The Rackspace Small Team Big Impact startup competition was first organized in Australia and New Zealand last week to continue their journey to support and inspire the startup community. Bringing together 150 entrepreneurs and an elite panel of judges on the 6th of August in Sydney, the competition saw 10 finalists battle it out where the ultimate winner of the Rackspace startup competition receives a roundtrip ticket from Australia to San Francisco to meet with investors and to be interviewed in Robert Scoble’s studio about their startup. The video will then be featured on Scoble’s blog in front of his huge global audience of 335,000 Twitter followers, and 500,000 Facebook fans – a great launching pad.
At 6pm on a Tuesday evening, the coworking space Fishburners was packed with 150 entrepreneurs who are both eager to meet Scobleizer with his Google Glass and to learn the winner was. The 10 finalists were:
The finalists had the opportunity to pitch at the final event in front of a star-studded guest judging panel including:
– Robert Scoble, Startup Liaison Officer, Rackspace; blogger, technical evangelist, and author
– Mick Liubinskas, Co-Founder, Pollenizer
– Kim Heras, Founder PushStart
– Ruslan Kogan, Founder Kogan
– Chris Ridd, Country Manager, Xero
Photo credit by Tony Hollingsworth
And the winner is Ollo mobile. Their goal is to improve the safety and communication of family worldwide, especially the elderly using a voice controlled, cloudphone technology with only one button to call, indoor location sharing and motion detection.
The two runner-ups Open Learning and Clipp, however, do not go home empty-handed at all – they won $1,000 credit of cloud-hosting from Rackspace.
Photo credit by Shoestring
In addition to all the valuable advice for finalists, Robert Scoble offers his last piece of advice to startups: dream bigger and aim higher.“The culture in Silicon Valley is like ‘you’ve got to transform the world’, not just make something cute.”
That’s why Australia is very well-known for it’s disruptive startups. My personal favorites amongst Australia startups are Ninja Blocks (internet of things), Shoes of Prey and Canva (Powtoon for Photoshop). Looking forward to bringing you more from the land down under!