Up-and-coming Stars of iAccelerate’s Business & Innovation Community at Pitch Final 2019
iAccelerate’s annual Pitch Final competition for the year 2019 concluded on the evening of 17th October. Five resident companies made it to the finals after meticulous training, coaching, mentoring and participating in a semi-final competition the night before to be voted into the final five. The event was part of the Spark Festival 2019, and was sponsored by the Wollongong City Council.
Patrick Peardon from Batloc won many hearts including the judges with his enthusiastic pitch and was the clear champion of the evening. “The iAccelerate Pitch Final winning experience was unbelievable! The competition was quite tough, as all residents had absolutely nailed their pitches. Honestly in the beginning of the pitch I was nervous but I managed to pull it together fine in the end. My entrepreneurial journey has been difficult with countless speed bumps and obstacles and brought me to a point where I felt like giving up. However with the overwhelming amount of support from everyone here at iAccelerate along with family and friends, I managed to push through and win the pitch final. I would like to extend my gratefulness to everyone involved and look forward to more challenges in the near future” commented Patrick.
The decision of deliberation by the judging panel (as listed below) was certainly a difficult one and was facilitated by our CEO, Omar Khalifa.
Prof. Jenny Martin, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) at University of Wollongong
Jean Marshall, Research Development Coordinator at Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute (IHMRI)
Warwick Shanks, Managing Partner at KPMG Australia (Wollongong)
Isabella Rich, Associate at Our Innovation Fund
Mark Grimson, Economic Development at Wollongong City Council
The awards proudly sponsored by the Wollongong City Council from the Pitch Final are listed as below:
- Winner- Batloc – Patrick Peardon who took home a $1000 cash prize
- First Runner up – Education Through Animation – Michael Rix who bagged a $750 cash prize
- Second Runner up – Found my Physique – Simon Jager was awarded $500 in cash
- Audience Choice – Art Sensors – Wenwei Su & Zhiyang Ou were awarded $250 in cash
- New Cohort special Award – Catalyze – Stuart Tyrrell who took home a $250 cash prize
The event was well received by 120+ guests and attendees comprising of the iAccelerate residents, University of Wollongong staff, Council staff, Investors, general members of the public, Innovation Campus staff and University students. The audience were inspired by the pitches and expressed their curiosity by asking questions to all five companies in a non-stop fifteen minute audience Q&A session. Audience also voted for one of their favourite companies from the evening as Art Sensors.
The evening began with Acknowledgement to Country and iAccelerate’s Songline description. The session was fascilitated by Emcee & Entrepreneur in Residence: Aly Khalifa, iAccelerate introduction by Marketing Manager: Astha Singh and official ‘Pitch Final Opening’ by CEO: Omar Khalifa.
The awards were presented by Wollongong City Council representative Deanne Mccorkell and Omar Khalifa.
The evening concluded with a networking session and a room full of an inspired community who enjoyed the brilliant entrepreneurial ideas.
The Pitch Final winner Patrick Peardon, Founder Batloc was on ABC Illawarra radio97.3 fm on Morning show, 22 October and here is a recording of the talk:
Recording credits: Astha Singh