In summary

  • Startup ideas, technology and innovative talent – all that and more took place at 2022 Venture Cup Pitch Night
  • Three startups were awarded as winners to turbocharge their growth
  • Ten teams were working on technology that improves agriculture, catering to children with autism, sustainable solutions for clean water and ways to alert and prevent a leading cause of injury or death for the elderly

From startup to scaleup, it always requires constant learning and challenging to embark on the journey.

With that goal setting the scene, 2022 Venture Cup Pitch Night welcomed 10 startups to transform industries and challenge the status quo, with a strong presence for sustainability and economy-oriented solutions. Startups accepted into the program went through three weeks of intensive coaching, Venture Capital 101 Masterclass, and pitch practice.

This year’s pitches were as diverse as they were inspiring, tackling some real-life issues. They focused on technology that improves agriculture, catering to children with autism, sustainable solutions for clean water and ways to alert and prevent a leading cause of injury or death for the elderly.

Bianca-jaye Mazzuchelli, undergraduate psychological sciences student, presented her idea to help people who are struggling with high tensity situations

Technology for sound sensitivity

Having friends and having a social life, is a basic human need and right. Children with autism spectrum disorder often struggle with high tensity situations. Venture Cup Bianca-Jaye Mazzuchelli, a Swinburne undergraduate student, worked on the auditory sensory prevention technology (ASPT) to help children with autism.

The hearing device aims to go behind the children's ear with a speaker that sits just inside the ear canal where the audio of white noise will be dispersed. Sending a white noise through the ear canal will prevent other sounds from occupying the brain with low risk.

Bianca says, “Looking forward, I hope that ASPT will be available for families Australia-wide. Not only for children who have autism spectrum disorder, but also for those who need help with sound sensitivity issues.”

Vice President of Innovation and Enterprise, Dr Werner van der Merwe, says, “It was a huge honour to be part of the judging panel for this year's Venture Cup and I look forward to seeing where these exciting ideas go next.”

“It is particularly pleasing to see Bianca connecting with Swinburne researchers – as well as with Swinburne spinout, Hearables3D – to potentially manufacture and test a first version of the device.”

James Davey, the founder of Studiio, delivered an inspiring pitch for integrated radio management solution.

Studiio to make listener-to-presenter communication more effective

Alumni/staff category winner, James Davey, delivered an engaging pitch for radio stations seeking an integrated listener communication and radio management solution.

He says, “The problem we are aiming to solve is the radio industry’s complex and multitudinous listener communications. It’s difficult to communicate and identify your listeners across multiple channels – including SMS, social media, phone calls and more – with stations often requiring multiple solutions. Studiio combines multiple communication channels into one system with easy integration, low overheads and an intuitive interface.”

“Our software is easy to use, it helps to keep track of listener communications and assists with identifying listeners loyal to the station using artificial intelligence.”

Nguyen Hanh Nguyen, the founder of Plante, presented at the 2022 Swinburne Venture Cup Pitch Night.

Self-gardening platform for health food

As processed foods at supermarkets become popular, many children do not know how fruits or vegetables come from the ground.

The people’s choice winner was Plante, which reverses the generational disconnection between children and food by empowering parents to educate their kids about healthy food through home gardening.

“We provide interactive garden planter kits and a mobile app that offers detailed guidance and helps families keep track of their gardening progress. Plante helps build a diet out of fresh food, and demonstrates how it impacts health and wellbeing,” says Nguyen Hanh Nguyen, founder of Plante.

Following three weeks of intensive coaching, Venture Cup participants pitched their startups to an expert panel

Drive an innovation and entrepreneurial culture

Entrepreneurship is a marathon, and it is never a sprint. Swinburne Innovation Precinct is continuously serving as a platform for Swinburne staff, students and alumni to develop their ideas and scale their start-ups by building their entrepreneurial journey.

Director of Commercial Innovation at Swinburne Innovation Precinct, Abhay Seth says, “Founders struggle with transitioning from the drawing board to an actionable real-world pitch. The Venture Cup aims to support startups, entrepreneurs and founders by providing workshops, tools and networking to test and pivot their start-ups locally and globally.”

According to Bianca, “Venture Cup has provided an amazing opportunity for us to showcase our work. I plan to dedicate my life to helping those who are neuro diverse to create a world that is more sociable and inclusive.”

James agrees: “It’s been an amazing opportunity to participate in the Venture Cup this year. Each workshop and presentation brought me one step closer to perfecting my pitch and understanding my start-up more through storytelling, public speaking and understanding venture capital.”

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