Haystack Goes Live Tomorrow!

Tomorrow is our official launch day on the Australian App Stores for iPhones and Android devices, and it’s been a whirl of activity this past week. On Thursday Haystack was one of five finalists at the QUT Bluebox Innovation Challenge where we won the People’s Choice award and $10,000 but lost out to Tanda for the main $60,000 cash prize awarded by the three judges on the night. I had ten minutes to pitch Haystack and I did a live demo of Haystack onto the big screen. Everything went smoothly and when I sat down I was hopeful that we were in with a chance for the judges’ prize. Another finalist whom the Haystack team thought was awesome, and deserved to win was Pablow API. Check it out if you want to see the future of personalized travel insurance.

This week has also been big on the development side. Early test users who downloaded the app have discovered a couple of little bugs in the back end so Nir and Matan worked around the clock to iron them out. Joe has been busy feeding more brands into the Haystack machine and making sure coverage is the best it can be for launch.

On Friday night, I spent three hours around Brian’s kitchen table with Lina and Stephanie planning the launch night. Stephanie is in charge of food and Brian is in charge of champagne. One of our investors has managed to get Campo from 97.3 FM to MC the event, which will give us some charisma and professionalism for our big night. Lina and Stephanie have put the run sheet together and organised everything. We have lots of robust discussions about the exact layout of our venue. The number of acceptances have taken us by surprise so we know its going to be busy.

And so we have 24 hours until launch. Three years of work comes together tomorrow. We start the day with a media session with the Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk at the city hall. After that we will spend the rest of the day getting ready for our launch party. I feel exilerated and exhausted but I know the next 24 hours are going to be huge so I have to try and sleep properly tonight.

If you’ve read this far, I’ll let you in on a little secret – both the iPhone and the Android versions are live from this morning (Australia only) – yes, you can go now and download them.

For the past eight weeks this blog has tried to capture our three years of ups and downs to give anyone that’s interested a real feel for what it’s like to get a tech start up off the ground in Australia. This will be my last blog for a while though because for the next few weeks I’m on to an even bigger challenge – making Brisbane the first city in the world to stop using business cards!

How can you help us succeed in our mission? Download the app, and post a review on the app store. Thanks, and Go Haystack!

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