The Bega Valley Innovation Hub Cohort for 2021 have today, Friday September 17, completed the final component of the Activate program with their pitch day.
The program is partnership between Bega Valley Shire Council, The university of Wollongong, and Bega Cheese and uses the Lean Start-up method to rapidly test proposed business models.
The 2021 theme was creating a Australia's first circular economy in the Bega Valley, an ambitious proposal backed by Bega Cheese CEO Barry Irvin, with support from UOW and BVSC.
For the pitch event businesses were broken up in to two segments- new enterprises and existing enterprises and speakers pitched to industry experts, business mentors, and investors.
First up to pitch was Nathan Johnston from social network platform Disability Club created for people living with a disability.
Panellist Barry Irwin spoke to the diversity of disability and how different people engage and communicate in a range of ways and was interested in how the platform would unfold to accommodate those individuals.
Next was Ben Buggy from Green Craft who spoke about how trees support drought resilience on farms through shading ground, slowing wind, holding soil, and protecting smaller plans and grass.
He proposed a tree guard project which would protect vulnerable saplings and intentional designs on farm which would increase drought resilience.
Panellist Natasha Berta questioned what the response had been from farmers. Mr Buggy said there had been varying degrees of interest and there was still prototyping needed to be done on the product.
Hannah Shaw from the Readership proposed a book subscription service where books would be delivered and then collected to pass along to someone else.
Ms Shaw said she would love to come up with a panel of different people who could curate the various streams, for example a high school student working group to curate the young adult stream.
Jason Simpson fromMy Small Business Coach spoke about offering a subscription- based training course for small business owners wanting to upskill.
He said the short course length would distinguish them from other platforms and there would be extra features such as one-on-one coaching and gamification to enhance the interaction.
Olaf Thiele from MOBEASY presented his housing and mobility plan for the Bega Valley. The product would be prefab, easy, fast to set up, energy efficient and movable.
"Modules would be delivered on site and would be ready to be lived in within the day," he said.
Yolanda del Valle-Buetefuer from South Coast Circular Fashion shared her vision of creating sustainable fashion standards for fashion retailers including supply chain transparency. She envisaged a platform where those wanting to access these products and those supplying them could come together.
Panellist Barry Irvin made an interesting point about how this would work for bigger retailers to which Ms del Valle-Buetefuer responded with the idea that retailers needed to innovate or be left behind by a growing brand of conscious consumers.
The people's choice award was voted on by those in attendance and Green Craft was the standout in the new enterprise category.
The next category was for existing enterprises.
The first to speak was John Scanlon from Virtual Modular on his virtual modular building system, a custom-built home that would be delivered in a flatpack system.
Doug Reckord from Bega Tathra Safe Ride spoke about creating a community bike path and an accessible bike service between Bega and Tathra.
Penny Green from Minima Solutions, a small consulting company that is focused on creating an integrated management system for organisations that can streamline decision making.
Matthew from Your Virtual Home made their pitch to architects and builders as they are working on a virtual reality experience allowing you to walk through your new home before it is built.
Steven Harvey from Health Physics who spoke about using 3D printing to the field of medicine. The company is looking into creating customisable and reusable task trainers, which are modular cuttable plastic model that stimulates particular part of the anatomy for training purposes.
The People's Choice Award for the existing enterprise category was awarded to Doug Reckord from Bega Tathra Safe Ride.
To get in touch with any of the businesses please email email@example.com.