Bendigo, Here We Come!

Unearthing Big and Brilliant Ideas in Bendigo

Applications are now open for Regional Pitchfest, where Bendigo’s innovators and entrepreneurs can pitch their big business ideas to an expert panel for a chance to win cash prizes and realise their entrepreneurial goals.

Australia Post has partnered with Regional Pitchfest to provide locals with a platform to showcase their business ideas, and build a culture of entrepreneurship in regional Australia.

“Our aim is to find the country’s most exciting entrepreneurs, artisans and small business owners, and unearth the next big business idea to come out of regional and rural Australia,” said Regional Pitchfest founder, Dianna Somerville.

Bendigo will host the first Regional Pitchfest event, with others to follow across the country in 2017. Entrepreneurs and innovators in regional areas in other states will have the opportunity to pitch their business ideas live on stage when Australia Post launches the first Australian Regional Pitchfest early next year. 

Entrants will present their idea to a live audience and an expert panel of judges - including Startup Victoria Chief Executive, Georgia Beattie and Australia Post Chief Innovation Officer, Greg Sutherland – at the Engine Room in Bendigo.

The overall winner will receive $5000 and the opportunity to pitch their business idea to the University of Melbourne’s Melbourne Accelerator Program (MAP). MAP is Australia’s number one ranked university accelerator that connects and upskills aspiring entrepreneurs to get their idea off the ground.

The runner up will receive $3500 cash. There will also be a $1500 Community Choice Award, which will be voted by the audience. All finalists will be eligible for eCommerce acceleration support to the value of $10,000 from Australia Post and MAP.

Australia Post Chief Customer Officer, Christine Corbett, said the organisation was proud to bring this unique event to Bendigo.

“We’re committed to supporting regional and rural Australia and we believe Pitchfest will not only promote and celebrate the wave of entrepreneurial culture emerging from regional Australia, but will also help local communities and businesses grow,” said Ms Corbett. 

Applicants for the Regional Pitchfest will be invited to attend an evening Pitchfest Bootcamp at Bendigo’s Discovery Science Centre where they’ll be mentored through their pitches by expert coaches includingRegional Pitchfest founder, Dianna Somerville and MAP Director, Rohan Workman.

The Pitchfest will also be supported by a Tall Poppies Breakfast, which is a free networking event and will feature a panel discussion celebrating Australian rural and regional female business success stories.

Open to everyone, the Tall Poppies Breakfast will be held at the Capital Theatre on Wednesday 23 November from 7.00am. Panellists will include local entrepreneur, Kerry Anderson and Georgia Beattie, CEO of Startup Victoria.

Applications for Regional Pitchfest in Bendigo are now open and close Thursday 27 October. Five finalists will be announced on Monday 31 October and will take the stage on Wednesday 23 November in The Engine Room, adjacent to the Capital Theatre..

Dates and locations for other Australian Regional Pitchfest events will be announced on Wednesday 23 November. For more information visit www.regionalpitchfest.com.

Cristy Houghton