Applications for Pause 2017’s StartUp Expo have now opened for startups in all stages, from idea, to seed and above. This year’s expo is set to be bigger and bolder than ever before with a high calibre of investors and a showcase of 75 startups exhibiting across the three-day event. A number of those startups will be shortlisted to take part in a series of pitches in front of leading investors.
Startups with ideas across creative, technology and business industries are urged to apply for Pause Startup Expo- a proven platform for amplification and acceleration.
For whatever stage of the startup journey, investors are keen to listen, learn, offer advice and potential investment. Confirmed are investors from Rampersand, Scale Investors, AMP New Ventures, Carthona Capital, EM Advisory, Pozible and top 100 angel investor Shelli Trung.
For Pause 2017 StartUp Expo, the prizes for winning startups include a ticket valued at $10,000 to any class or workshop at General Assembly’s campus, access to VCs, introduction to mentors and companies within Pause and General Assembly.
Pause has also recently partnered with F6S, the home of 1.5 million tech founders and more than 600,000 startups. F6S will be giving away an Alpha Card to the winning startup of StartUp Expo, which will include all sorts of prizes from travel credits to entries to other world festivals.
However, it’s not just the prizes that startups and entrepreneurs are after, it’s the product validation, exposure and networking opportunities that Pause StartUp Expo presents. These opportunities have led to companies like peer-to-peer storage startup Spacelli finding the right product market fit.
Cofounder of Spacelli, Geoff Stooke attended Pause for the first time two years ago and has been returning to the festival ever since. “What I like about Pause is it seemed to be like the South by Southwest of Australia. There were lots of innovators in different verticals, not just tech or startups, but across a lot of mediums into film, engineering and industrial design,” said Stooke.
In attending Pause, Spacelli was still in beta and was in the crucial stages of market testing. Stooke was looking for new opportunities to gain exposure and customer feedback. In exhibiting at Pause, Spacelli was placed in among a diverse range of potential consumers, established startups and venture capitalists who were looking to invest.
Stooke said what he found most interesting about Pause was the rarity of having the opportunity to get immediate customer feedback. Across the three-days of exhibiting and even presenting, Spacelli saw a spike in on-site traffic and customer acquisition.
“My cofounder called it a real bump in terms of people signing up as users. We even had transactions with existing exhibitors, which is a sign that something is really working out,” said Stooke.
Spacelli was also involved in Pause’s previous StartUp Expo and finished in the top three to receive a mentoring package from Australia Post. In being a company working in the logistics space, mentorship from the chief technology officer at Australia Post was an unprecedented opportunity.
It’s nearly been a year since Spacelli exhibited at Pause and Stooke is proud to announce the launch of a new site next year. “With our learnings we discovered at the festival, including the transaction and customer approval, we’re going to be relaunching in January next year with a whole new interface and business model.”
“Pause has been our milestone event of our startup journey and we’re very grateful for Pause for setting us in their featured attendees,” added Stooke.
Spacelli is not the only startup that has found their break at Pause, other startups like virtual reality startup Plattar, artisan marketplace Bluethumb and transportation startup VicHyper have all agreed that Pause is a festival for everyone. Since attending the last Pause festival, Bluethumb has tripled its business size and this week was named in the Braintree top 50 performing e-commerce startups.
Cofounder of Bluethumb, George Hartley said attending the Pause event was not so much about the networking opportunities, but it was about listening to other founders and startup pitches across the StartUp Expo.
“That was the best thing about it. There was a couple of good virtual reality stalls and startups and it really clicked for me on how cool virtual reality is and its potential,” said Hartley.
Stooke also agreed that the calibre and range of ideas across all industries, especially outside of logistics was a great eye opener into the future of technology and business.
“It gave us a vision into the future of what we could even build on our own product roadmap. There was a lot of focus last year on virtual reality and we were looking at how that can have an impact on our business,” said Stooke.
In terms of advising startups to attendee Pause 2017 StartUp Expo, the resounding recommendation from previous attendees is just do it. For startups Pause leads to exposure, validation, feedback and the opportunity for promotion across the festival.
“From a startup’s perspective I don’t know any other event that you can attend and can extract that much value from. It represents a fantastic opportunity to put yourself out there and get exposure that ordinarily you wouldn’t get,” said Stooke.
Pause Fest 2017 will take place at Federation Square on the 8th-10th of February 2017. Apply here to Pause 2017 StartUp Expo.