Muru-D Demo Day Review & Applications for intake two

- August 15, 2014 6 MIN READ

Publishers note: This live blog has been edited, added to and rewritten to give a better overall perspective and opinion of the event – which you can now re-watch the event here.

Originally Published as: Live Streaming & Commentary: Muru-D Demo Evening #startupAUS


It was a full house last night at the Teacher’s Federation Conference centre in Surry Hills, Sydney. It was a full house and everyone was there to get a good look at the first class of the Muru-D Academy backed by Telstra.

After formalities had taken place and the audience was given an overview of the program, it was time to get stuck into the pitches!



ChattyKidz | founded by Ken Taggart and Annabelle Taggart


The application makes it easy to get involved with a family learning app, combining Skype’s real-time engagement with educational content.    Parents build a safe, trusted network that engages the child with video chat & together share educational content in real-time.   Sharing the workload and improving the academic results.

Last Nights Presentation

Kicking things off for the 2014 class, Taggart was flawless, communicating his message clearly and succinctly. Two things came across about him immediately – he is clearly an advocate and pioneer that has a passion for the EduTech space and he has done this before. Taggart sold his last venture in 2007, and was praised by Entrepreneur in Residence, Mick Liubinskas last night for throwing his hat back in the ring and kicking off another startup in a space that is in desperate need for an overall.

An impressive achievement was also revealed last night in regards to the traction of ChattyKidz. They have partnered with a company that helps families with children that find reading difficult to give them a digital distribution channel that will enable that company to have a further reach and in turn build up the user numbers on the platform. Love a good strategic partnership.

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Farmbot | founded by Craig Hendricks, Glen English and Michael Warner


This AgriTech business is a revolutionary new monitoring system for farms, remote infrastructure and the environment that will provide significant cost savings and risk minimisation.

A problem such as stock without water for a day or more will result in loss of condition and even death.  This can cause losses of many thousands of dollars.  Farms incur significant annual costs in regular monitoring of stock water and other key aspects. Farmbot reduces the monitoring costs substantially and ensures the operator always knows the state their assets.

Last Nights Presentation

Being a country kid, growing up on a small ‘hobby farm’ that was surrounded by large multiple working farms, I was sold from the moment Craig Hendricks said “Farmbot, your farm on your phone”. AgriTech is a really interesting space and it was very clear that this team knew the industry, the problems that it faces not just in Australia but overseas, and how to implement systems that can assist farmers that bring about the best return.

One of the major wins that the team have experienced so far is an additional $50,000 funding from SYD Ventures. The technology has also been involved in field trials since March of this year within the Central Tablelands of NSW.


Lime Rocket | founded by Michael Gardiner and Gretchen Armitage


Lime Rocket  enables ‘crowd games’ for live audiences by connecting players smartphones to digital screens.  Basically they turn smartphones into brandable & social ‘remote controls’ so that users can play social games and interact with smart TVs, digital signage & projections in social venues. Their mission is to create new social experiences through smartphones.

Last Nights Presentation

I have seen Mike Gardiner speak and pitch at events before, so I was expecting a fantastic presentation. He delivered on this with flying colours. It was very obvious that Gardiner has a passion for gaming. He also communicated a very clear strategy to the audience around how the company was going to achieve traction and gave a teaser to an upcoming event being held in Sydney where users would be able to experience the technology first hand.

I am not sure whether or not these guys have looked at the Asian market, but I think this would go down well over there.

momentum cloud

Momentum Cloud | founded by Aaron Hughes and Pem Dechen


The vision of Momentum Cloud is to improve education for every child. They provide a cloud-based solution to help schools gather and manage data associated with a child’s learning. With adaptive privacy and user permissions, the secure platform ensures that a child’s complete profile travels seamlessly from year to year and from teacher to teacher. Using analysis tools, teachers can personalise learning for better educational outcomes for children. Students are engaged. Teachers are empowered. Parents are informed

Last Nights Presentation

Pem Dechen was awesome last night, and like Taggart a few presentations before her, spoke with passion around the EduTech space. What really impressed me last night was the calibre of people that Momentum Cloud have been able to add to their team and board of advisors. People like gaming industry veteran and renowned investor Tony McAuslan – huge win.

Momentum Cloud seem to also have been making some significant inroads into government with their product. Last night you kind of got the feeling they were teetering on the edge of something huge.


