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Bondies arrive at Pitch@Palace Boot Camp

Bondies have arrived at River City Labs in Brisbane to hone their pitches ahead of the Australian final of Pitch@Palace later this week.

Three entrepreneurs with links to the university were among nine people who made the cut at the Queensland final held at the Robina campus yesterday.

The Bond trio is Master of Architecture student Emma Sommerville, of Folktribe, Assistant Professor of Aboriginal Health Clinton Schultz, of Sobah, and alumnus Joseph Marcus, of Uptek.

Folktribe is a sustainable and ethical clothing brand; Sobah brews alcohol-free craft beer infused with Indigenous ingredients; and Uptek produces Airbands, a training device that restricts blood flow to build muscle strength.

His Royal Highness the Duke of York is again overseeing today’s Pitch@Palace Boot Camp during which finalists will receive coaching and mentoring to prepare for the Australian final at the State Library of Queensland on Friday.

Forty-two entrepreneurs from around the country are taking part today. Of those, judges will select 12 to pitch their business ideas for three minutes at the national final. The remainder will get just 30 seconds.

Ms Sommerville said she had met her business “elevator” this morning and was looking forward to pitching again this afternoon to provide more information about Folktribe, in a slightly more polished fashion, in the hope of making it through to Friday’s final.

She was already reaping the benefits of becoming a Queensland finalist.

“I’d definitely recommend it. Just the connections, networks and people that have come up that love what we do or want to work with us – it’s been phenomenal,” she said.

“Whether you get through or not, you just meet so many people, you get heaps of media exposure and it’s amazing to get our message out there and raise awareness of what we do.”

Mr Marcus said he was hoping to use this afternoon’s pitch as a chance to identify a strategic partner for his business which produces Airbands.

“I know what I know in terms of the science surrounding the product and developing the product, but I think someone that can come on board and assist with scaling up the business from an online business to a business which operates globally is something which I’m really looking forward to,” he said.

“Pitch@Palace is the perfect vehicle to assist with that.”

Mr Marcus enjoyed meeting the Duke yesterday, and said the Royal gave him valuable advice.

“He basically said I needed someone on stage who was wearing the device, so that way people can be what’s happening.”

Mr Marcus said one of the other entrepreneurs had offered to come on stage with him to wear his Airbands exercise device and perform some exercises while he was pitching.

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