presentations on the NSW stand included startup Envirodyne Group of Unanderra which is showing how technology can help remote communities by setting up a solar water treatment plant processing up to 4000 litres a day near Young.

'The demonstration plant also shows this type of plant can be operated remotely with continuous online monitoring and control via the web, ensuring quality water supply to communities where there may be no-one available with water treatment expertise,' CEO Mike O’Brien said.

'Not only can this technology help remote communities access fresh water but also third world countries.'

Also attracting interest this week was startup Clay of Bronte which was inspired by the problem of a lack of affordable childcare prompting mother of three Sunita Corray to develop an app to enable parents to share childcare across a trusted network of parent carers.

'As a verified member, parents can request help for school runs and childminding, and offer the same to earn back child-free time using an in-app currency of time credits or cash,' Ms Corray said.

The afternoon Cyber Security conference included an insightful presentation by The Star Entertainment Group’s general manager of IT governance risk and cyber resilience Hank Opdam on how it protects three integrated casinos that operate 24 hours a day with a mobile workforce of 9,000 staff.

Other speakers included NBN Co’s general manager of software engineering Katherine Squire, and Toll Group’s chief technology officer Andrew Littleford.

The afternoon CeBIT Startup session included presentations by the Department of Finance, Services and Innovation on how startups can set themselves up for successful engagement with government, and Ribit’s graduate job service talking about the value of interns and holding a jobs networking program.

But the afternoon highlight and finale was the popular ‘Shark Tank’ style CeBIT PitchFest, which is one of Australia’s leading launch pads for startups with global ambitions.

Ten finalists – including nine from NSW and six supported by Jobs for NSW – had four minutes to pitch their entrepreneurial ideas to a panel of four judges and an audience of fellow startups, investors and potential customers, prior to a four minute Q&A session with the judges.

It was a closely contested performance that came down to the wire between three startups Littlescribe, BenchOn and Ping Data, with Ping Data declared the winner.

Ping Data, one of six finalists that have been supported by Jobs for NSW, has developed technology it hopes will rid the world of paper receipts by digitally capturing payment data to create 'PINGreceipts', which are then matched to  transactions in a user's banking app.

Ping Data CEO Paul Weingarth said he was both excited and humbled by the win.

'This is amazing, incredible. It is terrific recognition for our company and the problem we are trying to solve.

'We have been conducting a trial with a tier 1 bank and will be going out to market by the end of the year. We now have a team of eight but hope to have 15 or 20 by the end of the year.'

Deputy Premier and Minister for Small Business John Barilaro said the quality of finalists for PitchFest was outstanding showing how the startup sector is developing solutions to improve all sectors of the economy.

'Congratulations to NSW startup Ping Data for taking out CeBIT's PitchFest which will provide a major boost for the company as one of Australia's leading startup launch pads.

'Ping Data has been assisted by the State Government-backed Jobs for NSW to develop its technology and was one of nine NSW finalists for PitchFest, so this is a great result for our technology sector.'

As well as wide exposure, Ping Data will receive a prize package valued at over $20,000 comprising:

  • an exhibition stand at CeBIT Australia 2019
  • three square contactless and chip readers from Vodafone
  • a Norton Small Business – 10 which protects 10 devices for 12 months
  • $10,000 USD credit valid for one year applicable for any product or service purchased on www.alibabacloud.com
  • three months free co-working space at Tank Stream Labs at the Sydney Startup Hub; and
  • a one-year membership to TIE Sydney, and ongoing support and mentorship.