Deakin Geelong to host StartCon Pitch for $1 Million competition

Future tech titans and young entrepreneurs will battle for the chance to win $1 million in investment opportunities when Deakin University hosts the Asia Pacific’s largest startup pitch competition next month.

Deakin’s Geelong Waterfront campus will host the regional Victorian final of the 2018 StartCon Pitch for $1 Million competition on 25 October, presented by StartCon and venture capital firm Right Click Capital in partnership with the SPARK Deakin startup initiative and supported by Deakin ManuFutures and the City of Greater Geelong.

More than 600 startup finalists and 400 investors are expected to attend all 14 finals of the competition, spread across cities in Australia, Singapore, Indonesia, South Korea, China, India, the Philippines and New Zealand, with participants vying for a $1 million term sheet investment agreement from Right Click Capital.

Alfred Deakin Professor Svetha Venkatesh, who is the SPARK Deakin Program Sponsor and Co-Director of the University’s Applied Artificial Intelligence Institute, will be speaking at the event to share her insights into tech diversity and the future of artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Professor Venkatesh’s own work has led to the implementation of two successful startups, including the award-winning iCetena video analytics service, which uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to monitor large video surveillance networks to find anomalies and detect potential security threats.

“SPARK Deakin is thrilled to be presenting the regional Victorian final of this year’s StartCon Pitch for $1 Million competition,” Professor Venkatesh said.

“This event will bring together up to 80 key Victorian startups with founders, investors and community partners from across the region, for one epic day focusing on innovation, insights and long-lasting connections.”

Right Click Capital General Partner Garry Visontay said the Pitch for $1 Million competition would give local entrepreneurs a direct line to some of Australia’s most active startup investors.

“We’re excited to be involved with StartCon’s Geelong regional event and to help build Australia’s next generation of technology startups,” Mr Visontay said.

“There is enormous entrepreneurial talent that lies in Australia’s regional communities and the Pitch for $1 Million event provides access for this talent to reach the nation’s most active investors.”

Apart from the competition itself, the event will also include workshop masterclasses, business expos, a networking party, and main stage keynote presentations from leading start-up players such as AgriWebb founder and CEO Kevin Baum.

The event is supported by Deakin’s $13 million newly-opened ManuFutures advanced manufacturing innovation hub, which was developed in partnership with the Victorian Government as an accelerator with the capacity to promote the development of emerging advanced manufacturing enterprises within the Barwon Region.

Professor Venkatesh said the Pitch for $1 Million event was an opportunity for regional Victoria to show startup innovation and entrepreneurial spirit wasn’t just contained to Australia’s capital cities.

“StartCon and SPARK Deakin both have highly-engaged audiences that extend across Australia’s corporate innovation, venture capital and angel investment sector,” she said.

“October’s event will allow entrepreneurs from across the region to tap into that transformational knowledge, learning how to scale their startup and generate maximum revenue and profit, as well as form and nurture key relationships that will support future innovation throughout their startup journey.

“There’s a wave of possibility and innovation currently happening within the startup space at the local, national and international level, particularly when it comes to the new opportunities being realised through machine learning and technical experimentation. The applications are limited only by our imaginations.”

The regional Victorian final of the StartCon Pitch for $1 Million competition will be held 8am to 6pm Thursday 25 October at Deakin University Waterfront Campus, emceed by Geelong Women in Business founder and Director Samantha Krajina.

Visit startcon.com/pitch/c/victoria for registration information and further details.

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