We are very fortunate to have such bold, creative and visionary entrepreneurs in Australia!
The Application Stage of the Westpac Innovation Challenge closed on 19 October and we were so pleased to be kept busy with both the volume and the quality of great ideas that came in (well over one hundred applications). Thank you to every single one of you who applied — your ideas and energy are inspiring. You certainly made it a tough challenge to select the five finalists.
The challenge was designed to surface exciting new ideas for innovation in the property and real estate industry and give entrepreneurs the ability to bring those innovative ideas to life. To give you an idea of where innovation is bubbling up in this sector, here is a breakdown of the applications we received by type:
Great as all the applications were, there were only five finalist places available. The selection committee (10 representatives from Westpac and BlueChilli) considered many criteria, including the market opportunity, the problem/solution fit, the strength and skill of the team, the level of innovation the idea presented and the leverage that Westpac could offer the startup.
The five finalist startup founders will proceed and pitch in front of the judges in a few weeks for the top prize: a six month accelerator placement with BlueChilli and a $40,000 prize from Westpac.
Without further ado, congratulations to the top five finalists (in no particular order):
- Alex Levashov – Suburb sentiment comparison
- Matt Pope – Mobile marketing platform using iBeacons
- Christopher Price – Crowdfunding real estate investments
- Jimmy Tat – A mobile app for landlords and tenants
- Josh Rowe – Accurate property price predictions for buyers
These five startup founders will all receive intensive pitch training and business advice from the BlueChilli advisory team over the next two weeks before pitching their ideas to the Westpac Digital and Innovation judging panel on 12 November.
We are so impressed with the amazing ideas from applicant all over Australia. If you’re reading this — whether you applied or not — we encourage you to take action and start planning to create something awesome today. Your ideas have the potential to change the future, so give them a chance to.
We have some encouragement prizes in mind for the startup applicants who were unsuccessful in reaching the final stage too. Check your email inbox for more news coming soon…