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Australian Women in Tech Pitch Event

Madeleine Janz

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This summer, in the buzzing Australian city, Brisbane, female tech startup leaders met to pitch their companies to all-star judges for the chance to win global integration and expert guidance. Among the finalists were Barb Hyman, the creator of PredictiveHire, a platform using AI to help large companies find the best employees, and Lucinda Hartley, the creator of Neighbourlytics, a social site for solving urban problems. These finalists, and nine more innovative creators, met in Brisbane to be mentored before their pitches, and enjoy speakers like Jaleh Daie, among the first WITI Hall of Fame Inductees in 1996, and the president of the Austrailian Academy of Science, Professor John Shine.

This event, run by Austrade and the Australian government, was inspired by the Anita Borg Institutes event, Hopper Down Under, which celebrated women in technology located in the Asia-Pacific in late July. The Australian Women in Tech Pitch event was sponsored and supported by more than 10 global tech companies aiming to increase their goals of equity in the workplace. The finalists were notified in early July and were supplied mentors to help them prepare their three minute pitch followed by five minutes of questions from the judges. The panel of judges spanned the world's continents, industries, and covered an intergenerational spectrum. The six judges were made up of five women, and one man, with experience ranging from consulting, to being a startup CEO. The Anita Borg Institute was represented by Dr. Quincy K. Brown who is the current Senior Director of Innovation at the institute. The pitches occurred all in one day with deliberations to follow.

By the end of the day, on August 1st, Annie Slattery, was named the winner. Slattery is the co-founder and CEO and ConX, the helping hand for contractors. As ConX's website says, her company offers "a platform for construction contractors to manage tenders, complete takeoffs and measure plans." The company helps contractors in the pre-construction phase give quotes to more customers, thus providing contractors with more work and less stress. Contractors across Australia have used ConX since 2013 as a way to streamline their work, and now people around the world will be able to request demos of the service and start using it. As the winner, Slattery will receive a design thinking session with IBM Garage Engagement valued at AUD 30,000, an Alibaba Cloud voucher valued at USD 50,000, automatic entry into an Australian Landing Pad of her choice in Berlin, San Francisco, Shanghai, Singapore or Tel Aviv and a complimentary ticket to attend Hopper Down Under.

All of the finalists will also receive a free ticket to Hopper Down Under and a one-on-one mentoring session from Main Sequence Ventures. The Australian Women in Tech Pitch event has gained notoriety each time the event is held with more sponsors getting involved, and the quality of the work increasing. Women In Technology International encourages all of our Australian members to get involved in the event next year.

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