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 EUR 75,000, but it doubled to EUR 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 EUR 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.