Pitchfest finds winners in the regions

David CharlesworthSouth Western Times
Coolup agribusinesswoman and founder of Grubs Up Australia displaying the type of insects her products are made from on the night.
Camera IconCoolup agribusinesswoman and founder of Grubs Up Australia displaying the type of insects her products are made from on the night. Credit: David Charlesworth / South Western Times

Five keen entrepreneurs shared their clever ideas at the Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre on Friday night as the Australia Post Regional Pitchfest WA crowned its winner.

Pitchers demonstrated their products to attendees in the foyer before heading on stage for the final in front of the judging panel.

Two South West entrants were among the finalists, with Australind’s Tim Hayes presenting his food drying design Wizenbox and Bunbury’s Angela Del Pino pitching her online ethical department store.

SpaceToCo founders Jeremy Hurst, Daniel McCullen and Daniel Franco were both runners up and winners of the Community Choice award.
Camera IconSpaceToCo founders Jeremy Hurst, Daniel McCullen and Daniel Franco were both runners up and winners of the Community Choice award.

Paula Pownell, of Coolup, was also among the finalists with her business growing insects for animal and human consumption.

Dongara-based Illegal Tender Rum Co was named the WA winner earning a place in the national final in Wagga Wagga, NSW, and $5000.

Runner-up and winner of the Community Choice Award, selected by the audience, was Swan-based commercial space sharing business SpacetoCo who won $3500 and $1500 for their respective awards.

Australind finalist Tim Hayes demonstrating the Wizenbox ahead of the final pitch.
Camera IconAustralind finalist Tim Hayes demonstrating the Wizenbox ahead of the final pitch.

Pitchfest founder Diane Somerville said the pitchers had certainly not disappointed.

“They were all really varied and their businesses are at different points which were demonstrated in their pitches,” she said.

Del Pino's Ethical Department Store founder Angela Del Pino, of Bunbury, with her husband Aaron ahead of the final pitch.
Camera IconDel Pino's Ethical Department Store founder Angela Del Pino, of Bunbury, with her husband Aaron ahead of the final pitch.
Del Pino's Ethical Department Store founder Angela Del Pino, of Bunbury, with her husband Aaron ahead of the final pitch.
Camera IconDel Pino's Ethical Department Store founder Angela Del Pino, of Bunbury, with her husband Aaron ahead of the final pitch.

The five finalists travelled to Melbourne in May, ahead of the final pitch, for a business growth course with the Melbourne Accelerator Program, to help form their pitches and businesses.

Illegal Tender Rum Co pitchers Codie Palmer and Hayley Wells said they were shocked and ecstatic to win the competition.

“We’ve been spoiled with all the content we’ve had like the program in Melbourne, going in and seeing how they have an idea and it flows on,” she said.

Dongara based boutique distiller Codie Palmer was named the winner of the 2017 AusPost WA Regional Pitchfest for his company Illegal Tender Rum Company.
Camera IconDongara based boutique distiller Codie Palmer was named the winner of the 2017 AusPost WA Regional Pitchfest for his company Illegal Tender Rum Company.

“In the Mid-West, everyone is saying it is going a little bit stale at the moment with business but really it’s booming with small entrepreneurs.”

“To take this home and say ‘come on, you can do it any where’.”

Ms Somerville said the intention of Pitchfest was to develop the regional entrepreneurs together not just the winning ideas.

“For us it’s not about finding the single best at the end of the day, it’s about building a great cohort,” she said.

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