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Luck, Creativity and Perseverance: From Pitch To Perfection – The Final Touchdown

“I cleared my schedule for the day to get to Ignition Touchdown an hour early”

“Despite my partner's absence for personal family struggles abroad,
it felt necessary to prioritise the transformational experience Ignition held for our startup”

Imagine hearing this in passing. For individuals to put their life on hold in order to attend this event, it almost seems like they were describing a critical and catalytic milestone that marked the rest of their future. 

And for many, it was. 

17th May 2023 marked the day for our recent cohort of founders from the Ignition Startup Accelerator to pitch their ideas or entrepreneurial journey.  

Although the day was to start at 10.00 am, founders arrived as early as thirty minutes before. Practicing their lines, finalising presentations, and mentally preparing for the climactic moment. 

This day wasn’t just any other day. It was a day for founders to demonstrate their learnings, their creativity and launch their potential startup to an audience. It was a day where their ideas were moving from vision to practice. It was a day to showcase what they gained from participating in Launch Pad’s entrepreneurial Ignition Startup Accelerator program.  

Ignition is a 10-week program that supports people in the community and Western students interested in gaining skills, developing their existing ideas, or growing their established ideas in their startup. Upon completion of this program, these individuals, as founders of innovation came together for a post program celebration event at the Parramatta Engineering Innovation Hub – Launch Pad’s home.  

During the celebrations, founders had the opportunity to network with other entrepreneurs, Launch Pad team members, industry professionals and other like-minded individuals. 

Although all participants shared the new and unique experience of participating in Ignition, they were all at different stages of their startup journey.  

Abode Research + Development
Douglas Belton

Social enterprise changing the world through food, nutrition, and social wellbeing through the incorporation of community gardens 

“Too many lawns, not enough food forests” 
Stage: Execution
Community Aura
Kamalesh Nuthi

Rumeshkumar Navaratnam

Redefining apartment buildings to reconnect communities through networking and service provider platform  

“We live in a world with disconnected communities”  
Stage: Scaling
Brandon Allen

Jacqueline Cheung

Virtual technology to introduce new and emerging technologies to aging and disability population through a controlled dashboard complexity  

“Opportunity, Learning curve, Resistance, and Fear lead to technological participation decline”  
Stage: Planning
Engineering Project Kits
Peter Spring

Recirculation of purchased products to be assembled by students which increases their STEM skills who sell the assembled final product to gain funds to purchase new products that require assembly

“Focusing on a circular economic model”
Stage: Planning
English Care
Chloe Nguyen

Customised curriculum to target millennial Vietnamese office workers to assist them in learning business English

“Simplicity accompanied by applicability”
Stage: Planning
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Daniel McGee

Portfolio platform with junior development tools for design and developer graduates, and employers to connect

“Designed for designers and develops by designers and developers”
Stage: Execution
IMMI Assist
Jithendra Kurasala

Automating the migration process through document AI processing

“The visa application process takes too much time and does not focus on the customer experience”
Stage: Planning
Rajiv Bhusal

Job board, remote team management and upskilling resources to connect satisfy talent shortages, clear the digital skills gap and industry-specific knowledge shortage, and remove work through decentralising team management

“Accelerating digital transformation in sciences through upskilling”
Stage: Planning
Guneet Randhawa

Cybersecurity decision management system to aid executive informed decisions in maximising security posture with a single interface to use all cybersecurity assets

“single view of the battle field to maximise the security posture”
Stage: Planning
Terry Stillone

Planning space application tool to teach children to manage activities and objectives through a populated structure, visualisation timelines, objective boundaries and visualised tasks

“Give children the tools to manage their life”
Stage: Planning
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Jie Xu

Resources to develop financial literacy for youth

“Extracurricular empowering individuals to make smarter decisions”  
Stage: Planning
Aariz Ery Edzaputra

Educational social network platform for young innovators to connect with resources in wealth creation, mentoring, collaboration, learning, AI-cofounding

“Social networking partnered with education and AI cofounder matchmaking”
Stage: Planning
Thinkgrid Labs – HIRING HAT
Jeffin Johnson

AI-powered tool designed to streamline the recruitment process and eliminate resume dishonesty

“Moving from traditional ATS to eliminate resume dishonesty, increasing the quality of hire and decreasing the time to hire”
Stage: Planning
Jacinta Janzen Van Rensburg

Wide range of gentle, natural skincare products for customers with sensitive skin

“Natural skincare that works”
Stage: Hypergrowth
Boon How

Network of dog carer portfolios to connect dog owners to experienced dog carers

“Plenty of dogs, insufficient experienced dog carers”  
Stage: Ideation
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Images sourced from Nataly Thomson

“Having owned a startup prior to joining Ignition, I am truly grateful for this opportunity to validate my growth and acknowledge the proven formula for business success”
Jacinta Janzen Van Rensburg
Source: Nataly Thomson

Despite being one of the few founders who has already successfully taken their product to market, I was surprised to discover that this was Jacinta’s reason for participating in Ignition. They saw the value of determining whether their method aligned with Launch Pad’s startup formula and were satisfied to say it validated their business success and contributed to learning about continuity and growth.  

Jacinta launched her startup in April 2022 and having already expanded to local markets, featured in UK Conde Nast Publications, made their first wholesale orders to local shops, and international product launch in the New York Soho Store, their current journey stage is in hypergrowth. Her story is nothing short of success, even taking the People’s Choice Award for the Ignition Touchdown Showcase.   

Comparatively, Woofy’s founder Boon How expressed their interest in participation came from the desire to learn and try a new experience. His idea on connecting dog owners to experienced dog carers came his personal journey on being an experienced dog carer hoping to find someone who is equally experienced in taking care of his dog when they are away from home. He talked more on their journey to the ideation stage with the guidance of Ignition. 

Abode Research + Development’s founder Douglas Belton, already an entrepreneur in his own right and coming from a background where he runs a sole trading business in performance and media, stepped into Ignition to ideate new innovation from personal interest in climate change and community involvement. Ignition has motivated him to move to the execution stage of setting up a small-scale community garden.  


“We don’t want to be seen as a competitor of streaming services of Netflix, Prime, Disney+, or Stan, rather as a partner, a booster for their services, to engage with audiences that normally can’t engage using their active dashboards”
Brandon Allen
Doumbi, Founder

Allen and cofounder Jacqueline Cheung already formulated their idea outside of Ignition but was looking for the next phase of their journey. Although a considerably niche idea with potential to exponentially grow, they were looking for “tech person” to help them develop the software and platform for launch. Ignition gave them an opportunity to connect with tech-oriented founders. 

Startups are not a glamourous business as stereotypically portrayed.  

“Being an entrepreneur is like eating glass and staring into the abyss of death”

because it is easier to fail than succeed.  


“There is a community here… it’s not lonely, but it’s a grind”

Source: Nataly Thomson
Source: Nataly Thomson

Launch Pad’s Ignition program redirects focus on two aspects: 

  1. Resilience – taking on cynicism, criticism, therapy, reflection, yet reapply and retain their motivation to continue the entrepreneurial journey
  2. Validation – speaking to real people on the ground to understand and resolve relevant, valuable, timely concerns and be placed in a position to make informed decisions 

Ignition supports founders in their journey to success. With the acknowledgement that 90% of startups fail, it gives another opportunity to learn and try again – potentially becoming the 10% that suceed!

So what are you waiting for? Take this opportunity to learn and increase your chances of success. Find out more about the startup accelerator programs available at Launch Pad. Click here.

Luck and creativity are only part of the story, it’s the willingness and commitment to persevere that differentiate your innovation from the crowd. 

Source: Nataly Thomson