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Three start-ups get go-ahead from experts to explore Asian markets after pitching competition

Thursday, 22 August 2013 | By Rose Powell

Three start-ups that took part in the TiE Go Asia Pitch event at the Pollenizer’s The Hive in Sydney were met with considerable interest by a panel of seven entrepreneurs from Asia last night.


Dilip Rao, president of the TiE Sydney chapter which coordinated the event said the popular ideas on the night were Ollo Mobile, a panic button and support service for children and the elderly, kids singing platform Singa Entertainment and social planning app TheBestDay.


“Ollo Mobile did really well, because it’s about elderly people and children and everyone cares about them. The other surprising one was Singa. I thought it was cute, but everybody loved it,” Rao says.


There was significant interest in the karaoke app from the Indian judges, given the popularity of Bollywood movie musicals.


“Everyone is crazy about these film songs, and the chaps from India thought this was a goer. But obviously it needs to be localised,” Rao says, adding Singa is focused on growing into China.


“We suggested they explore franchise or partnerships in each target country, as they would need a lot of money to do the IP negotiation work in every market that was interested.”


Rao added that all of the judges were interested in TheBestDay app for their own personal use, and agreed the potential for the app in the Indian market was enormous.


“50% of the Indian population is under 25-years-old. If they can make the app cool, it could really take off,” Rao says.


“Those guys are going to focus on validating their business model here in Australia for a few months, and then they have a fork in the road. Do they go to the US and compete with everyone there, or do they go for a new market?”


The other start-ups at the event were shift-work management app Fewzion; sales team training app Trainthem; data-driven fleet vehicle management app Mercurien; and Member Pass, a user interface add-on for Paypal.


The judging panel included three judges from India, two from Singapore, and two from Hong Kong.


In July, Rao spoke to StartupSmart about why each region of India needs to be considered as its own distinct market.


The Go Asia Entrepreneur Program is run by global, not-for-profit entrepreneur network TiE.


It’s sponsored by two high-profile start-up accelerators, the Optus-Innov8 Seed Program and ANZ Innovyz Start program, which recently announced their latest intake of start-ups.