Aussies get their 150 seconds to shine at YC demo fest
The YC demos were spread across two days this year in Mountain View, California, with over 100 startups from the summer program on display to a packed room filled with influential investors.
Andrew Barnes, co-founder of Australian employee training startup GO1, presented on Tuesday, and says it’s been non-stop since dealing with the amount of interested parties.
“It’s been really good. We did our pitch and got a really warm response,” Barnes says.
“We’ve been fielding phone calls, meetings and booking up the calendar.
“The audience was filled with people who are high-calibre investors, angels and journalists.”
GO1 recently closed a US$1 million investment round and hopes to expand across Australia and the US.
The startups had two and a half minutes on the demo day to convince the audience that they’re the next big thing.
“You have a short time to deliver the best pitch you can,” Barnes says.
“It’s one of the most pivotal and important two and a half minutes.”
As usual, there was a very wide range of ideas on display throughout the two days.
“There’s everything from a robot that makes sandwiches automatically for you through to another Aussie startup doing drones,” Barnes says.
That Aussie startup is Flirtey, a Sydney-based drone delivery service startup which recently conducted the first FAA-approved commercial drone deliveries in the US in partnership with NASA, with founder Matthew Sweeny doing the pitching at Mountain View.
The company also completed a successful trial with New Zealand’s national search and rescue service earlier this year, delivering medical supplies to treat a person who had been missing in a remote area.
In contrast to previous years, these demo days featured a large amount of hardware-based startups. Out of the 50 presented on the first day, 20 were focused on hardware, including gadgets and robots.
Although the YC summer program is drawing to a close, it’s definitely not the end of these Australian startups’ relationship with the huge America seed fund.
“We’ll be part of that community forever,” Barnes says.