The title of the Hunter region’s Best Start-up has been awarded to BinShare, a marketplace for waste, at the Hunter Pitchfest 2016.
Held at the Dantia Smart Hub (DaSH) in Charlestown on October 20, the judging panel included representatives from The University of Newcastle, Laughing Mind and Slingshot Accelerator, awarding the winning concept $5,000 cash and over $150,000 worth of digital software and business development tools.
BinShare founder Dave Puxty won over the judges by demonstrating that the antiquated waste removal model is built upon servicing half a million front-lift commercial bins across Australia that are only half-full, on average. Known in the industry as ‘flipping air’, consumers are being charged landfill fees for empty space, providing a $15 million-a-week opportunity for disruption to the industry.
Dave’s start-up seeks to put control back in the hands of consumers, much like ride-share service Uber, by digitally connecting seekers of bin space with owners of empty bins. BinShare facilitates the transaction, making waste management easier, more transparent and customer-centric than ever before – small businesses and households have a clean, cost-effective and time-saving alternative to going to the tip.
Second and third place were taken out by Elite Robotics, who intend to build autonomous lawn mowers that use machine vision to self-guide, and GameFlint, an online site builder that helps game developers build websites.
Other finalists included:
- CrowdSolve – A mobile platform for citizens and local government to vote and comment on current ‘projects’, as well as submit their own community improvement ideas
- Pub Grub Hub – Giving small pub venues an opportunity to be found and have their blackboard specials listed in an easy to find web app, giving them exposure to a larger audience for a small monthly subscription
- StartDesk – Combining marketing strategy with programmatic ad technology, enabling SMEs to plan, set up, and launch their idea in a few simple steps
- Vännen – A sex-positive social enterprise that will donate one-third of profits to the NGOs that champion Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights
- Wyzed – A SaaS Employee Training Platform for SME’s to manage their hiring, training and staff communications
Winner Dave Puxty’s advice to other start-ups was to “jump in the deep end and test out their new business concepts. The process of pitching forces you to clearly define what it is that your business does, how it makes money and who your competitors are.”
For more information about how you can get involved in the start-up community in Newcastle, follow #newystartups online at www.facebook.com/newystartups.