THE Duke of York is heading down under to meet Australian entrepreneurs and give their ideas the royal treatment.
Prince Andrew will be heading to Australia in September to judge an entrepreneurial competition and is calling on entrants from the Territory.
Pitch@Palace is an initiative set up by The Duke of York to guide, help and connect entrepreneurs and early-stage businesses with potential supporters, including CEOs, mentors and business partners.
The Duke will spend the day at Bond University on September 22 talking with students and entrants from the Northern Territory, Queensland and Northern New South Wales 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 he is 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,” The Duke said.
“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.”
The national winner of the start-up competition will be flown to London in December to pitch their winning idea at St James’s Palace in the global final.
Bond University Vice-Chancellor Tim Brailsford said it was a once-in- a-lifetime opportunity for budding entrepreneurs from the Northern Territory 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,” Professor Brailsford said.
“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.
“We are keen to receive as many rich and varied ideas and applications as possible, to ensure that the Northern Territory is well represented at the national final,” he said.
Professor Brailsford said the competition it is accessible to everyone, from a student capturing their ‘lightbulb 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,” he said.
“This is a global first for the Northern Territory and Australia, and that is tremendously exciting.”
Bond Business School executive dean Terry O’Neill said the university will hold a boot camp which will precede the final day pitches and will be offered by Bond to assist the entrants in making their pitch perfect.
“This is a great opportunity for Northern Territorians, and also for some of our students here at Bond who already have their own start-up ideas,” Professor O’Neill said.
The Northern Territory, Queensland and Northern New South Wales Boot Camp will take place at Bond University on September 21, followed by the regional final which The Duke of York will be judging at Bond’s Gold Coast campus on September 22.
Boot Camps and 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 September 27.
The winners of Pitch@Palace Australia will go on to take part in Pitch@Palace Global at St. James’s Palace on December 6.
Applications for Pitch@Palace Australia are open now at www.pitchatpalaceaustralia.com.au and entry is free.