Australian startup information site, iPitch, gets new frontman, new focus

Australian startup information site, iPitch, gets new frontman, new focus

iPitch, the website that was started by successful Australian tech entrepreneur David Kowalski (now of Green Lane Digital) has been around for a little while but it was never really clear what the site did.

Sometimes it seemed to be a Crunchbase equivalent for aussie startups, sometimes a tech news site and sometimes an attempt at an Australian version of the Angel List.

Well all that has changed with the appointment of new “Lead Entrepreneur”, Gareth Rose, whose mission it is to bring direction to what has the potential to become a key part of he Australian tech startup ecosystem

I sat down and had a quick chat with Gareth to see what was going on in iPitch land:

So Gareth, when did you get appointed?

The end of July

What’s your background?

My background and skill set is in sales and consulting. Primary in B2B Sales, in the areas of software and software/web services. But after leaving full time consulting in 2008, I co-founded the business Zynasty G, which was an online clothing company based on a digital comic we were producing. My business partner was primarily the design side of the business and I was everything else. I shut it down after about 18 months, but wearing all the hats needed as a founder that’s what gave me a lot of the experience I’m relying on now at IPitch. Earlier this year, I picked up a bit of contract work in sales for the Australian startup iwannaticket, that’s what led me to meet the guys at Green Lane Digital, the investor incubator that founded IPitch.

What are your goals for the iPitch?

As a startup ourselves, my first goal with iPitch is to operationally breakeven and get our value proposition right. The end goal for IPitch is to be the No 1 go-to-place online for the Australian startup community with everything the entrepreneur needs all in one place. Not because we’ll have all the answers ourselves. A lot of what we’ll do is connect and direct our users to the existing experts and providers in the particular field they need.

 How will things be different in the short term?

With my fresh eyes on the business, I’ve gone and looked at:

  1. What are the problems, needs, interests and focus areas of the different groups in the Australian startup community
  2. What does IPitch currently offer to our target groups [who are currently startups and investors]
  3. What can we do better, what don’t we currently offer but should, and who can we partner with that already has these offerings and expertise

As a result, in the short term, the next 3 months, I’m:

  • Out and about talking to members of the Australian startup community asking about their needs and getting their feedback on IPitch.
  • Focusing on creating a lot more value for our users based largely on this feedback. A lot of this will be around practical educational content and products, but also will involve cleaning up our current core offering being the connection of startups and investors.
  • Planning the release of a ‘how to startup’ type educational product for soon to be entrepreneurs who are still launching their businesses
  • Planning the release of a ‘What you need to know about getting investment’ type educational product
  • Managing the release of a section for Service Providers that work in the Startup/ Early stage business space so that startups can easily find and select quality service providers
  • Moving the focus away from primarily a startup, investor matching service to a much more complete all-in-one site for Australian startups.

If Gareth and the iPitch team can pull off everything their aiming to do, the site will become an invaluable part of the Australian startup ecosystem in the near future.

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