Slush Pitching Contest Winner Turns Down The Prize

    Helsinki-Melbourne distance seen too long for active startup-investor partnership.

    Australian health data startup CareMonkey won the world’s richest startup competition prize of 650,000 euros at Slush 2015, but the startup has turned down the reward which was an investment opportunity, not “folded notes in a brown paper bag”.

    “We’re only after investment if it’s smart money,” founder and CEO Troy Westley told to The Australian. “We want someone who is going to put skin in the game but also play an active role in developing the business. We feel it would be difficult to achieve that level of partnership between Melbourne and Helsinki.”

    “It was a real privilege to be offered funding but we decided to stick with our plan which is to be profitable in Australia, USA and UK before seeking any funding,” Westley said in a statement of Slush. “We’re making great progress and with a positive cash flow we are focused on execution. We’ll look at funding in the near future when we understand our position in key markets and what resources are required to be the dominant player.”

    Why the team attended the competition where winner’s price was an investment offer remains a mystery.

    CareMonkey is building an electronic health and safety system that automatically keeps medical and emergency contact information up to date for any organisation with a duty of care, and makes that information instantly available to trusted carers — ensuring they know exactly what to do, who to call or what to tell ambulance paramedics in an emergency.

    Photo: Jussi Helsten/Slush