Collaborative teams use thousands of Post-It notes, but hours are lost transferring those notes into digital tools that teams use every day.
That’s the problem brothers and co-founders Geoff and Alex Bullen set out to fix with their augmented reality app, WallSync, which scans Post-It notes directly into project management tools.
After spending three months in the UTS Hatchery+ accelerator program, Geoff and Alex, along with nine other teams, presented to a Demo Day judging panel WallSync and impressed with its simplicity, sophistication and strategy.
The Hatchery+ accelerator supports early stage ventures founded or co-founded by UTS students or alumni. It provides teams with $2,000 seed funding, coworking space and mentors and advisors.
Of the 15 Hatchery+ groups that participated last year, 13 are still active, and together have raised close to $1.8 million in funding and generated approximately $1.31m in revenue. Sixty seven employee and internship positions have also been created.
The winning venture, coined the 'personal assistant for your Post-It notes', is set to launch as an Innovation Partner at the Atlassian Global Summit in San Jose on September 26.
This isn’t the Bullen brothers’ first start up – they also co-founded software company Centrum, which they sold in 2014.
“The Hatchery+ team have given us amazing support and our other fellow startups have also given us lots of advice," says Geoff, who is completing a UTS Master of Business Administration in Entrepreneurship (MBAe).
“We want to make technology a help, not a hindrance, when groups of people are collaborating. We have some exciting ideas about making human computer interactions more powerful. Watch this space.”
Founder of Flatmates.com.au Andrew Maloney was one of the judges who selected WallSync as crowning champions. “All the Demo Day presentations were of a phenomenally high quality. We felt WallSync targets a very specific market, with a clear need, and a solution with global potential. I’ll be following their journey with a lot of interest.”
The $3,000 prize for second place was awarded to COU | TECH, founded by UTS MBAe student and fashion designer Peta Portelli, which allows professional women who wear orthotics to customise a stylish shoe design.
$1,000 was also awarded to Tuna Solutions, a centralised online tuna marketplace, founded by fisherman and former Sydney Fish Market auctioneer Thomas de Kock, and former tax and recruitment consultant Xixiang Ngan, a UTS Master of Professional Accounting graduate.
The audience also had their say, voting money saving app Carrots Money the winner of the $1,000 People’s Choice prize. Co-founded by UTS graduate Sarah Nguyen, alongside Jacqui Park and Simon Warner, Carrots Money, uses behavioural change to build smarter money habits.
“Entrepreneurship is a path many graduates are choosing, with employers increasingly looking favourably upon those with innovative mindsets," says UTS Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) Professor Glenn Wightwick.
"It is these shifts that have encouraged the development and creation of UTS’ unique curricular and extracurricular activities to support entrepreneurship, like Hatchery+.
“It pleases me to see that in this year’s cohort, we had a variety of teams tackling important issues, from sustainability and education to social enterprise."
Other presenters on Demo Day included:
- Akili, by Fabiana Alvarez. A social venture designed to connect artisans in developing countries to global markets.
- Open Visa, by Elle Fleming, Cory Mayfield, Yuxin Kwan and Teresa Nguyen. Removes the duplication and double handling of the visa application process, reducing errors, saving time and money.
- SkilledSmart money school for adults, by Paridhi Jain.
- Buzzbox, simplifying business gifting, by John Phung, Boris Poletan and Ashley Cheuk.
- SIRK, by Isabella Shields. An innovative teaching solution for sailing instructors to take the complexity out of the sport.
- Pro Feed, by Samuel Walsh, Thomas Hart, George El Boustani. Connects fitness influencers to fans through personal daily workout feeds.