Elite Robotics: A Year in Review

Author: Sahil Harriram

Over the past two years Elite Robotics has transformed from a rough idea into a small start-up enterprise; complete with grant funding, office space and a team of six employees plus an intern.

Although our journey has just begun, we wanted to take this opportunity to reflect on these past twelve months. We would also like to thank all of the amazing individuals who helped us along the way, without them none of this would have been possible.

Exactly one year ago, Elite Robotics won the University of Newcastle’s Enterprise + Innovation Week Business Pitch Competition. However, it is important to note we never would have entered this competition if it wasn’t for some encouraging words from a friend of ours, whom we met during an entrepreneurship course, STAR4000. Upon hearing of the competition, we didn’t think we had done enough work on our idea to tell others about it but her confidence in us inspired us to enter at the last minute. Having never written a business pitch and delivered it to an audience, this was a bit of a daunting task. Despite that we went on to win the competition; earning us $2500 in prize money, twenty hours of mentoring and four months of space at Three76 Hub.

Winning this competition completely changed the trajectory of our start-up by giving us the confidence and validation to begin working full time on building Elite Robotics. It helped instil our belief that our product could actually impact people’s lives in a positive way. In addition, being able to work at Three76 Hub became our gateway into the emerging start-up ecosystem in Newcastle. By being a part of this community we have had so many individuals and organisations give us important advice for our start-up. Further, they have helped connect our team with the right people to help us navigate through some major pitfalls start-ups often make.

Since the UON Enterprise + Innovation Week 2016, we have achieved several other important milestones. These include placing 2nd at the I2N/DASH/Dantia Hunter Pitchfest and becoming a NSW State Finalist at Australia Post Regional Pitchfest. Also we received an MVP Grant in May of this year, courtesy of Jobs for NSW. Our prototype development is well on its way and we are gearing up for trials with a local golf course in the coming months. We have also been working hard engaging with potential customers, investors and consumers, so we know exactly how to build our product to suit their needs. We know we’re only at the beginning of this adventure and there is still so much more for us to do, but things are happening fast, and we can’t for you to see.

For us here at Elite Robotics, our journey has been so much more than just building a business. Our growth as a company is reflected in our growth as individuals, how we learn from failure and success, and by working together to achieve our goals to become a leader in the automation industry. We truly believe we can develop technology that will have a lasting, positive effect on the lives of people all over the world. Many thanks to everyone who has believed in us thus far and helped us bring our vision to light. To those of you who are just joining us, welcome and thank you for your support. Together let’s start the Robotics Revolution!

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