Muru-D Demo Night is the concluding night of the Muru-D program, Telstra’s startup accelerator. Muru-D invites a large pool of investors and supporters to hear their startups pitch, followed up with some networking time afterward so startups can benefit from the exposure. As co-founders pitched on the massive stage, they were live-streamed as well. After six months of learning, challenges, and superb growth in the Muru-D accelerator program, Demo Night was equal parts pitch and performance for the young companies involved.
Guests, a crowd donning a mix of suits and startup t-shirts, shuffled into the Telstra theater, brightly lit with fluorescent pink lights. Since the theater was full of investors and other guests, the Drive Yello team members sat with the other startups backstage and waited to watch the pitches. Drive Yello was the first startup to pitch, so we sat silently wishing our co-founders, Steve Fanale and Johnny Timbs, luck until finally seeing them step out onto the stage.
As soon as they took the stage, they began playing off each other, keeping the mood light as they introduced themselves. Immediately, the dynamic of friendship and, more importantly, deep respect our co-founders have for each other was evident. After watching their pitch a potential investor said, “If you learn nothing else at Muru-D, you sure learn how to give a great pitch and tell a story.” Johnny and Steve were no different.
Steve explained the mission of our company, which is to set the standard for food delivery and make it impeccable across the board. With the amazing technology available to us in the present, it’s absurd to have the headaches and hiccups surrounding food delivery for restaurants. He then moved towards one of the most exciting aspects of the Yello pitch, which is our traction. Since December, Yello has completed over 30,000 deliveries, generated more than $180k in revenue for our community of drivers and closed $1.7M in funding. Although the numbers spoke for themselves, they didn’t have to. Before moving on to Johnny’s portion of the pitch, Steve flashed the logos of our easily recognizable partners on the screen, including McDonald’s, Menulog, and Woolworth’s. With some of the biggest brands in the industry as our clients, it was easy to see the potential for Yello to become a global brand.
Johnny spoke next about industry potential, a subject he’s extremely qualified to speak on with twelve years of background in the hospitality industry. There’s a $200 billion food industry in the U.S. alone waiting to be disrupted further, and Yello is working every day to do so. Using his story and industry knowledge to drive the point home, Johnny made it clear that Yello is the company the food industry has been waiting for. Tech as a solution for independent, financially viable delivery is a satisfying fix for an entrepreneurial mind.
After the pitches, everyone poured into the forum area to mingle and meet one another. Steve and Johnny were excited to have completed their pitches but more excited about the opportunities the exposure of Demo Day could generate. Steve and Johnny got a lot of positive feedback after they smashed their pitch, my favorite comment was from a Telstra employee: “Wow, so you guys are completely different from anyone else out there.”
Yes. Yes we are.