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The Icehouse Fast Pitch won by Chris White

The ICEHOUSE FAST Pitch 2009 competition won by Podscape’s Chris White

Chris White, chief executive of collaborative music-making website Podscape Holdings Ltd, made the most of his allocated 60 seconds to pitch his business concept and win this year’s FAST Pitch competition run by business growth centre The ICEHOUSE.

The 10 finalists in the 2009 FAST Pitch competition delivered their 60-second pitches to a lecture theatre filled with about 150 investors, business executives and fellow entrepreneurs at the University of Auckland Business School on Tuesday, 27 October.

Launched in 2008 as a real-life Dragon’s Den-style business event, Fast Pitch 2009 attracted over 60 entrants from a broad range of industries including software, medical, education, fashion and marketing.

Chris White’s Podscape website aims to capture the hearts and minds of 6-13 year-old children with an interest in music and a desire to form collaborative relationships online. Podscape enables children to see and interact with other users in real time, whether it be making music together or attending a concert - all within a safe, monitored environment.

Warwick Grey, Marketing Manager, Personal Systems Group at Hewlett Packard NZ and chief judge of FAST Pitch congratulated the winners on jump-starting their business dreams.

“The judging panel was highly impressed with the quality and breadth of innovative business ideas presented by all the finalists. It was very exciting to see how the finalists were able to refine and perfect their pitches following the mentoring session a couple of weeks ago. We are inspired by the entrepreneurial energy in this country.”

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Ken Erskine, Start-Ups Director of The ICEHOUSE said he was delighted with the enthusiasm and support from the investor and business community for FAST Pitch.

“Entrepreneurs need to be engaged with the investor community. By competing and taking part in FAST Pitch, the budding entrepreneurs have gained a much clearer picture of what angel investors and venture capitalists look for, how to pitch their business idea, and how to be investment-ready. The ICEHOUSE is dedicated to helping promising entrepreneurial companies turn into successful global companies.”

The NZTE Overall Winner of FAST Pitch receives three months residency at The ICEHOUSE's leading incubator ICE Accelerator, to develop their business concept. “We look forward to seeing how FAST Pitch business ideas could grow into substantial global businesses with us.”

The evening featured Ian McCrae, founder and CEO of Orion Health as keynote speaker. The participants enjoyed a celebratory drink and rubbed shoulders with fellow entrepreneurs, local and international business investors and mentors at the Post-Awards networking session.

The NZTE overall FAST Pitch winner is:
Chris White, Podscape.

The four category winners are:
BNZ Best Intellectual Property
Chris White, Podscape

Ernst & Young Best Funding Opportunity
Ashley Schroder, World Wide Access

Gen-i Best Presentation
Neil Petrie

Microsoft People’s Choice
Brad Lovett, Green Loos


The ICEHOUSE is a business growth centre that includes: business growth programmes for SMEs; a business incubator for start-ups; and New Zealand’s largest group of Angel Investors. It is a collaborative partnership between The University of Auckland Business School, The Boston Consulting Group, Telecom and Gen-i, BNZ, Ernst & Young, HP, Microsoft and Minter Ellison Rudd Watts lawyers. It was established in 2001 in recognition of the importance of SMEs to the New Zealand economy.

The ICEHOUSE’s purpose is to take responsibility for delivering 350 of the 3000 firms needed to get New Zealand into the top half of the OECD by 2013. We work with a range of SMEs, from start-ups to established multi-million dollar enterprises. Our vision is to be the place for turning entrepreneurial companies into international successes. Our mission is get alongside people who want to transform their companies, helping to grow both their talent & our country’s prosperity.

Over 2,000 entrepreneurs and business owners have already experienced The ICEHOUSE growth difference – new expertise and skills, valuable global network connections and investment pathways.



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