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Australia’s leading start-up showcase Tech23 has recognized five early-stage Australian technology companies to share in a pool of $150,000 in cash prizes.

Mobile apps, cloud computing and innovative online engagement tools were among the areas recognized for commercialization potential. The event, now in its third year, received financial sponsorship from the NSW Government and mentoring support from across the digital, VC and technology industries including the CSIRO, Amazon, AIMIA, NICTA, PWC and Atlassian.

A smartphone application to streamline taxi procurement, devised by GoCatch, was awarded the top $AU50,000 Innovation Excellence award.

The Broadband Innovation award went to cloud computing developers OrionVM; Outstanding Collaboration honours went CentrycSolutions for a real-life/real-time customer engagement tool; an online cataloguing system for showbiz pros, StageBitz was handed a Catalyst award; and the Greatest Potential award went to recommendation app engine Filter Squad. All winners in these categories received $AU25,000.

Over 400 industry executives, many veterans of the dotcom boom and bust were in attendance to watch 23 pre-selected companies pitch their business model in five minutes.

The event was opened by NSW Deputy Premier, Andrew Stoner who announced that the government would sponsor start-up community Fishburners, a not-for-profit that houses 60 entrepreneurs and developers. Stoner said the future of productivity in New South Wales will be driven by technology start-ups, pointing out that innovation is no longer associated with just big businesses.

"We're looking increasingly to young, innovative companies to drive change and growth in our economy. Each of these initiatives are about delivering customer focus that drives innovation. We need these entrepreneurs to drive the innovation tomorrow," he said. ®

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