Four years ago, Curtin initiated and sponsored WApps, a competition between the four Western Australian public universities to recognise and support entrepreneurial talent in digital technologies. Fast-forward to 2015, and the awards, now known as the OzAPP Awards, have grown to become a significant focal point for the startup community in the Asia Pacific.
Held in February, the 2014/15 OzAPP Awards featured 210 startups from across Australia and eight countries in South East Asia. Competition judges from the US, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand and Australia had a difficult time choosing between the most exciting and innovative mobile, web and cloud app concepts.
Winners Kindy took out the QPrize Australia, a USD $100,000 convertible note from competition sponsor Qualcomm Ventures, helping them to further develop their business into the global marketplace. In addition to winning the biggest prize for a startup competition in the region, Kindy will now have the opportunity to pitch against other regional startup winners for the global QPrize in San Diego, California in September.
The competition aims to foster dialogue and collaboration between innovators, researchers, entrepreneurs, investors and industry, and to further stimulate innovative business culture, particularly in the digital and ICT space, around Australia.
The success of the awards inspired Curtin to launch the West Tech Fest: an event that includes the OzAPP Awards judging, presentations from globally recognised speakers, angel investment dinners, innovation roundtables and a startup village.
The West Tech Fest partners with Mai Tai Australia, a community of entrepreneurs, innovators and athletes, founded by Silicon Valley angel investor Bill Tai and professional kitesurfer Susi Mai, that has launched more than 20 startups in the past two years.
For more information on the OzAPP Awards, visit the OzAPP website.
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