2 million for Demis enterprise startup


first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Digital enterprise WeTeachMe, founded by Greek Australian Demi Markogiannaki and her partners, is $2 million richer after splitting the winnings of the inaugural Big Pitch, a private funding competition for technology ideas. WeTeachMe, a platform that combines course-provider software with an online marketplace for short courses, walked away with a prize of $2 million, while ECAL, a calendar-based event marketing platform with high-profile sporting teams as clients, took $2.5 million.Five million dollars was up for grabs in the SiliconValley-styled pitching competition The Big Pitch, launched by Melbourne venture capital fund Oxygen Ventures, the investment vehicle of internet entrepreneur Larry Kestelman. Five finalists pitched live at an evening event on Tuesday at Federation Square in Melbourne in front of an audience and an expert panel that included Dodo founder Larry Kestelman, Network Ten executive general manager Russel Howcroft and BlueChilli founder Sebastien Eckersley-Maslin.WeTeachMe and ECAL were among five finalists from more than 350 formal entries.On Tuesday night, the fast-growing and unique start-up company that Ms Markogiannaki co-founded 18 months ago with partners Cheng Zhu, Kym Huynh and Martin Kemka was awarded for its hard and pioneering work, as a digital platform that helps people to find and book classes and events. The service takes the stress out of paperwork by automating booking and administration processes, making it easy for customers to find and book courses. WeTeachMe is currently on track to have listed over 50,000 courses by the end of 2014. For the young company the award comes as the first funding they ever received, originally making ends meet with founders’ personal savings. For Demi Markogiannaki, who started her career as a journalist at Neos Kosmos, the success takes on a different dimension taking into consideration that she arrived in Australia only five years ago, where she completed post graduate studies in Global Μedia Communications at the University of Melbourne. The name of the 30-year old Greek was recently included on the list of the Top 50 Female Entrepreneurs Under 40 in the magazine Shoestring Startups. For more information, visit www.weteachme.com/last_img