Earlier this month, Pearlii was fortunate to be one of nine startups chosen to pitch in the Silicon Block MYOB Pitch-Off finals. It would be the first time I’d pitched Pearlii publicly and in front of such a large crowd, so I was both excited and nervous about how people would react.
It was a steaming 38 degree night, but despite the heat the crowd was in great spirits. Stepping inside the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, there were hundreds of people drawn to the main stage to listen to Siobhan McFeeney. Siobhan is Global Leader of Business Transformation at Pivotal Labs and was showcasing the methodology she uses to help the world’s largest companies adapt to change.
Other talks across the night included John Chambers from IE Digital, Nigel Dalton from REA Group, Harriet Wakelam from IAG, and Ben Burge from Belong - all sharing their stories on corporate innovation and inspiring people through the night.
A large crowd moved into the open arena as the pitch competition started - thankfully the sun had gone down by that point!
The standard was high and I was very impressed by the other entrants. Startups included Reputationaire, a blockchain powered credit score to help secure your online reputation, and Ambisie, a platform connecting passionate community leaders with the next generation.
We were given just 90-seconds to pitch. More than anything, I wanted to communicate the enormous public health unmet need and the significant impact that a low-cost screening and prevention tool like Pearlii could have globally. Oral diseases are the most common non-communicable disease worldwide and they impact more than half of the world’s population. They affect people throughout their lifetime, causing pain, discomfort, disfigurement, and even death, so the impact of our work at Pearlii could be huge.
Overall, the competition was a really fun experience and we walked away with second place. A pleasant surprise, especially given how early we are in our startup journey. We were particularly excited about the prize package including a brand workshop with IE Digital.