Di Somerville’s goal when she launched Regional Pitchfest last year was simple: to give businesses in regional Australia a platform to get their names and ideas out there.
“There were all these great pitch events and great opportunities for business starting out [in Melbourne and Sydney and Brisbane] and I came back to Wagga and I was really flat because, where were the opportunities for regional people?”
What began as her small, local pitch competition in Wagga Wagga, was catapulted to a national stage this year through a partnership with Australia Post.
From hundreds of video applications, 40 businesses were chosen to compete in state and territory finals. From there, 8 were selected for the finals in Wagga Wagga.
And this year’s winner was impressive both for his idea, and his age: 14-year old-Michael Nixon, who also happened to win last year.
His pitch for the ‘Amazing Annoyatron’ – an electronics and coding kit for children – impressed the judges for its ingenuity and clarity.
The high school student beat out a field of business owners much older and more experience than himself.
His prize? $7,500 and a trip to Silicon Valley.
“The money is going to be great for scaling my business, but the trip to Silicon Valley will be fantastic for networking and figuring out how to scale into the major US market.”
A winner wise beyond his years.