News, Insights and Stories from the Australian and New Zealand tech ecosystem.

Rackspace Small Teams, Big Impact competition returns this year; startups invited to enter

At last year’s Small Teams, Big Impact competition, there was a balanced mix of talent and disaster. Some startups excelled in their pitches, others were cringe-worthy. The Rackspace Small Teams Big Impact competition had everything you would see on X Factor Australia, minus the make-up and overwhelming stench of desperation. It was a competition of ideas. And it’s about to happen all over again.

When it came to the judges last year, there was plenty of snarky sarcasm from Ruslan Kogan and infectious laughter from Robert Scoble. Joining these judges this year is Ben Chong from Sydney Seed Fund and Founder Institute, Mark Carnegie from M.H. Carnegie & Co. and Chris Ridd from Xero.

Once again, Rackspace is inviting startups with disruptive business models to enter the competition. After entries close, six finalists will be selected to pitch their ideas to 200 members of the startup community, investors and the media on Thursday 11th September at Cell Block Theatre, National Arts School, in Sydney. Each finalist will have five minutes to present to the judges, followed by a three minute Q&A.

The 2014 Small Teams Big Impact winner will receive the Small Teams Big Impact 2014 winner’s trophy, a return ticket from Australia to San Francisco with four nights’ accommodation and a visit to Silicon Valley. They’ll also get a video interview in Robert Scoble’s recording studio and will be featured on

“As part of Rackspace’s ongoing commitment to startups, we are thrilled to host the Small Teams Big Impact awards again this year. We can’t wait to see what this year’s entries have in store for us, and how we can help them bring to out the full potential in their business plans,” said Rackspace Director and General Manager ANZ Angus Dorney, in a media release.

Last year’s winner was Ollo Mobile, a Brisbane-based telehealth startup founded by Hugh Geiger and Ken Macken. The startup has gone on to win more awards including top honours at the West Tech Fest OzApp Awards, and has garnered a fair amount of media attention.

“Since winning the award last year, we have been given exposure to so many opportunities we would have previously only dreamed about,” Geiger said.

Like last year, the judging panel will select the winner based on the following criteria: 1) scope of innovation; 2) shows the highest potential to change or disrupt an industry; and 3) demonstrates the greatest impact to the largest number of people or businesses.

Entries close on the 28th of August. More information on eligibility and prizes are available at



Startup Daily