Entrepreneur and former mayor Mathew Dickerson has recommended Dubbo residents with start-up, “young” businesses or great ideas sign up to the Regional Pitchfest contest.
The Australia Post Regional Pitchfest is a platform for regional business ideas and innovation and gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to pitch businesses or ideas to an expert panel and a live audience and win a share of $100,000 in prizes.
The 2017 NSW Pitchfest state finals were hosted in Dubbo on Wednesday and won by Michael Nixon, 14, from Wagga Wagga.
His pitch of his innovative and educational business idea, The Amazing Annoyatron, beat four other finalists. The idea is a fun and affordable educational kit designed to introduce kids and teens to electronics and coding.
Mr Dickerson was a judge.
“Pitchfest is a fantastic concept … not just for the impressive ideas but for the process. In that way it is similar to our Rhino Awards.
“From the time you sit down to complete the entry form, you have to start thinking about your business in a different way … look at the marketing, the research and all of your business processes.
“Sometimes small businesses haven’t thought about some of those things. The Rhinos or Pitchfest processes will make the entrants better businesses just by virtue of the process.
“Michael, had a great idea and he’d thought of most of the issues. The only thing I could suggest to him was that he should put his price up. He was asking too little.”
“I would absolutely recommend anyone in Dubbo with a young business or idea to enter. Some businesses will be much better if they participate in competitions like the Rhinos and Pitchfest,” he said.
Michael will represent NSW in the national finals in Wagga Wagga on August 18.
After his victory Michael said it was “very exciting” to be named as the state winner for NSW.
Michael was awarded the $5,000 first prize. He also received the Community Choice Award, which was voted for by the audience on the night, and took home an additional $1500.
“I really wanted to win that award because it shows that the community really supports me,” he said.
Michael first became interested in coding and technology at the age of 10 which ultimately led him to create alarms, web designs and 3D printing designs.
He said the The Amazing Annoyatron, is something the whole family can enjoy together.
The most rewarding thing about being a part of Regional Pitchfest for Michael was the opportunity to meet and network with a range of people.
Regional Pitchfest founder Dianna Somerville said that all five pitches were well delivered, innovative and demonstrated commercial potential to meet a real need in their respective markets.