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Winner Rotorua X Start-up Pitch Night

Tarawera Ultra wins inaugural Start-up Pitch Night

17 August, 2014

Tarawera Ultramarathon’s Paul Charteris won Rotorua X’s inaugural start-up pitch night on Friday night.

In front of an audience of around 100, NZ Trail Run’s business pitch took out scary aliens, arm wrestlers and mag cleaners to win over $2,500 of business prizes.

The Start-up Pitch night was developed to provide an opportunity for entrepreneurs of commercial and not-for-profit organisations to practice their pitch and receive constructive feedback without the high pressure situation.

Paul took part in the event as he thought it was a wonderful opportunity to be in front of the Rotorua business community.

“Rotorua X events have a lot of energy and vibrancy. I took part in the pitch night to be a part of this and also to help spread the word about my events and what I am trying to achieve.”

Paul was surprised he won and thinks his passion won over the judges. But there is no break for the winner. Paul's focus for the next few months is to attract the best runners in the world to participate in the event, engage international media and to attract sponsors for the event.

“I want to work with Rotorua businesses to help them reach their target markets with my events,” he said.

Julia Charity from NZ’s home stay network Look after Me was the judge’s runner-up and also won the People’s Choice award. “Rotorua really needs events like this. It helps create and support an entrepreneurial community,” she said.

“Through determination and grit I have created something from nothing. Winning the People’s Choice provides awhi for me along my entrepreneurial journey.”

Head Judge Mayor Steve Chadwick said she was inspired and amazed by all the businesses and new ideas pitched on the night.

“Not just the winners of tonight, but all of the pitches have a place in our town. What a great city we would have if all the ideas came to fruition,” she said.

The other judges were Josh Daniell from Snowball Effect expert in raising investment for companies through crowd funding, Rotorua’s own angel investor Ryan Holmes, Local MP Todd McClay, and Labour candidate Tamiti Coffee.

Rotorua X Charitable Trust chairman Darren McGarvie said he was blown away by interest in the event.

“There is such an appetite in Rotorua for events like this. In planning the event we didn’t expect to have so many businesses interested in pitching and to have standing room only in the audience,” he said.

“Rotorua X will definitely hold another event like this next year, with a few tweaks and improvements,” Mr McGarvie said.

More information
•Rotorua X is a charitable trust with the purpose to connect, educate and inspire Rotorua businesses and social enterprises.
•The Start-up Pitch Night was developed to help foster an entrepreneurial community in Rotorua to support businesses to launch and grow
•The evening was only possible through the principal sponsor EMA Bay of Plenty and all the organisations that donated goods and services for prizes

11 organisations pitched on the night:
Caller Ads – Sean Davis
NZ Trail Runs – Paul Charteris
Stor-E-Cards – Heather Vail
Ice for Life New Zealand – Dammon Paul
Rotorua Tech Shop – Steve Nicholson
The Rotorua Express – Brent Park
Look After Me – Julia Charity
Level 13 – Jeff Flitton
Armchair armwrestlers in Rotorua unite – Chris Poipoi
Brugar Mag Cleaner – Samuel Harrison
OneChance Youth Project – Alan Solomon

Prizes were

-Mediaworks Voucher for $1,000 radio advertising
-Mentoring session with Shane Bradley, founder of GrabOne
-Free connection with Now Rotorua Ultrafast internet
-A week in Rotorua’s co-working space Flair Space
- Marketing health check with Flair Marketing
-90 mins employment advice with EMA
-90 mins legal advice with Copeland Law
-90 mins accounting advice with BDO
-90 mins business coaching with McGarvie Business Coaching
-90 mins IT advice with Supra IT
-Two Rotorua X Mastery sessions

Runner up:
-90 mins IT advice with Supra IT
-3 days in Rotorua’s co-working space Flair Space
-Rotorua X Mastery session
-Business book

People’s Choice
-90 mins of digital marketing advice from dubzz Digital Marketing
-90 mins IT advice with Supra IT
-3 days in Rotorua’s co-working space Flair Space
-Rotorua X Mastery session
Business book

•To find out more about Rotorua X email or go to


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