Ask any entrepreneur who has taken part in the Talent Unleashed Awards about the benefits of being involved and it is almost guaranteed one of the first things they will mention is the Talent Unleashed network, and the calibre of the people and organisations in it.
One of those organisations in LinkedIn, which has been supporting the Talent Unleashed Awards for several years. Leading its involvement this year is Matt Tindale, appointed as LinkedIn’s new managing director for Australia and New Zealand earlier this year.
Tindale will be judging this year’s Awards, taking over from his predecessor Cliff Rosenberg.
“I am excited to be part of the judging panel as it provides me an opportunity to promote Australia’s innovative startups and learn from their disruptive ideas,” Tindale said.
“I am really looking forward to hearing the transformational stories from the entrepreneurs about their journey that led to pursuing their passion and how they are using it to solve real life problems that help people and businesses.”
Given awards programs and pitch nights aren’t exactly hard to find in the startup space, Tindale said the Talent Unleashed program stands out because of the opportunity it gives entrepreneurs to be evaluated by and receive feedback from “legendary” entrepreneurs such as Steve Wozniak and Sir Richard Branson.
Many a past winner has highlighted the impact that leveraging these names has had on their startup’s growth: healthtech CareMonkey, for example, continues to leverage the its connection to the Talent Unleashed Awards in its marketing, with quotes from Branson and Wozniak about the business embedded on the its website.
Meanwhile, Temando said the global business network it was able to tap into through the Awards helped support its expansion into the US, UK, and France.
According to Tindale, opportunities like these reflect one of the core member values LinkedIn holds dear: ‘Relationships Matter’.
“Building the right connections and ensuring that you have good mentors to guide you through your entrepreneurial journey is key for the success of any startup business,” he said.
“The Talent Unleashed Awards also provide a great platform for startups to be recognised for their good work and be part of a valuable community of innovators who they can learn from. All this can help startups unlock funding opportunities from potential investors that can help them scale.”
With entries for this year’s Awards now closed, Tindale highlighted what kind of startups he is looking for as the judging process gets underway.
“I am really looking forward to hearing from startups who have identified a clear problem that exists in the community or their industry and are focused on solving it, whether it’s social change or transforming the way businesses conduct their work,” he said.
For those that make it through to pitching at the finals, Tindale had a couple of tips to share.
Most important, he said, is to keep it simple.
“Start with defining the problem you are trying to solve and how your solution helps fix that problem. Storytelling is a great way to capture the listener’s attention, however be laser focused on explaining what your product or service is, and why its existence is vital,” he explained.
“I also want to see the energy and passion that drives the entrepreneurs to fulfill their vision.”