INCUBATE, Australia’s largest student startup accelerator, that is run by The University of Sydney Union, in partnership with The University of Sydney, saw their 14 week program come to a close for Class 11 on Wednesday night.
Over the course of the evening eight startups took to the stage to pitch their company, highlight the success they have achieved to date and vision they hold for the future. There was a diverse mix of startups on display with everything from a new form of biodegradable “plastic”, to the world’s smallest radar and a temporary storage company with hundreds of thousands in revenue already under their belt.
Those graduating in Class 11 follow 80 other startups who have already been supported by INCUBATE and have gone on to raise more than $20 million in investment and create 200+ jobs in just five years. Class 11 also achieved some highlights of their own during the 14 week program. This included generating $170,000+ in revenue and more than 1,700 customers across the 8 startups that participated in the program.
In alphabetical order, here are the 8 startups that took to the stage and pitched on Wednesday night.
Biochite is creating a biodegradable plastic for use in agriculture. Unlike other biodegradable “plastic” materials that are based off of products like cornstarch, Biochite does not require any new or additional crop to be grown. Instead the company turns a waste product, crustacean shells from the seafood industry, into a plastic alternative.
The company is co-founded by Kimberly Bolton, Michelle Demers and Jared Wood and they have already secured 9 trials for their product. The team made the conscious decision to focus on strawberry farmers for their entry into the market given the high use of plastic by strawberry farmers. In time however, they look to replace the use of plastic across all farms in Australia and help reduce the 5,300 tonnes of plastic that are placed on soils each year in Australia alone.
In a word where we are bombarded with advertising each and every day savvy marketers know one way to get cut through is to personalise your message and approach. This strategy has been widely adopted in text based communication with personalised emails and text messages, but until now it has been extremely hard, if not impossible to do with video on a large scale.
Gopersonal solves this issue and makes it possible for companies to customise text, audio and graphics on the fly with real-time data or in batches for direct marketing campaigns. The company was founded by Marina Lyshova and Alfira Lyshova and have successfully generated $15,000 in revenue in their first six months of operation. They are also currently in negotiations for a $30,000+ deal with an Australian superannuation fund.
Not everyone in your existing circle of family or friends may share your same sense of passion for adventure. Perhaps you have moved to a new city or are looking to take up a new sport, but don’t have anyone to share the experience with. That’s where Sponta steps in.
Sponta is a community for adventure orientated individuals where they can find unique experiences and connect with others looking to do the same. The company was founded by Elena Korolkova and has acquired 1,300+ members while growing revenue at 67% on a monthly basis. To date Sponta has already hosted 286 events on Sydney’s Northern Beaches and have plans to eventually expand nation wide.
Tribefire was cofounded by Daniel Palmer and Eddy Huang after realising that social sports teams struggled to find an easy way to buy matching jerseys for their team. What they have however realised during the 14 week INCUBATE program is that there is a much larger, untapped market available at their fingertips….. Youtube Content Creators.
With recent and on-going changes to the Youtube Partner program, Youtubers with 100,000+ subscribers are on the look out for new ways to monetise their large and passionate audiences. Tribefire offers these Youtube Creators a way to pre-sell custom branded jerseys that represent their brand and unique audience.
To-date Tribefire has generated $30,000 in revenue and sold their product across three different continents.
Lock It Up
Lock It Up was founded by Sam Higgs back in 2013 after he thew his life savings into creating a temporary storage solution for live events and conventions. At their first event in 2014 they generated $25,000 in revenue and have since done hundreds of thousands in revenue.
The smart locker system provided by Lock It Up is a queue-less and keyless system that takes away the hassle of lining up to check your bag in and/or out of storage at concerts and events. The company has developed proprietary technology during their five years of development and also have first mover advantage.
During the 14 weeks of INCUBATE they generated $75,000 in revenue.
Mission Systems have created TinySAR, the world’s smallest radar that gives drones the same situational awareness as much larger and more expensive platforms. Unlike drones that simply carry a camera for surveying farmland, dams or other infrastructure the TinySAR system provides a wide wider field of view cutting down the time to survey large farms from weeks to a single day.
The company was cofounded by Dr David Johnson and Dr David Battle and has been selected by the Australian Government as an inaugural partner for Australia’s $50 million Defence Research Centre alongside Thales and BAE. They have also been awarded a contract from the Australian Defence Force for Small Unmanned Air Systems (SUAS) Phase 1.
VLO is the world’s first real time monitoring system for Lymphoedema, a chronic debilitating swelling condition that affects 200 million people across the globe. The company was founded by Marco Lam.
VLO is automating a diagnostic process that is currently performed manually and has no opportunity for early intervention. VLO’s product, the vloConnect is a smart sensory device that enables faster and more accurate measurements. This allows doctors to remotely monitor patients and also visualise data over time to improve diagnostic quality and efficiency.
The company has successfully secured trials with the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and have two orders for their product already in the bag.
Moving to a new country is often a challenge, especially if you happen to be a student who has to balance your academic demands with a place to live and work to support yourself. Founder Michael Basckin experienced this first hand when travelling to Tel Aviv to study abroad. Upon his return to Australia he realised that this was as much a problem for the thousands of international students who arrive in Australia as it was for him.
Woo Mates is an online platform that allows international students to form groups based on preferences such as age, gender and lifestyle. With their newly formed group of housemates, an all-inclusive house/apartment can be booked for a hassle-free move-in on arrival.
Since launching Woo Mates has signed up 500+ international students and acquired seven student rooms in less than 10 weeks.