Story image

$11,000 prize pool up for grabs at upcoming Bay of Plenty 'pitch night'

26 Sep 2016

Bay of Plenty startups have the chance to get prizes, feedback and networking from an upcoming pitch night to be held in Waiariki Bay of Plenty Polytech on October 19.

The pitch night will provide a platform and community base for local SMBs, startups and businessess to pitch ideas and receive feedback in a relaxed environment, as well as learning and networking opportunities.

Darren McGarvie, co-founder and chairman of Rotorua X, McGarvie says there are still a few pitch spots open, and businesses should get in fast as only ten organisations will be able to pitch on the night.

Successful applicants get five minutes to impress the audience and judges.

“The business community are encouraged to come along and watch the pitches and judges. Audience attendance is free, but spaces are limited so we urge people to RSVP early to avoid disappointment,” Mr McGarvie explains.

With more than $11,000 of support services and prizes ranging from graphic design, online marketing, web design, business training, legal, HR and coaching advice, the pitch night is proving popular with local businesses.

“Starting up a business or organisation based on an idea is one of the most exciting yet terrifying things you can do. Even talking in front of a group of people can take tremendous courage. We want to encourage and support those who decide to face their fears and live their dream, by offering a half decent prize,” says Chris Parnell from Rotorua-based web design agency CG Design.

The company will be donating a custom SetSeed website that features a store, blog, newsletters, calendars and a booking system, as well as a year's worth of hosting. The package is worth more than $3000.

“Recently we’ve developed a design mode for agencies to easily create custom websites without the need for code. So, we’re a start-up too that keeps on innovating,” explains Parnell.

McGarvie says it's 'incredible' how many business want to become involved.

“This is our third year running the event and support increases year on year. It shows us that businesses see the value in this event and also are keen to support others in their entrepreneurial journey,” McGarvie comments.

This year's judging panel includes Steve Chadwick (Mayor), Alan Dick (angel investor), Reuben Woods (Woods Design Agency founder), Claire McGowan (Soda Inc CEO) and Paul Charteris (founder of Tarawera Ultra-Marathon).

The 2016 EMA BoP Pitch night will be held on on October 19 from 5.30pm at Waiariki Bay of Plenty Polytech. To apply to pitch or RSVP to be in the audience, go to or email

Apple's AirPods now come with 'Hey Siri' functionality
The new AirPods come with a standard case or a Wireless Charging Case that holds additional charges for more than 24 hours of listening time.
NZ investment funds throw weight against social media giants
A consortium of NZ funds managing assets worth more than $90m are appealing against Facebook, Twitter, and Google following the Christchurch terror attacks.
Poly appoints new A/NZ managing director, Andy Hurt
“We’re excited to be bringing together two established pioneers in audio and video technology to be moving forward and one business – Poly."
NVIDIA announces Jetson Nano: A US$99 tiny, yet mighty AI computer 
“Jetson Nano makes AI more accessible to everyone, and is supported by the same underlying architecture and software that powers the world's supercomputers.”
Unity and NVIDIA announce real-time ray tracing across industries
For situations that demand maximum photorealism and the highest visual fidelity, ray tracing provides reflections and accurate dynamic computations for global lighting.
Slack doubles down on enterprise key management
EKM adds an extra layer of protection so customers can share conversations, files, and data while still meeting their own risk mitigation requirements.
NVIDIA introduces a new breed of high-performance workstations
“Data science is one of the fastest growing fields of computer science and impacts every industry."
Apple says its new iMacs are "pretty freaking powerful"
The company has chosen the tagline “Pretty. Freaking powerful” as the tagline – and it’s not too hard to see why.