Tech23 boasts an impressive alumni list of innovators from across Australia's tech start-up landscape. In addition to winning useful and lucrative prizes, Tech23 participants have gained crucial exposure and made contact with future advisors and investors whose interest in their company has had a lasting impact.
Tech23 2013 alumnus 2Mar designs and manufactures a voice and iPhone controlled robot arm for people with limited upper mobility. The company was founded by Marita Cheng in April 2013 with a grant from Melbourne University's Melbourne Accelerator Programme. 2Mar won 5 prizes at Tech23 2013, including the Tech23 2013 Innovation Excellence Award, a trip to Silicon Valley to meet with potential investors and customers from ATP Innovations, and $10,000 worth of software development services from ThoughtWorks.
Sabre Autonomous Systems was formed in March 2013 as a spin-out company from the University of Technology, Sydney to commercialise the world's first autonomous grit blasting system. The technology is the result of over 6 years of collaborative research and development between the University of Technology, Sydney and the New South Wales Roads & Maritime Services, culminating in the installation of two fully operational autonomous grit blasting robots on the world famous Sydney Harbour Bridge. Sabre won 3 prizes at Tech23 2013 including the Tech23 2013 Greatest Potential Award, an Innovate NSW MVP Grant of $15,000, and a trip to London to meet potential investors and customers from London & Partners.
Tech23 2012 alumnus SmartSparrow is an education technology start-up pioneering adaptive and personalised learning technology. It was founded in 2011 by Dr Dror Ben Naim out of a research group at the University of New South Wales in Sydney. Since participating in Tech23, SmartSparrow has expanded into the US, and its adaptive eLearning platform has been taken up by a number of education providers including Central Queensland University, Jones & Bartlett Learning and Arizona State University. SmartSparrow won the $20,000 High Growth Catalyst Award sponsored by NSW Government at Tech23 2012.
Ninja Blocks are compact cloud enabled computers that allow users to connect household things, like their doorbell or electricity meter to apps, environmental controls and web services. Since launching in 2011, Ninja Blocks have gone from strength to strength, thanks in part to their Open Hardware philosophy that enables a global network of volunteer programmers and early adopters to help advance their technology. The company recently raised over $115,000 in just 36 hours on KickStarter for the next iteration of their hardware, Ninja Sphere. Ninja Blocks won 4 prizes at Tech23 2012, including the $20,000 Outstanding Collaboration for Innovation Award sponsored by NSW Government.
OrionVM met the company's first major wholesale customer, AAPT, at Tech23 2011. OrionVM are a cloud IaaS provider, offering a platform that allows their users to build and scale applications and websites on demand avoiding the management of servers and networks. Founded in 2010, OrionVM recently entered the US market and are set to announce further expansion later this year. OrionVM won the $25,000 Broadband Innovation Award sponsored by NSW Government at Tech23 2011.
Tech23 2011 alumnus BugHerd is a bug tracking tool for web platforms that helps technical and non-technical teams communicate, track and manage issues and bugs simply and efficiently. In addition to meeting their investors Starfish Ventures at Tech23 2011, BugHerd won two prizes, including the People's Choice award and a $2000 cash prize from AMP for Most Promising Emerging Tech.
Founded out of the Australian Centre for Field Robotics at the University of Sydney in 2009, Tech23 2010 Alumnus Marathon Robotics is the producer of the world's first smart target system for dynamic live-fire training. Since participating in Tech23, Marathon Robotics have seen their business expand exponentially as they continue to work with the Australian Defence Force to develop world-leading technology, and have recently signed a lucrative deal with the US Defence Force. Marathon won 2 awards at Tech23 2010, including the NSW Government's $50,000 Innovation Excellence award, and the People's Choice award.
ReadCloud was founded in April 2009 to create the world's first social eReading software for sharing of annotations directly inside eBooks, turning the digital book into a place for discussion and collaboration. Since participating in Tech23 2010, ReadCloud has signed contracts with several prestigious schools like PLC Sydney, Newington College, SHORE and Wenona, over 100 bookstores, and 30 major publishers. ReadCloud won two awards at Tech23, including meetings with Ryan Junee and OneVentures' Michelle Deaker.
Posse founder Rebekah Campbell met the company's first angel investor and chairman at Tech23 2009 and has since raised millions in funding for her social retail search and recommendation app. Posse won 3 awards at the inaugural Tech23 event, including the People's Choice award.
Tech23 2009 alumnus We Are Hunted is a new music discovery and trend tracking app founded in 2007. We Are Hunted won 5 awards at Tech23 2009, and has since been acquired by Twitter.