"CES 2019 was the most boring CES in recent memory" - so what was all the hype about?
It’s that time of year where we sit back and think about the year that has been. I find myself thinking of all the amazing ‘startups’ I’ve met in 2017. I wanted to create a list of amazing companies (some brand new in 2017, some a little older) who are doing epic stuff – it’s hard to limit it to 10 (seriously how amazing is the Aussie startup space!!). So in no particular order:
Part of the amazing SheStarts program, BronTech rounds out 2017 with their first $1million raise. With a vision to impact our personal data and security/ownership around this data, BronTech leverages the blockchain to revolutionise the way businesses can interact with our data. I see huge things happening in 2018 for the BronTech team.
The second blockchain business on the list, bursting out of WA with an immense vision, the team behind Power Ledger are kicking incredible goals. Infrastructure (power) on the blockchain will be disruptive in 2018. It’s super exciting to see global power companies and governments getting on board with this team. (Disclosure - yes I have purchased a small amount of POWR tokens)
It seems that every software company these days is looking to how AI can help them. Life Whisperer are taking AI and computer vision into the world of fertility and are helping parents improve the chances of becoming pregnant. I find this utterly amazing and I can’t wait to see what Life Whisperer do in 2018.
One of my favourite startup teams from 2017, I find this team utterly inspiring. Like Maxwell MRI they are using AI, computer vision and deep learning to find better ways to diagnose prostate cancer. Maxwell MRI's goal is faster, more accurate and more affordable tools to help give people a better chance at full recovery.
A small team focused on helping businesses with cashflow, these folks just don’t stop innovating. From enabling full end to end debt management to super simple “pay now” options for businesses invoices & statements, EzyCollect is killing it when it comes to direct financial impact to a businesses bottom line. Payments are going to be huge in 2018 and EzyCollect is sitting in the perfect spot to help Aussie businesses dramatically improve their cashflow & payment options.
One of Australia’s unsung startup hero’s in my opinion, this amazing team burst on the scene a little over 4 years ago and continue to leap from milestone to milestone. With 2017 seeing Tanda lock up amazing international brands, 2018 is shaping up to be huge for this Brisbane team as they drive big impact in the management and rostering of staff.
It’s amazing to me that two of the worlds leading staff rostering and management solutions are born and bred in Australia. Deputy, hot on their amazing US$25m raise in 2017, are also driving innovation in the rostering and staff management space. It’ll be amazing to watch as Deputy push hard in 2018 around the globe.
The only Kickstarter startup to make my list is Audeara and I have huge admiration for this team. I’ve had the privilege of getting to know these folks during 2017, I’ve shared a drink or two as they openly and honestly tell their story. I admire any team who don’t hide behind the frustrations of the startup world. Tech is hard, hardware is SO much harder. Audeara are laser focused on bringing the best headphones to the market – “prescriptions for your ears” as they say. My gut says there is some amazing options ahead of this team in 2018, and I can’t wait to see what new ideas burst forth from them. (Disclosure - yes I backed their kickstarter & am waiting patiently for my headphones)
I remember sitting in a café with this team in their early days seeing their passion and understanding of the business financing space. I’ve watched as they’ve continued to listen to their customers, deliver to those needs and continue to drive forward. I’ve talked to clients who have used their services, whose businesses are around today because of the Waddle team. On the back of their huge $50m raise in November, 2018 promises to be stratospheric for this team.
If you are not looking for it you may not even have heard of Zoom2U (dare I say it – the Uber of the Courier space), but this 3 year old team have had an incredible 2017. Zoom2U provides much more control and flexibility to the courier space, and for a consumer they give us much more transparency about where our package actually is and when it’s going to be delivered. With 2018 gearing up to be a huge year for online retail in Australia I believe Zoom2U's service, app and attitude will allow them to grow massively in 2018.
But Keran, what about Prospa, Canva, Moula, VetChat, MyProsperity, and .. and … the list goes on. You are right, it’s so unfair to single out just 10 when 2017 has been an incredible year for Aussie startups. 2018 promises to be even bigger – why?
Technology – it’s so much simpler to get access to amazing tech like IBM Watson or AWS cloud services. It truly is a “if you can dream it you can build it” time.
Support – there is a healthy ecosystem of startup communities and 2017 saw a number of bigger Aussie corporates step in and start to mentor, foster and support the entire startup ecosystem. There is also much more corporate acceptance of using/purchasing startup solutions for use in their businesses.
Financing – there is more money around, no it’s not free and no it’s not easily given, but the money is there for the right ideas and teams. More importantly there is support around helping you build out your pitch and team, and mentoring you as you grow.
Acceptance – there is a healthy acceptance in the job market for those that have given it a crack. We all know not all ideas and businesses succeed. I’ve seen over the past 2 years a growth in acceptance in the HR space around hiring those who have given it a crack, it’s no longer seen as a black mark to have “given my own startup a crack”
So, as we round out 2017, I look forward to 2018 – who are the startups you are going to be watching?