[box]#feb026[/box]A young entrepreneur at the forefront of social media analytics has won this year’s iAccelerate Pitch.
Social Status CEO Tim Hill won the Pitch final and the $2000 first prize at the iAccelerate Pitch and Demo Day at UOW's Innovation Campus on 29 October, for his polished presentation about the technology he and his business partner Robert O’Farrell have developed to monitor the effectiveness of social media marketing.
Their app aggregates publicly available data from Facebook and other sources so that subscribers can easily compare how posts in social media are performing.
“We can measure a company’s engagement on social media – what content works and why. This kind of analytical tool is very useful as more and more advertising is moving to social media,” Mr Hill said said.
Mr Hill said the app “legitimises Facebook as an advertising medium”, and the social media giant was acting as an advisor on the technology they are developing.
Mr Hill and Mr O’Farrell currently run Social Status as a two-man operation, based at iAccelerate. They are hoping their performance at the Pitch will help attract investors so that they can grow their company and further develop their technology.
“We need capital to help us move faster. In this space of social media there’s so much competition and constant change. If we could even double our workforce (from two to four) … it would help us gain traction,” he said.
PHOTO: iAccelerate Pitch winner Tim Hill (bottom centre) from Social Status with the other finalists (clockwise from bottom left) Alan Beadnell (Joindup), Nathan Harper (BeerMogul Games), Nic Conroy (Joindup), Adam Poole (Safety Compass), Debra Young (Younga Yoga), Robert O’Farrell (Social Status), Bruno Angelico (Steele Environmental Solutions) and Adam Smith (Timeline Information Systems). Not pictured were the Early Years Sketch Book team Holly Tootell, Grant Elmers and Mark Freeman.
The Pitch final was a competition between eight start-up companies, most of which are located at UOW’s iAccelerate business incubator, who pitched their business plans to a panel of industry judges and an audience including potential venture capital investors.
The finalists have developed ideas ranging from Social Status’ social media monitoring technology to new generation materials and a F1 motorsport game for mobile phones.
Debra Young, who developed an online yoga program for expectant mothers called Stretch and Glow Yoga, finished second in the Pitch final and won the People’s Choice prize of $1000 voted by the audience. Nathan Harper from BeerMogul Games, whose F1 strategy game Formula Legend has already achieved 150,000 downloads, received an honourable mention.
The Pitch drew potential investors Artesian Capital Management, Tank Stream Ventures, M H Carnegie, ObeVentures, Commonwealth Bank, KPMG and “angel” investors.
iAccelerate Director Elizabeth Eastland said she was delighted with the quality of the Pitch presentations and the number of investment companies that atttended. “It’s remarkable to see how far we have come in the last year,” Ms Eastland said. “We have many talented people working on some great ideas. We were really excited about giving them this opportunity to showcase their work and demonstrate their potential to really contribute to this region’s economic transformation.”
Ms Eastland praised the NSW Government for committing $16.5 million towards a permanent home for iAccelerate, which will be constructed on the Innovation Campus.
iAccelerate is UOW's business incubator and accelerator. Based at the Innovation Campus, it provides start-up companies with premises and professional services support, a robust educational program, formalised business acceleration monitoring and mentoring in finance and accounting, marketing and media, intellectual property and legal issues and human resources.
iAccelerate Pitch Grand Final 2014 - Winners
Media contact: Nick Hartgerink, Media Consultant, UOW, + 61 2 4221 5490, +61 418 424 085 or firstname.lastname@example.org.