Social media analytics startup Digivizer has collected $15,000 in prize money and a $1 million investment opportunity after winning the judge’s choice award at the first Carnegie’s Den event of the year.
In addition, Digivizer will receive 12 months of coaching and support from the MH Carnegie and Co team.
The startup offers services which search, analyse, connect and map social media in order to keep businesses in touch with the needs and wants of customers and potential customers.
Qwilr, a web-based productivity tool that allows sales teams to create and send the best quotes and pitches to clients, won the people’s choice award.
Digivizer chief executive Emma Lo Russo is thrilled with the result.
“It’s the first time we’ve live pitched and that was an experience in itself,’’ she says with a laugh.
“For me there was so much riding on it, so we tried to focus what mattered, tried to tell the story, as we loved the story.’’
Lo Russo says Digivizer’s pitch impressed the judging panel – which included MH Carnegie and Co principal Mark Carnegie, investor and entrepreneur John Singleton, SeaPoint Ventures general partner Melissa Widner, BlueChilli CEO Sebastien Eckersley-Maslin and the CEO of The Australian newspaper, Nicholas Gray.
“The judges said they would use it for their own businesses,’’ Lo Russo says.
“The fact that we’ve been in market and attracting some clients helped.”
Now in its third year, Digivizer is now seeking to raise money in order to grow, which is one of the reasons they decided to get involved in their first pitch event.
“The first year was about building the product, this last year has really been about accelerating growth,’’ Lo Russo said.
“I think what is most attractive is what Mark (Carnegie) is trying to build, and this is why it was for us the first time we have applied or pitched, was they were looking for more mature startups.
“Startups with founders experienced in commercialising technology. Did you have a clear revenue model? Were you profitable? If you sought investment did you have plans for that?
“It immediately said to me they’re talking about small medium enterprises almost going into that growth space.’’
Lo Russo says Digivizer is in the middle of raising funding and has already secured some investment, but raising the funds required to grow a startup can be tricky.
“Unless you’re prepared to give up a lot of equity early on for not much money,’’ she says.
“Once you’ve established your business, you’re making revenue, you want to make sure when you seek funding that the valuation is a true reflection of what it should be.’’