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Bay of Plenty Pitch Night with $10,000 of prizes

Bay of Plenty Pitch Night with $10,000 of prizes up for grabs

For immediate release: 09 August 2016

Applications are open to pitch at the Rotorua X EMA BoP Pitch night on 19 October. The winners will share the $10,000 prize pool of business support services that include website design, business training, business coaching, legal and HR advice.

Rotorua X trustee and event sponsor Clive Thomson from Employers and Manufacturers Association Bay of Plenty said this is the third year of the EMA Pitch Night and plans are to make it more epic than ever before.

"The momentum of this event continues to grow. Feedback from the last two years has been phenomenal and we are excited to hold the event again with another stellar line-up of judges including our 2014 Pitch Night winner Paul Charteris.”

"In previous years we have focussed on Rotorua start-ups. This year we are actively promoting it to all Bay of Plenty organisations and it can be anyone from an idea, a start-up or an established business," he said.

The business pitch is an essential skill of any organisation that wants to grow. Not only is it used to promote the business to investors to attract funds for growth, but it also provides clarity of vision which is critical for leaders to inspire teams as well as customers.

"Our Pitch Night gives the region's business community a platform to practice their pitch and receive constructive feedback without the high-pressure situation.”

"While this event is designed purely to enable organisations to practise their pitch and not solicit investment, last year we had investors travel from Auckland to see if any local businesses piqued their interest," Mr Thomson said.

The Pitch Night is for anyone that has an idea for a start-up business or non-profit enterprise that wants feedback through to an established company with a fresh idea to achieve serious growth.

Organisations must apply to pitch and only ten organisations will be accepted to pitch on the night. Anyone pitching must attend a Pitch Clinic to ensure a high calibre of pitches at the event.

"We urge anyone who is interested in pitching to apply now. The first ten organisations that are approved and pay the entry fee will fill the spots.

Early bird registration closes on 31 August," Mr Thomson said.

Successful applicants will have five minutes to impress the panel of business experts, as well as the audience.

"This will be an energetic and entertaining evening showcasing the entrepreneurs in our region. Audience attendance is free and we encourage the business community to come along and help pick the crowd favourite.

Audience spaces are limited so we urge people to RSVP early to avoid disappointment," Mr Thomson said.

More than $10,000 of prizes have already been confirmed including customised web design, business training, coaching, legal and HR advice.

The judges include 2014 winner and founder of Tarawera Ultra-Marathon Paul Charteris, Soda Inc CEO Dr Claire McGowan, Reuben Woods founder of award winning Woods Design Agency, Angel Investor Alan Dick, and head judge Mayor Steve Chadwick.

The 2016 EMA BoP Pitch night is on Wednesday 19 October form 5.30pm at Waiariki Bay of Plenty Polytech.

To apply to pitch or RSVP to be in the audience go to www.rotoruax.nz or email connect@rotoruaX.nz.

About Rotorua X

* Rotorua X is a charitable trust with the purpose to inspire, educate and connect Rotorua businesses and social enterprises. Our mission is to improve the leadership and collaboration of the business community driving sustained economic growth and well-being of the Rotorua District.

* Governed by a board of eight trustees of local business people that are passionate about Rotorua, revitalising our CBD and helping businesses and social enterprises launch and grow.

* To find out more about Rotorua X go to www.rotoruax.nz

About the judges:

Dr Claire McGowan - CEO, Soda Inc

Claire is actively involved in technology commercialisation and investment.

She also has several governance roles and a range of projects and roles in the Maori economy. She is passionate about providing opportunities in industry and network development, education and investment, for entrepreneurs.

From Te Arawa/Ngati Pikiao, she enjoys taking a more active role in projects that contribute to the future creation of wealth for Maori and New Zealand as a whole.

Reuben Woods - Woods Design Agency

Rueben is founder of Woods Design Agency. In ten years he grew his idea into a multi-award winning design agency with 12 staff.

Paul Charteris - Tarawera Ultramarathon & 2014 Rotorua X Pitch Night Winner

Paul is founder and owner of the company behind the world's premiere long-distance runs the Tarawera Ultramarathon and the Tarawera Trail Marathon and 50k as well as the new event this year Waitoma Trail Run. The Tarawera Ultramarathon is supported by the New Zealand Major Events Investment Fund and injected $1.08 million into the local economy last year and showcased the region on 40 television stations across about 85 countries.

Head Judge - Mayor Steve Chadwick

From 1996 to 1999 Steve was a councillor on Rotorua District Council, chairing the Social Services Committee.

Head Judge - Mayor Steve Chadwick

From 1996 to 1999 Steve was a councillor on Rotorua District Council, chairing the Social Services Committee.

In 1999 she ran a successful campaign for Labour and became the Member of Parliament for Rotorua. Steve's career in Central Government spanned twelve years, including three years as a List MP. During this time, she held the portfolios of Associate Minister of Health, Minister of Conservation and Minister of Women's Affairs. Her proudest achievements include sponsoring the Smoke free Environments Act and securing funding ($72 million) for the clean-up of Rotorua lakes.

From 2012 to 2013, Steve worked as a business consultant for health, conservation and democratic governance. Many of her projects were under the auspices of the United Nations, in New Zealand, Asia and the Pacific.

In 2013, Steve was again asked to represent her community and successfully stood for mayor of Rotorua. She now spearheads a committed council and community working collaboratively to see the Rotorua District grow and flourish. 'Tatou tatou - we together', is their vision.


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