iAccelerate Rise Program aims to boost economic resilience, create jobs in bushfire-affected regions
Six Eurobodalla entrepreneurs amazed a panel of judges from industry, government, and education with a pitch for their business idea at the iAccelerate Rise pitch event at the University of Wollongong (UOW) Batemans Bay Campus on Thursday 28 July.
A forest burial business run by Fiona McCuaig won the Judges’ Choice award and Sanchee Barnes of family planning app, CanXsee, won the People’s Choice award.
Each pitch was the culmination of eight weeks of discovery on their business through UOW’s iAccelerate Rise program. The entrepreneurs will also receive an invitation to showcase their businesses at an inter-regional innovation summit in the Bega Valley in March 2023.
Judges for the pitch competition included the Mayor of Eurobodalla Shire, Mathew Hatcher; Peter Masterson, AusIndustry; Megan Cleary, Department of Regional NSW; Nicole Fosteris, NBN Local; and iAccelerate Ecosystem Evangelist Chris Petersilge from UOW.
Mr Petersilge said the Eurobodalla Entrepreneur Pitch Final event was an important end to the eight-week program and the beginning of growth and development of their business and contribution to the economic success of the region.
“The judging panel were impressed with both the professionalism and calibre of each of the pitches. Like all great pitches, they enticed the judges and audience to learn more and proved this with the hours of conversations that continued after the event.”
Other entrepreneurs pitching included Asha Browne from Troublefree Tradies Tradies, Sharon Halliday with an online course for aspiring writers, Bree Rosenbaum from Specify Hub, and Carrie Taylor from Tilba Coastal Retreat.
Mr Petersilge noted that each of the pitching businesses were able to scale and expand. “This is an important part of any business and builds on economic growth and employment for the Eurobodalla Shire.”
The program was made possible to deliver in Eurobodalla Shire through joint funding by the Commonwealth and the New South Wales Government under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.
iAccelerate Rise is one of 195 local community projects supporting economic or social recovery, strengthening resilience and delivering ongoing community benefit to bushfire-affected communities in NSW to receive Stage 2 Bushfire Local Economic Recovery funding.
The program was developed in consultation with Eurobodalla Shire Council and in speaking to the local community.