Aug 17, 2017 | Reading Time: 3 minutes

Starting a business takes courage for most people, but perhaps even more so for people living in regional areas where access to potential customers, mentors and other opportunities for business is more remote.

Australia Post Regional Pitchfest recognises the challenges those businesses face, but they also know any Australian can realise the dream of starting a business and have their first customer be anywhere in the world, thanks to eCommerce and technology.

Australia Post Regional Pitchfest gives anyone from regional Australia who has a big, innovative idea the chance to pitch to an expert panel in front of a live audience.

This year’s Australia Post Regional Pitchfest participants were given a chance to attend networking events, business growth workshops and mentoring sessions.

Then, of course, they had the exciting opportunity to partake in a live pitch, where they delivered their innovative idea in front of an audience to an expert panel for the chance to win cash and prizes.

From Bunbury to Ballarat and back again, events have been taking place and will culminate in a National Gala Final in Wagga Wagga on Friday 18 August.

I went along to the South Australian state final on Friday 28 July, at Serafino Wines in McLaren Vale. It was inspiring to see five South Australian entrepreneurs pitch their incredible business ideas and see them speak about their hard work and ambition.

The impressive line-up of entrepreneur pitchers consisted of the likes of Sally Lydia Paech, Bryce Eldredge, Melissa Little, Eddia Blass and Selena Woodward.

Sally Lydia Paech from Kangaroo Island pitched OrganiQ, which is natural and simple skincare based on six generations of inherited Island knowledge. Sally’s idea came from her knowledge that everything you put on your skin ends up being absorbed in your body and vital organs. She has created powerful, natural substances that cleanse, detoxify, hydrate, nourish, and beautify even the most delicate skin.

Bryce Eldredge and Ashley Shultz from Kybubga pitched The Rural Network, which is pioneering the task economy movement for the 1.3 million regional-based business owners across Australia is a fast-growing platform.

VENYU is event manager Melissa Little’s pitch. She is from Aldinga Beach and has created a digital decision making tool which connects couples with unique wedding venues.

Eddie Blass has worked in both education and business and has combined the two disciplines to create The Inventorium. The Professor from Mount Torrens is working with a group of educator writers who are developing and testing the pilot.

Selena Woodward from Moana has developed Edufolios, a platform she developed to make meaning out of her own state and national professional development records as an educator. This award winning business is proving to be a highly productive and popular developing platform for teachers.

In a tight contest between entrepreneurs with incredibly innovative ideas and solutions, Selena Woodward went on to win the pitch with Edufolios.

Speaking to Di Somerville, founder of Australia Post Regional Pitchfest, got me thinking about just how beneficial the program is to participants and their regions.

There is the obvious benefit for the entrepreneurs – access to mentors and networks, and the value of the cohort can’t be underestimated. The bringing together of emerging entrepreneurs from all over Australia, where story sharing and collaborations ensue, results in some extremely valuable relationships.

Somerville’s passion really comes to life when she speaks of the conversations Australia Post Regional Pitchfest generates in the regions. The program inspires regional Australians to believe that it is possible to take the idea they’ve been working on and sell it to the world – and you don’t have to leave your hometown to do it.

Australia Post Regional Pitchfest is breaking down barriers that emerging regional entrepreneurs once came up against –

Be sure to tune into the National Final will be Streamed here on 18 August.  I’ll be cheering for my hometown favourite – Selena Woodward of Edufolios – good luck!

This post was sponsored by Australia Post. To find out more about Australia Post’s commitment to communities, click here.

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