Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Innovation ACT Pitches at CBRIN in Canberra

Greetings from the Innovation ACT pitch night at the Canberra Innovation Network (CBRIN). This is a competition for teams of Australian National University students to come up with a business idea. The winner gets business support via CBRIN.  

The first pitch is for an App to find a bar with a short queue and good music. Many student pitch ideas are about food, drinks and entertainment, but this one is a bit different. 

The second pitch was about the "literacy crisis". This is less usual topic. The presentation spent a little long criticizing NAPLAN, which isn't designed to improve student outcomes, only measure them (and based on overseas experience is likely to make the situation worse, better). The actual product is a literacy analytics platform for schools. The catch with this is who will pay, and who will care? Individual teachers, and public schools can't buy such a product. The obvious market is private schools, but the pitch will have to be improve NAPLAN scores, not overtly undermine it.

The third pitch was on climate change action. The idea is to make many small changes to behavior. But it was not clear what these changes were, or how they were to be accomplished, apart from  Flash Mobs (very 2003). It sounded like a marketing pitch for a generic green-washing campaign.

The fourth pitch was for a pet medical registration service. This had a cleaver feature I have not seen in any offering before. But I ought be biased, as I mentored the team. ;-)

The fifth pitch was also about education, with an astronomical simulator to foster children's interest in science. A plus for this team is that they appeared in science week with their potential customers. But as with all education products, the question is who will pay?

The last pitch was for a navigation system for cyclists, wheelchair users, and pedestrians with special needs. The obvious question is how to pay for this, but the team had an answer for that.

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