Curtin Accelerate program 2019 showcases WA talent

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The 2019 Curtin Accelerate Program Cohort. Photo: Peter Mazanec

The Curtin Accelerate Program Demo evening kicked off at Curtin’s St Georges Terrace campus on Wednesday night with five teams pitching their startups to the Perth business community.

The 2019 cohort presented on a wide range of competitive ideas to an attentive audience of potential investors, family, and friends.

The Curtin Accelerate Program Demo evening.
Photo by Peter Mazanec.
  • Calor Medical (formerly ‘Dermacool’) , the first pitch of the evening, are developing a new method of treating burns and hoping to improve upon the gold standard treatment of running under cold water.
  • Soda Club Australia founder Sian Reed pitched her team’s mission to deliver delicious, high quality, low-alcohol or non-alcoholic drinks that consumers actually want to drink.
  • Natalie Marinho presented on her app DropIt which allows people to create messages in augmented reality and drop them at a real-world location for other people to find.
  • Elizabeth Oliver pitched her team’s innovation Memory Box Collective which strives to provide novel, cost-effective services to Alzheimer’s sufferers, enabling patients to live well despite their condition.
  • Nathan Letizia spoke about his team SpiroPak who use 3D printing to develop structured packaging, which can enhance separation process efficiency in liquid-gas columns, with significant potential for the oil and gas industry.

Startup News spoke to members from Calor Medical to find out about the inspiration behind their pitch and what’s next in the development of their business idea.

Natalie Marinho, developer of the app DropIt, which allows users to create content in augmented reality. Photo: Peter Mazanec.

While the team was tight-lipped about the exact nature of the technology they are using, if successful, the new method would enable those with restricted access to water to treat burns sooner and more effectively.

Calor Medical were formed as a part of the Perth Biodesign program, which brings applicants together based on their academic backgrounds, with the purpose of inventing and commercializing health technologies.

Team member Alishum Ali says the team were inspired to look for a different approach to treating burns after a two week placement with the Fiona Wood Foundation observing needs of patients in hospital.

“We observed what the doctors and surgeons did and we tried to see what needs had not been met,” he said. “We realised that scarring and burns are a big issue that [this] is not being dealt with effectively,” he said.

Alishum Ali

“So we went back to the program and took that idea on, and realised that first aid is where we needed to come in and make a difference to have the biggest impact on the patients”.

Eldin Rostom, who delivered the pitch, credits the Curtin Accelerate program with getting them off the ground.

Eldin Rostom from Calor Medical.
Photo: Peter Mazanec.

“We hadn’t really nutted down the business side of things – like how big is your market, how much you’re going to sell, what’s your distribution channels… – which is why we decided to join Curtin Accelerate.

 “It was a godsend… it was one of the best things we’ve done so far,” he said.

“Next for us will be trying to raise funds and then we’ve got two major risks to assess: the feasibility of the concept, and the cost of goods.

“Those are the two big challenges we are going to tackle over the coming months, and hopefully if we address these by December… we’ll put in the patent, secure the IP and we’re confident we’ll scale up from there.”

The Curtin Accelerate program is now in its sixth year and has graduated thirty teams who have each gained funding and gone on to successfully launch innovative services and products.

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You can find out more about the Curtin Accelerate program here.

MAIN PHOTO: The 2019 Curtin Accelerate graduates, including program deliverers Chloë Constantinides (far left) and Nate Sturcke (front right)