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Silicon Beach Melbourne: Reality TV with a startup twist

Thursday, 17 July 2014 | By Kye White

Silicon Beach Melbourne took its first step towards creating its TV project, hosting a launch event at the Library at the Dock on Wednesday night.


The brainchild of organiser Athula Bogoda, the first segment of the project was filmed over an entertaining couple of hours, with Bogoda’s individual brand of enthusiasm carrying the evening as he battled the realities of TV production.


The segment took the format of a typical pitch event, albeit with a slight difference. The project’s chief investment officer Lauren Reilly played the role of coach, rather than investor, listening to the pitches of three startup founders, before offering feedback on what they did wrong, and what they did right.


The three pitchers were Claire Nichols from allied health solutions startup Kalix, Ganesh Krishnan from privacy-focused messaging startup InTouch, and Joel de Ross from the Australian Virtual Reality Industry Association (a community rather than commercial pitch). The trio answered questions from audience members, as the rest of the crowd, which included some investors, watched on.


The event was made possible thanks to the help of Nathan Conners, technical creative activator of City of Melbourne, who secured the Library at the Dock – which is being promoted as a tech creative hub for Melbourne – as the venue.


“He loved the idea of creating tech and bringing people and he was very happy to collaborate with us,” Bogoda says.


The plan is for the Silicon Beach TV to be uploaded to YouTube and Vimeo to showcase startups taking their pitches to potential investors. The Silicon Beach team will be packaging up the footage from Wednesday night as a pilot, with the intent of pitching it to Channel 31.