First Finalist of Oxygen Ventures ‘The Big Pitch’ Announced

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Australian startup BlueSky announced as first finalist in Australian competitive pitch event The Big Pitch. Organiser Oxygen Ventures expects fantastic public support on June 17, entries close June 5.

What really attracted us to BlueSky were three outstanding elements; the confidence and professionalism of founders David and Nigel, the quality and execution of their product and business model and the future opportunity for international expansion.

Oxygen Ventures has announced online retail marketplace BlueSky as the first of five finalists to compete for five million dollars in funding in Melbourne later this month.

Oxygen Ventures Managing Director, Larry Kestelman, is excited to have the BlueSky on board for The Big Pitch, and has also announced three new judges for the June 17 event. Applications to participate close this Thursday, on June 5.

“What really attracted us to BlueSky were three outstanding elements; the confidence and professionalism of founders David and Nigel, the quality and execution of their product and business model and the future opportunity for international expansion.”

“David and Nigel, although young, showed immense passion and drive and took on feedback in a manner that demonstrated that they have scope to grow into their respective roles and drive the company growth.”

A prototype BlueSky app was launched in May last year and July will see the release of an updated app, which BlueSky Managing Director David Mah says will include the catalogues of every online retailer in Australia and connect consumers directly to products they are interested in purchasing.

Mah is bullish about the potential of his company: “We want to do to retail what the Apple app store did to apps,” he says.

Oxygen Ventures Investment Director Ilya Frolov agrees the product has great potential.

“The business model is transactional, which allows for incremental revenue during growth and the ability for our team to work together to enhance the product even further means that we can offer more than just funding and mentoring, but vital resources and our network of connections.”

For Mah, quality is paramount.

“The amount of care we put into the retail experience is evident in the entire company. We believe we’re just scratching the surface of what we can do.”

Mah is adamant Oxygen Ventures can help his company grow: “We found their focus is very much about product, product, product and upscaling fast. That resonated with us.”

It’s too early to tell whether burning ambition and the app prototype will be enough for BlueSky to get the $5 million in funding on offer, but June 17 will reveal all. Joining the judging panel are Xero Managing Director Chris Ridd, CSIRO Executive Director of Development Rod Bloom and SVI Global chairman Laura Anderson. They will help Larry Kestelman, Channel Ten Executive Director Russel Howcroft and Blue Chilli CEO Sebastian Eckersley-Maslin to choose who triumphs.

About The BIG Pitch

The BIG Pitch competition is where digital entrepreneurs pitch their startups to a handpicked panel to win access to a funding pool and the hands-on business smarts of Oxygen Ventures. For the venture-minded, funding from $250k to $5m is on offer, along with an expert team capable of taking the best ideas in the digital world to huge commercial success.
Presented by Oxygen Ventures alongside event partner BlueChilli, the competition’s finale will take place on June 17th 2014 at The BIG Pitch Event at Deakin Edge, Fed Square, Melbourne.

thebigpitch.com.au

About Oxygen Ventures

Oxygen Ventures is a new breed in digital venture capital offering entrepreneurial, hands-on know-how. Founded by successful entrepreneur Larry Kestelman, the company has invested in numerous digital businesses and is assisting them to reach their goals. Oxygen Ventures is launching The BIG Pitch competition to discover the best digital startups Australia has to offer.

oxygenventures.com.au

END

Contact:

Ilya Frolov
Investment Director
Oxygen Ventures
ilya(at)oxygenventures(dot)com(dot)au
03 9868 9936

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