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It’s a wrap – Australia Post Regional PitchFest 2017

12 September 2017

After a six-month build-up of excitement and anticipation across regional Australia, 14-year-old Michael Nixon wowed the judges with his live pitch for an educational coding kit for kids, to take out the first-ever national Australia Post Regional Pitchfest against seven other finalists, in his home town of Wagga Wagga.

Teenage tech whiz Michael Nixon takes out the national title at the first Australia Post Regional Pitchfest. Michael is pictured here being congratulated by Greg Sutherland, Australia Post.

Watching on was Team Sauce who has proudly partnered with Australia Post to provide specialised regional communications support to promote the program, which generated more than 1,050 media stories across TV, radio, newspapers and online outlets across the country. Achieving this was no small feat, as we undertook a highly tailored and localised approach to media activity drawing on our media expertise and relationships with regionally-based journalists to ensure each rural area across the country was reached and made aware of the program.

The Australia Post Regional Pitchfest is the result of a collaboration between Australia Post, Regional Pitchfest founder – Wagga Wagga entrepreneur Dianna Somerville and the Melbourne Accelerator Program (MAP).

While national winner Michael took home $7,500 and a trip to Silicon Valley in the US, in total the program provided $100,000 in prizes to the 40 regional finalists from 34 communities who pitched it out at each of the eight state and territory finals held from Ballarat to Bunbury, Launceston to Toowoomba, Dubbo to Darwin and Canberra to McLaren Vale.

More than just a Pitchfest, Australia Post has rolled out a national platform delivering a program of business growth events to connect regional communities with the opportunities provided by ecommerce; supporting small business and entrepreneurs no matter where they live and regardless of whether they were participants in the Pitchfest events.

Huge congratulations to all the finalists and the well-deserving winners. It’s been an honour to watch Australia Post bring to fruition Di Somerville’s vision of creating a platform of encouraging regional entrepreneurs and demonstrating how distance and living in regional Australia is no barrier to creativity, innovation and determination.

Read more about Michael’s “The Amazing Annoyatron” here.