HRH, Prince Andrew, Duke of York will present in person and be part of the judging panel for the Pitch@Palace Australia regional final to be held at Bond University on the Gold Coast in September.
The national winner of the start-up competition - which has a focus on technology and is open to all Australian citizens over the age of 16 - will be flown to London in December to pitch their winning idea at St James's Palace in the global final.
The Duke will spend the day at Bond University on 22 September talking with students and entrants from Queensland, Northern New South Wales and the Northern Territory about their business ideas before the judging panel decides on the regional finalists, who will then attend the national final in Sydney the following week.
The Duke of York, has said
"I am delighted to be able to bring Pitch@Palace to Australia. Pitch@Palace is designed to support, enhance and add value to Start Up and Scale Up companies by providing a platform for Entrepreneurs and Audiences to meet, network and hear the great ideas that are being commercialised and built by the next generation of Entrepreneurs. I am looking forward to visiting all the locations where Pitch is to take place, and wish the Entrepreneurs, wherever they may be in Australia, a successful time engaging with Pitch@Palace.”
Bond University Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Tim Brailsford said it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for budding entrepreneurs to pitch their idea and potentially receive global exposure and investment.
“We are honoured to have The Duke of York visit Bond University, and very proud to be host of the northern leg of Pitch@Palace Australia. The nature of this event is especially fitting for Bond given our long-standing reputation for innovation and leadership in the entrepreneurial space,” said Professor Brailsford.
“The Duke of York is committed to building business networking events which connect innovators and investors on a global scale, and his passion for start-ups is infectious,” he said.
“The Pitch@Palace competition has been extraordinarily successful in the UK for several years and it is timely that Australia becomes part of this success story.
“This showcase event provides a unique and unparalleled opportunity for Australia’s best innovations to take their place on the global stage.
“We are keen to receive as many rich and varied ideas and applications as possible, to ensure that Queensland, Northern New South Wales and the Northern Territory are well represented at the national final.
“The public appeal of Pitch@Palace Australia is that it is accessible to everyone – from a student capturing their ‘light-bulb moment’ to a start-up enterprise through to a retiree’s lifelong business dream.
“The Duke of York is passionate about creating a platform for ideas, as are we, and turning them into reality.
“This is a global first for the Gold Coast and Northern New South Wales, Queensland and the Northern Territory and that is tremendously exciting.”
Executive Dean of Bond Business School Professor Terry O'Neill said the University's new $2.5 million Transformer space was the natural home for the regional entrepreneurial Boot Camp in September. The Boot Camp will precede the final day pitches and will be offered by Bond to assist the entrants in making their pitch perfect.
The Transformer – Australia’s first co-curricular program aimed at instilling 'big-picture' thinking in students - is a dedicated co-working space to encourage entrepreneurial thinking across all faculties.
“The skills students learn in the Transformer align to those which entrants to Pitch@Palace Australia will need to progress through the competition,” said Professor O’Neill.
“Millennials need to be able to adapt, discover, explore, innovate, collaborate and think outside the box – and that’s exactly what the Transformer and Pitch@Palace Australia focus on.
“This is a great opportunity for Australians, and even more so for some of our students who already have their own start-up ideas.”
The Queensland, Northern New South Wales and Northern Territory Boot Camp will take place at Bond University on 21 September, followed by the On Tour regional final which The Duke of York will be judging at Bond’s Gold Coast campus on 22 September.
Boot Camps and On Tour regional finals will also be held in New South Wales and Victoria at the University of Wollongong, Macquarie University and Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology.
The Duke and a team of business specialists will select 12 finalists from the regional finals to go to a national Boot Camp where they will be mentored by a number of leading Australian and international business identities. These 12 finalists will then pitch their ideas at the national final, to be held in Sydney on 27 September.
The winners of Pitch@Palace Australia will go on to take part in Pitch@Palace Global at St. James's Palace on 6 December, 2017.
Applications for Pitch@Palace Australia are open now and entry is free.