Darren Tonkin, Storyboard Social

Winning Creative3 Pitch helped Darren Tonkin’s photo sharing app ‘cut through all the noise’

Startups selected to participate in Creative3 Pitch, QUT Creative Enterprise Australia’s annual creative-tech pitching competition, will compete for a place in StepUp, Virgin Startup’s mini-accelerator program in London. The winner will also secure the right to represent Australia at the international Creative Business Cup (CBC) in Copenhagen, Denmark, where there will be opportunities to connect with investors and other entrepreneurs.

Up to eight applications will be chosen to participate in the Creative3 Pitch semi-finals in July, with four businesses progressing to the finals, which will be held at the annual Creative3 conference in Brisbane on 22 September. Applications for the Creative3 Pitch are now open and will close on June 26.
According to CEA’s acting CEO, Mark Gusowski, the prizes available to the winner of Creative3 represent opportunities ‘money can’t buy’.

“One of the most expensive and risky endeavours for a startup is building trusted international channels to market,” he told Dynamic Business. “By being a part of the Creative Business Cup and a part of StepUp – opportunities only available through the CEA network – the winner of Creative 3 Pitch will have exposure to hundreds of European angel investors, venture capitalists, strategic partners and supporters all in the one place, at the one time. The Virgin Startup program also introduces the winner to the whole of the Virgin Groups infrastructure and empire providing customer channels, experience and networks.

“To build and develop these trusted networks and connections can often take months, if not years, and also tens of thousands of dollars to develop. So, these two prizes will significantly accelerate the pace at which the winner can enter these international markets through trusted networks and intermediaries.”

Gusowski said initiatives such as Creative3 Pitch help “shine a spot light” on the importance of creative industries, both in Australia and internationally. He said he also hopes inspire budding entrepreneurs to “follow their passion towards launching the next Canva, Atlassian, Shoes of Prey or Trademark Vision”.

He added, “Whether you are purchasing fashion or wearables online, using graphics-based software, developing digital content or launching a fashion label, the creative industries collectively represent over $3.2 billion annually to the Australian export market, and contribute $45.9 billion in GDP.

The 2016 Creative3 Pitch winner, Darren Tonkin told Dynamic Business that winning the prestigious event enabled his photo sharing app, Storyboard Social, to cut through the “massive amount of noise” in Australia’s start-up ecosystem.

He explained, “The C3 Pitch provided Storyboard with a build-up of awareness through media coverage, as well as validation of the company. This has assisted us with connecting into business both across Australia- and internationally. At the end of the day, those business connections and that brand awareness is priceless.


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