Hunter's Brightest Board the Startup Express

Media release | 17 June 2019

Minister for Small Business Damien Tudehope today welcomed 28 of the Hunter region’s brightest startup companies to NSW Parliament ahead of their visit to compete at the 2019 Launch Festival in Sydney.

Mr Tudehope said the startups have travelled to Sydney aboard the ‘Startup Xpress’ bus, organised by the Business Centre and Local Innovation Network hub Hunter iF.

“The Startup Xpress is giving the Hunter’s best startups a fantastic opportunity to showcase their products and services to potential investors at the Launch Festival and hear from the best experts on how to grow globally,” Mr Tudehope said.

“Six startups which won a recent Hunter iF pitch competition will also pitch tonight to 120 Sydney investors at a Startup Xpress Pitch Night at the Sydney Startup Hub.

“Some of the great Hunter technologies to be presented include the world’s most efficient wind turbine, autonomous vehicles, and software enabling farmers to boost crop yields.

“The Business Centre in Newcastle, part of the NSW Government’s Business Connect advisory service, has organised this trip to provide mentoring and commercialisation support for the Hunter’s growing startup sector.”

Minister for Jobs Stuart Ayres said the Launch Festival, which is sponsored by the Department of Industry, Destination NSW and Business Events Sydney, is on from Monday to Wednesday (17-20 June).

“The Launch Festival will expose NSW’s startups to international connections and see 20 of NSW’s top startups pitch to a global audience for a chance to win a $100,000 investment and an invitation to the Launch Accelerator in San Francisco.

“The Launch Accelerator has so far invested in 200 startups - seven of which have gone on to achieve ‘unicorn’ status with valuations over a billion dollars - so this is a huge opportunity for NSW companies.

“It’s terrific to see Hunter iF getting local startups involved in this event which will offer a potential launch pad for the world stage. “Hunter iF is part of Jobs for NSW’s Local Innovation Network, a $2.1 million investment in a network of incubators to help businesses in the Hunter, Armidale, Byron Bay, Bathurst, Coffs Harbour, Wollongong and Wagga Wagga regions.

“Initiatives like the Startup Xpress are helping build a culture of entrepreneurship in our regional communities. NSW is home to almost 49 per cent of Australia’s startup founders, up from 41 per cent in 2016, and we want to see that continue to grow.”

Hunter iF Startup Xpress Pitch finalists

Diffuse Energy: has developed the world’s most efficient wind turbine which it says is up to twice as efficient as its competitors and, if rolled out globally, could save up to 20% of the world’s air conditioning power consumption.

Elite Robotics: focused on developing autonomous vehicle technology to give robots human-like instincts, allowing them to do a range of tasks from mowing lawns to taking out the garbage.

Helpful Love: enables users to show support for grieving friends and relatives by providing gifts of practical domestic services for the price of a flower delivery. The business followed the death of a 3-year-old girl whose family received thousands of dollars’ worth of flowers which had to be discarded due to hay fever allergy.

Hone: working with the CSIRO on analysis technology to enable farmers to make instant decisions on fertiliser use to maximise crop yields and save them time, money and protect the environment.

The Splat by Nuts n Bolts Design: powerful 3D drawing tool that combines geometry and creativity, art and maths to boost visual spatial skills in children to help them succeed in STEAM fields (science, technology, engineering, arts, maths).

Uukoo: app designed for people with dementia to allow them to better interact with their families and carers to help boost their mood and reduce their reliance on medication.

Hunter iF Startup Xpress Pitch Finalists