Startup businesses gaining traction throughout region

Participants at the Startup Gippsland Business Igniter launch event earlier in the year. Photo: Contributed

STARTUP Gippsland’s Business Igniter program will conclude tomorrow evening with a Pitch Showcase in Traralgon.

The event will see 14 startup businesses from across Gippsland present their ideas to investors and the community at large.

Program manager Tasha Wright said the event is a tribute to the founders’ hard work throughout the program, and a celebration of the progress they have made.

“The Pitch Showcase allows the participants to demonstrate their product or service to potential strategic partners, investors and co-founders … as well as providing real life experience in ‘pitching’ to these audiences, which if not for participating in the program, they otherwise may not have gained access to,” Ms Wright said.

“Most importantly, it offers networking opportunities for all who attend, and where the founders can make meaningful business relationships that can potentially help their business to scale.”

The Business Igniter program is a new initiative from Startup Gippsland, launched earlier this year.

Over the past four months, the program has conducted weekend sessions across the six local government areas of Gippsland: Wellington Shire, Latrobe City, Bass Coast Shire, Baw Baw Shire, East Gippsland Shire and South Gippsland Shire.

Participants in the program represent a wide range of industries, including health, manufacturing, IT, education and agriculture.

Ideas they have put forward include a sustainable alternative to traditional toothpaste, a platform for farmers and landowners to offset their carbon footprint, and a shopping service connecting people with access issues to local retailers, among others.

Joining the Business Igniter program has already paid dividends for one participant, Matt Robinson, who won a Virtual Pitch Night hosted by Silicon Beach, a Sydney-based startup facilitator.

“It was a stellar effort by Matt Robinson of Ovasee, but a testament to the Startup Gippsland program, and the work we do and the opportunities it affords our participants,” Ms Wright said.

The Pitch Showcase will feature a keynote speech by Katie Dawson, a graduate of Startup Gippsland’s 2020 Incubator and 2021 Scale Up program, and founder of Cottage Garden Threads.

“Katie is a golden example of how an entrepreneur can come from anywhere and achieve success globally if they’re open, utilise resources and connections, and maintain a strong work ethic,” Ms Wright said.

“Katie possesses that rare and inspiring quality of being a genuine warm soul with that hit of Gippsland grit!”

Founded in 2018, Startup Gippsland is a project co-financed by LaunchVic and delivered by GippsTech.

The Pitch Showcase will take place Wednesday evening at the Gippsland Performing Arts Centre, Traralgon from 5.30pm.

Attendees must register their interest by visiting the following webpage: bit.ly/SUG-Pitch-Night-2022