OpenLearning | founded by Adam Brimo, David Collien and Richard Buckland


OpenLearning wants to revolutionise education. Putting the power back into the hands of students. Their mantra is that learning can and should be enjoyable, ongoing, and above all effective. social and collaborative online learning platform that fosters communities around courses to make online learning more fun, effective and enjoyable. It is a social and collaborative online learning platform that fosters communities around courses to make online learning more fun, effective and enjoyable.

Last Nights Presentation

I have been quite public about the fact that I am a big fan of OpenLearning – though they are still in the process of enhancing their capabilities and scaling through partnerships with different organisations, I think it will become a widely used learning tool within the next few years.

Cofounder Adam Brimo delivered a flawless presentation and did a great job in highlighting some impressive statistics around the app such as the traction that the Writers Centre have had with the engagement and revenue made on their courses, which have saved them over 500 hours of time.

OpenLearning have also closed a further $50,000 in funding from SYD Ventures.


Pixc | founded by Holly Cardew


Pixc provides high volume image editing service that makes product images awesome so online stores can increase their sales. Their mission is to turn product images into ‘awesome ones’ for individuals and businesses selling online,​ so ​they​  can increase their ​ online sales.

Last Nights Presentation

As seemed to be the nature of last night, Holly was extremely polished on stage, presenting a clear outline of her vision. What I really liked about her talk was that she focused on pricing and sales. Then she explained the vision beyond image editing – being film and other multimedia editing services.

There is a bit of competition in the Australian space with a recent INCUBATE startup also offering a similar service right now, however as Holly said in her talk last night having product images on sites like ebay is now mandatory so the market is full of millions of potential customers.

Pixc has also closed $50,000 in further funding from SYD Ventures.


 Safesite | founded by Peter Grant, David Fontain and Leigh Appel


Safesite is  a mobile application that records and communicates critical safety information across entire construction site, allowing supervisors to save time, money and improving safety culture, resulting in fewer injuries.

Last Nights Presentation

Again, I really loved how sales focused Leigh was in his presentation. He gave the audience a taste of the numbers and the potential numbers. What came across well was the in-depth knowledge that these guys have of the industry they are targeting. For me what was especially interesting were some of the US statistics on deaths that occur everyday because of unsafe work environments – pretty alarming stuff.


Vistr | founded by Jeremy Kwong-Law, Mark Collins and Alex Sze


Vistr is an online software that informs business owners of their forecast daily cash flow for the next 3 months. With algorithms that automatically forecast revenue, costs and even GST/Superannuation payments, business owners can see when their business needs cash ahead of time, and take actions today to improve their business’ future.

Last Nights Presentation

Jeremy is a great story-teller. From the outset he had me hooked because he enabled the audience to immediately relate to the product, by sharing a story about his mother’s business and the challenge that she was facing in forecasting and projecting cash flow etc. From there he went on to give a very engaging talk on the mechanics and technology around the application and how it can be used to enhance other finance tools business owners are already using. His argument was well informed and compelling.

Vistr has also just been approved to be part of the Xero application store.


Zed Technologies / My Film Bag | Ross Wright and Ronald Li


Zed Technologies has developed My Film Bag, which is a digital platform that allows patients to view, share and store their X-rays and scans with anyone, anytime.

Every year, radiology providers spend hundreds of thousands of dollars and thousands of admin hours in providing patients with X-ray film and CD-ROMs.  Despite this cost, the images are rarely available when needed, leading to patient and referrer inconvenience and repeat X-rays and scans.

Last Nights Presentation

I am really loving the HealthTech space – and the My Film Bag product is solving a massive problem, inconvenience. I commented last night that this product would have been perfect when my father injured himself at work and needed a knee reconstruction recently was travelling to Sydney and other cities to see various doctors – carrying massive x-ray films around is certainly annoying.

Ross said something in his presentation which I really liked, to paraphrase it was along the lines of their digital product doing what digital cameras did to Kodak – a bold statement, but one that communicates his vision for the company clearly.

Given the amount of medical centres and hospitals worldwide that would benefit from this product, especially in the US – I am looking forward to observing the traction over the coming year.


The 2015 Muru-D Class

With a successful class now under their belt the Telstra backed startup academy have now opened applications for the next intake.

Interested startups can apply clicking here – applications close September 15th.

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