A startup targeting time-poor customers and frustrated couriers has surfaced as the winning pitch, after the first 'founders' from the ground-breaking MBA in Entrepreneurship (MBAe) presented their final proposals to potential investors and partners.
Founder Liam Daley describes Dlivee as a personal shipping concierge or, in shorthand, the ‘PayPal of deliveries’.
“Shipping is a headache for customers, for couriers and for online retailers,” Daley told Venture Day, the culmination of the year-long MBAe at UTS Business School.
In one survey, about 70 per cent of people said delivery was the hardest part of shopping online, and many said they wouldn’t shop online again as a result. The majority said they would be prepared to pay extra for after-hours delivery.
Failed delivery affects the retailer’s reputation and is frustrating and potentially costly in lost time for couriers, Daley said.
Currently in development, Dlivee would allow consumers to specify how and when their online purchases should be delivered – just as PayPal integration into online shopping carts allows customers to specify how they want to pay.
Daley’s winning pitch secured nearly $25,000 in cash and advisory services, as well as the opportunity to now pitch to Square Peg Capital.
Runners-up were Annette McClelland and Michael Griffin, co-founders of Tekuma, which has patented a one-handed controller system for drones – something that turns a two-person drone photography job into something manageable for one pilot, reducing costs.
In third place was Maria Cadena’s social venture Liftmii, which is establishing an online platform, and allied investment trust, allowing sponsors to fund the university education of smart children from disadvantaged Colombian families whose progress they can follow.
Other entrepreneurs to present on Venture Day included founders working on:
SendForm, a platform to automate and simplify the visa application process
COU\TECH a design startup focusing on stylish shoes for orthotics wearers
BlindNav a collaboration platform for developers of apps for the visually impaired
Investant a tool that helps financial advisers and clients stick to the plans they’ve set
Batyr, a peer-to-peer mental health support program for universities
Shift, a social enterprise that connects artisans in the developing world with a global market, as co-owners not just suppliers.
Also a finalist on the day, after being invited to present alongside the MBAe founders, was Recrew, winner of last year's 3P competition at UTS Business School. Recrew is a gateway connecting tradespeople such as electricians and plumbers to work on construction projects.
We were treated to a glimpse of innovations that may drive efficiency and challenge the status quo
The MBAe was launched in March last year as the first on-campus program of its type in Australia, its flexible structure having been designed in collaboration with the entrepreneurial community. It accepts both founders and “intrapreneurs” working inside existing businesses.
Speaking after Venture Day, Daley said that, having gone through the one-year MBAe, he was “making much better strategic decisions”.
“I’m feeling empowered to develop business models for my ideas,” he said. “I’m fundamentally thinking differently.”
The program’s Academic Director, Dr Jochen Schweitzer, said that, a year on, one group of MBAe candidates who arrived as individuals had combined to work on a venture together. “Others have developed their proposals over the year, and particularly over the last three months leading up to Venture Day. All are well on the way to having viable businesses or social enterprises.”
Venture Day head judge David Langford, Managing Director and Chief Investment Analyst of investment advisory firm Long Lake Research, said he was impressed by the “enormous” development of the MBAe candidates over the past year.
“Today we were treated to a glimpse of innovations that may drive efficiency and challenge the status quo across a variety of industries,” he said.
Fellow panelist Petra Andrén, CEO of business incubator Cicada Innovations, said there were only a handful of women in her MBA class just over a decade ago, and she was the only woman in the entrepreneurship elective. “It’s great to see so many women pitching here today.”
Ten women and eight men were involved in the Venture Day pitches, reflecting the strong interest from women that meant the first MBAe cohort was gender balanced.
Also on the judging panel were Lance Kalish, co-founder of Yes To Inc, now one of the fastest growing skincare companies in the world; entrepreneur Ali Linz, co-founder of GroupTogether; and John Lee, Partner in Gilbert + Tobin’s intellectual property group.
As well as a cash prize, the Venture Day winner receives intellectual property services from Gilbert + Tobin, corporate, commercial and employment law advice from Piper Alderman, and tax, corporate finance or accounting advice from BDO Australia. The runners-up received cash prizes of $5000 and $2000 respectively.
Find out more about the MBA in Entrepreneurship here.