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E-Centre startup Bee Intelligence creating a buzz at LAUNCH Festival Sydney

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Three New Zealand startups from ecentre’s Sprint Global startup programme are joining over 1000 startups this week at LAUNCH Festival Sydney, the first international version of Silicon Valley’s largest startup conference. The founder-focussed event features tactical growth talks, investor/VC panels, demonstrations of cutting-edge future tech, and startup competitions.

Sprint Global programme participant, Bee Intelligence, which provides its BeeApp software for commercial beekeepers, has been selected as one of the top 20 startups attending. The company has earned the right to take part in a pitch contest at the event to win a $100,000 investment and invitation to LAUNCH’s accelerator in San Francisco.

"We’re on a mission to empower entrepreneurs to grow their ventures and be ready to enter global markets," says Jackie Young, CEO of ecentre, the business incubator hosted at Massey University. "It’s fantastic to have an ecentre delegation to LAUNCH Festival this year - it’s a great way to expose our startups to a wealth of information from product-market fit, to fundraising and growth hacking as part of the Sprint Global programme.

"Our startups will gain some invaluable insights into international markets and forge new connections to help them succeed both at home and on their ‘garage-to-global’ journey. We’re looking forward to seeing BeeApp shine on stage, and hopefully they’ll take away investment and support from LAUNCH."

Bee Intelligence’s co-founder and CEO, Erik Bast, says: "We’re really excited to be one of the few startups pitching at the event - it’s strong validation that there is international interest in BeeApp. LAUNCH is one of the best technology accelerators in the world, we are excited about the opportunity to be exposed to the resources and expertise of these global innovation leaders.

Bee Intelligence co-founder and CTO, Christian Stresing, has taken on the long trip from Berlin to Sydney to join some of the team on the ground.

Wellington-based Bee Intelligence empowers all apiculturists to track assets, gain valuable insights and optimise their operations. The company’s technology suite includes sensors, offline smartphone apps and web based dashboards. The BeeApp platform helps beekeepers, queen breeders, honey extractors and many more achieve operational excellence.

Auckland-based startups Demandlytix a software platform that senses consumer demand in real time and forecasts consumer behaviour for efficient business planning and Trickle a beer tracking hardware/ software solution to minimise keg wastage in hospitality, round out the startup trio from ecentre’s Sprint Global programme attending LAUNCH.

LAUNCH Festival, hosted by angel investor, serial entrepreneur, "ANGEL" author, and podcaster, Jason Calacanis, is a celebration of entrepreneurship and innovation. The event has run in San Francisco for the past 10 years, and was held for the first time in Sydney in 2018.

Young says LAUNCH Festival Sydney is the first of two market immersion opportunities that Sprint Global participants have the opportunity to take part in this year. "In October, we’re attending the TechCrunch Disrupt conference and exhibiting in the New Zealand pavilion at Startup Alley hosted by ecentre. International opportunities like this expose startups in our programme to global markets early on to improve their odds of successfully entering those markets in the future."

Startups attending TechCrunch Disrupt will have an opportunity to demo their products to over 10,000 conference attendees including over 400 media outlets. Through their CrunchMatch system, TechCrunch Disrupt allows startups to reach out and schedule meetings with potential investors attending the conference.

The Sprint Global programme is supported by foundation partners Massey University and Callaghan Innovation, along with a long list of other partners and supporters including, Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED), EY and Hudson Gavin Martin.

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