Eleven participants from eight countries were selected this year to pitch their startups at Startup Avalanche, in front of a jury consisting of leading investors from all over the world. Startup Avalanche is a competition organized within Techsylvania by Risky Business, an investment organization from Cluj. The initial prize was 75.000 EUR, but it doubled to €150.000 by the finals due to investor enthusiasm for the high quality startups that reached the finals.
The investment prize of 150.000 EUR was offered by the investment fund RocaX, Risky Business, Calin Vaduva (founder and CEO Fortech), and Voicu Oprean (founder and CEO AROBS). To support the development of the finalists, Fortech offered another prize of €50.000 in software development services.
AgUnity from Australia, was the top winner of the competition. Thought of as an “Alibaba for farmers,” AgUnity strives to improve the lives of the more than two billion people globally living in isolated communities, lacking access to banking systems, by offering an easy-to-use mobile product that connects the small farmers with essential services.
“From our first interview through to the final pitch, Startup Avalanche was an unbelievable and unique experience, for which we are so grateful to Risky Business, with which we gained a new way to pitch in front of the investors. The competition level was extremely high, and winning it honors us deeply.” says Angus Keck, founder and COO.
“What was the most outstanding at AgUnity was their global ambitious vision. At RocaX we want to support the startups that provide solutions and solve one of the biggest problems the society has and has the potential to become leaders that define the industry.” says Alexandru Bogdan, CEO RocaX, competition sponsor and investor.
Techsylvania Startup Avalanche is a unique competition, focused on providing highly quality support for the participating startups. Before the competition, the startups get 1:1 assistance from the Risky Business team for preparing the strategy, the product and the pitch. Avalanche alumni frequently join to support the new startups. After the competition, the startups benefit from organized individual meetings with investors and investment funds.
“We’re very proud Techsylvania Avalanche has not only become a powerful platform for startups from all around the world to bring attention to their startups, meet potential investors and partners, and grow, but also that it is helping Romanian investors find great startups from all around the world. Last year, Avalanche facilitated one of the first seed investments by Romanian investors in a Western European startup, and this year we’ve invested in an Australian startup that is supporting users from Africa and South America. Developing the investor ecosystem is a critical component of building a thriving startup ecosystem, and we are thankful to have partners that help us evolve this year after year”, explains Jennifer Austin, co-founder Risky Business.
This edition, Avalanche hosted eleven teams from eight different countries: Romania, Australia, Canada, USA, Israel, Germany, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
|PayPact||Romania||Fixes a big pain in the insurance claim field, providing claim money in less than 48 hours from the moment of the incident.||www.paypact.ro|
|Ponera Group||Switzerland||Is a provider of smart, modular industrial packaging solutions as an enabler for the implementation of Circular Economy in freight transportation.||www.poneragroup.com|
|AgUnity||Australia||Aims at changing the lives of the 2-billion unbanked last-mile communities worldwide, developing a simple mobile product restoring trust, and connecting smallholder farmers with the essential services they need.||www.agunity.com|
|EnviCore||Canada||Provides sustainable tailings treatment to help restore tailings ponds into thriving habitats.||www.envicoreinc.com|
|Salesbeat||United Kingdom||Is a virtual sales manager eliminating lost sales in the fast-moving consumer goods industry.||www.salesbeat.co|
|Apio Digital||Romania||Helps real estate sell faster by providing a 3D modular solution for potential buyers.||www.apiodigital.com|
|DiaM Life||USA||Is a centralized diabetes management solution for people suffering from diabetes.||www.diamlife.com|
|Placesense||Israel||Is a platform that turns collected data into aggregated, anonymous and real-time insights to help businesses understand their market, competitors, and customers’ foot-traffic.||www.placense.com|
|Sourcingbot||Germany||Aims at making electronic component sourcing engineering free.||www.sourcingbot.com|
|Yayzy||United Kingdom||Builds a revolutionary technology to calculate carbon footprint using payment data and helping you unlock climate action with your spending and investments.||www.yayzy.com|
|Hashiona||United Kingdom||Improves the day-to-day quality of life for Hashimoto patients and helps them get into remission.||www.hashiona.com|
The competition was structured into two phases, with prominent angel investors and VC funds from all around the world serving as jury members, including:
- Trae Stephens (Founders Fund & Anduril Industries)
- Irina Haivas (Atomico)
- Rohan Chandran (Angel Investor)
- Jenny Dreier (EQT Ventures)
- Jaco Fok (OMV Petrom)
- Cory Reid (Angel Investor)
- Trang Nguyen (Trusted Insight)
- Abdullah Al-Shaksy (Phaze Ventures)
- Brett Martin (Charge Ventures)
- David Gorodyansky (AnchorFree)
- Niko Bonatsos (General Catalyst)
- Alexandru Bogdan (RocaX)
- Călin Vaduva (Fortech)
- Bogdan Colceriu (Risky Business)
Techsylvania is an event dedicated to all IT, business and technology passionate. It was created 7 years ago by Oana Petrus and Vlad Ciurca. The purpose of this event is to become a binder between the local communities and the newest technologies and trends, as well as creating networking opportunities with the most influential people from the IT industry. The number of participants at the event grows every year, at the last edition being 4.000 participants, proving that it is one of the most important tech events in Romania and Eastern Europe.
Risky Business is the first early stage investment fund in Romania, using entirely private capital to accelerate the development of both the startup and investment ecosystem in Romania. It was founded in Cluj-Napoca in 2017 by 36 entrepreneurs from Romania and abroad.