A system that automates basic bookkeeping and paperwork for small businesses has won StartupSmart’s So You Think You Can Start-up pitching competition.
Bocastle took out first prize after founder Tim Stroh pitched his business in front of a panel of distinguished judges and nine other finalists and their supporters.
The competition – sponsored by serviced office provider Servcorp and held in their Sydney offices – was live streamed on the internet around the world.
Stroh won office space from Servcorp anywhere around the world valued at $250,000, as well as six months of public relations services with PR expert Sam Dybac, and mentoring sessions with Sydney Seed Fund and StartupSmart’s publisher Private Media.
Stroh says winning came at a great time for Bocastle and he’ll now stop looking for office space.
“The value of a $250,000 credit for office space and serviced office services almost has more value than cash because it’s an office that will scale with you,” he says.
Servcorp also offered on the night the two runners up its virtual office package for six months for free and the remaining seven finalists a two-month virtual office package for free.
Stroh says the number one priority now for Bocastle is to finish raising $1.5 million to $2 million from investors to deliver a fully commercial system.
He urged other start-ups to get involved in pitching competitions, saying the more they did, the more people they’ll meet and receive feedback and become more comfortable doing them.
Second place in the competition went to education course community marketplace WeTeachMe.
Co-founder Kym Huynh, told StartupSmart he hasn’t had a chance to fully reflect on the evening but thought it was a positive experience.
He says he would encourage any other start-ups to get involved in pitch events.
“It was great exposure and it was great to mingle and see what everyone’s doing.”
Third place went to curated legal services marketplace LegalVision.
Co-founder Lachlan McKnight says the feedback he received would go towards changing their pitch for the future.
“We should have given more information on our actual numbers,” he says.
He also encouraged other start-ups to enter pitching competitions, saying they provided exposure and “doing a three minute pitch is a good way of sitting down and having a think about the strengths of your business”.
McKnight also welcomed advice given by judge and founder of Kogan Technologies, Ruslan Kogan, who urged people thinking of starting up businesses to “just do it”.
Image: So You Think You Can Start-up winner Tim Stroh, right, with Servcorp chief operating officer Marcus Moufarrige