Last Wednesday night in sunny Rotorua, I was proud to be a judge for Rotorua X, the exciting new Bay of Plenty business incubator. There was a fantastic selection of pitches and I felt honoured to be in the company of my fellow judges, the charming Steve Chadwick, Mayor of Rotorua, Shaun Edlin from Snowball Effect, Claire McGowan from Soda Inc and Bill Murphy from Enterprise Angels.
Before talking about the actual pitches, it is important to say that ANYONE who stands up in front of an audience to talk about their amazing business idea deserves complete respect! I’ve done it many times but every time it’s nerve wracking, so respect to everyone who did it.
There were 5 official pitches and 2 spontaneous ones – even more kudos to stand up without preparation and pitch to 5 judges and your community. The 2 spontaneous pitches definitely spoke form the heart about their passion for their small businesses. One of these two was The Rogue Stage which delivers live music to Rotorua audiences at a tremendous rate.
Commercial Enterprise Wiiner – Look After Me
Of the official pitches, there was everything from social housing to a travel agent with the great name of Holly Gray, to rhyme with holiday! The winner of the commercial section was Julia Charity who provides a web based service called “Look after me” offering B and B experiences here in NZ. Her pitch was immaculate and her business is growing impressively.
Social Enterprise Winner – Disabled Divers
On the social enterprise side, Hielke Oppers won with Disabled Diving. This brings the opportunity for disabled people to experience scuba diving which can deliver a real boost to their self esteem – Hielke spoke about focusing on what disabled people can do, not what they can’t. Hielke was also the recipient of the beany prize of mentoring so we look forward to working with him.
Finally huge thanks and appreciation to Darren McGarvie and his Firestation team for putting on this great showcase for Rotorua and we look forward to working with him in Tauranga at our combined free training seminar coming up on 22 October 2015 at the BNZ – contact us for more details!