Regional Pitchfest to unearth startup talent

Media release | 27 May 2019

Minister for Jobs Stuart Ayres is calling on NSW’s brightest startups to share their innovative ideas at Australia’s largest pitch competition for regional startups – the 2019 Jobs for NSW Regional Pitchfest.

Minister for Jobs Stuart Ayres said the statewide event, supported by the NSW Government-backed Jobs for NSW, will see applicants participate in one of nine local pitching events across regional and rural areas from Broken Hill to Byron Bay.

“The Jobs for NSW Regional Pitchfest is about unearthing the next big business idea from regional NSW and startups will pitch to a live audience and expert panel to win a share of $20,000,” Mr Ayres said.

“This event complements the NSW Government’s $2.1 million investment in a Local Innovation Network of incubators that are helping businesses in Armidale, Byron Bay, Bathurst, Coffs Harbour, Newcastle, Wollongong and Wagga Wagga.

“NSW, from our coast to regional outback areas, is filled with smart innovators whose ideas and drive will help our state create jobs of the future,”

“You don’t need an MBA to enter – just a product and the ability to sell it. The winner of the inaugural Regional Pitchfest in 2016 was 13-year-old high school student Michael Nixon who founded educational company Edukits.

“Michael has since grown Edukits into a successful company and The Amazing Annoyatron, an educational kit which teaches kids coding skills, is being sold in 10 countries around the world.

“This year’s event will be a grassroots celebration of the rapidly growing number of startup communities, local councils and business organisations building a culture of entrepreneurship in regional and rural communities.

“As a government we want to be doing everything we can to create the right environment to launch a startup that will grow and create jobs.”

Regional Pitchfest founder Di Somerville said the event is a fantastic chance to help local startup talent on their path to success.

“The winner of each local event will secure an all-expenses paid trip to the Regional Bootcamp at the Sydney Startup Hub in August where five finalists will be selected to compete at a the NSW final in Wagga Wagga in September,” Ms Somerville said.

Regional locations include Armidale, Bathurst, Broken Hill, Byron Bay, Dubbo, Lightning Ridge, Wagga Wagga, Wollongong and Young. For more information, to find out when your local information session will be held and to apply for a local pitch event visit Applications open from 28 May until 9 June.

Michael Nixon, who won the inaugural event as a 13-year-old high school student.