Start it Up Pitch Competition! What, How and Why.

Think you have a winning idea but lacking the funds or expertise to make your dream a reality? Entering University of Newcastle’s Start it Up Pitch Competition in 2021 may be your first step to business success!

The Start it Up Pitch Competition provides students with an opportunity to showcase and be recognised for their innovative business ideas. The competition is held annually, and entry is open for Uni Of Newcastle students from all disciplines with prizes available for first and second place. Students can enter the competition individually or as a team and have the chance to win $2500 prize money, free entry into I2N’s Entrepreneuship101 and access to an Incubator hotdesk.

Last year’s winner Sophie Eland, a Bachelor of Business / Bachelor of Commerce student at the University of Newcastle, is a standout example of the ventures this competition has been established to assist. Sophie successfully turned her innovative idea into a fully-fledged social enterprise with the aim of combatting period poverty. Box Beyond Borders was established to sustainably address inadequate female hygiene in developing countries. The one-for-one business model allows people with periods to order a box of period essentials to be delivered to their door and with each purchase made, Sophie buys a menstrual cup to donate to a woman in need in Vanuatu, Malawi, Kenya, or India. Sophie’s business has seen commendable success within its first year of operation and has received widespread publicity within the Newcastle community and beyond.

Master of Business Administration student Francisco Durney entered the competition in 2020 to showcase his business idea titled Blui. Blui is an online platform which enables members of our aged and disabled populations who are seeking support to directly contact the caregiver or professional they require, giving those most venerable within our society the ability to actively participate in their care within an environment of trust and community.

Francisco says he was motivated to enter the competition in order to take advantage of the expertise held by the judging panel,

“I saw entering the Start It Up Pitch Competition as a beneficial opportunity to tell my story to an expert panel and receive comprehensive feedback on my idea and business model.”

“This competition gives you the chance to re-think your start-up, necessary to better understand your weaknesses and opportunities. For me, I found that even though I didn’t win, simply entering the competition was a worthwhile experience as it encouraged me to think more in depth about the problem I have identified and the solution for the problem I want to implement within my business. Additionally, the competition gave me the opportunity to improve my communication skills which was especially helpful to me as English is my second language”, Francisco says.

So, if you’ve got a great idea brewing but not sure where to start, this is your opportunity! Grab a group of mates or fly solo into an opportunity too good to miss!

To keep up to date with information on the Start it Up Pitch competition for 2021 as it is released, check out UON’s Career Hub.

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