The second round of the Gig-Start Fund has seen $60,000 awarded to three Dunedin start up businesses.
Funded by Chorus and Alcatel Lucent, the Gig-Start Fund is part of the Gigatown winning prize package awarded to Dunedin in November last year. It was created to provide a launch pad for new-to-market UFB-led service concepts in Dunedin.
As part of the funding round, finalists pitched to the judging panel in a ‘Dragons Den’ style setting.
The winners, Jack Pivac from Blue Twist - cloud based systems for the medical sector; Derek Morrison from Photo Toolbox Ltd, cloud based digital asset management system and Greg Fahey from Bison - cloud based data management system for the logistics sector, each won $20,000.
This is the second round of funding awarded to Derek Morrison for Photo Toolbox. Its plan to use cloud technology to simplify photography licensing received $20,000 in the first Gig-Start Fund.
Bison CEO Greg Fahey says the ability to pitch to the judges in person was crucial to conveying the idea and also the drive spurring on the team. "We've got a really motivated and multi-disciplined team with a clear sense for this opportunity. It's great to see that recognised,” he says.
The Gig-Start Fund was judged by industry peers including Emily Cooper from Silkbody and Nigel Bamford from Escea.
Bamford says he was impressed with the increasingly high standard of the entrants.
“The quality of applications shows that there are some really smart people in Dunedin doing some really smart things in the digital space,” he says. “We see this money as giving the winners a foot up to help them take their project further and ultimately we hope some can build a successful Dunedin based business from it.”
The third round of the Gig-Start Fund will open in early 2016. To date $107,000 has been awarded with another $97,000 available for future rounds.