House debates

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Constituency Statements


10:33 am

Photo of Karen AndrewsKaren Andrews (McPherson, Liberal Party, Minister for Industry) Share this | | Hansard source

I'm delighted to take this opportunity to acknowledge a wonderful program that's encouraging innovation and entrepreneurs—the Duke of York's Pitch@Palace. Pitch@Palace guides, helps and connects entrepreneurs and early-stage businesses with potential supporters, including CEOs, influencers, mentors and business partners. It was an honour to attend the Australian final at the Queensland State Library last Friday night where 41 up-and-coming Australian businesses pitched their ideas for an amazing array of innovative products and services in front of the Duke.

These forward thinkers joined the worldwide Pitch@Palace alumni, which has around 729 businesses that have achieved an astonishing 96.5 per cent survival rate. There's no doubt that the Pitch@Palace model is working well, and His Royal Highness the Duke of York was clearly excited and enthusiastic about the calibre of the innovative Australian start-ups on display.

Pitch@Palace is another great opportunity for our entrepreneurs to take their products and services global, so it was not surprising to me that Bond University, which is in the heart of my electorate, plays an important role in Pitch@Palace Australia, because they too have a unique model for success in ensuring graduates have the skills they need to excel in their chosen fields, especially in business. Bond University hosted the Queensland final of Pitch@Palace, and Vice-Chancellor and President, Tim Brailsford, was the MC of the national final.

Impressively, more than one entrepreneur with Bond University links made the national final. These included university alumnus Joseph Marcus, whose AirBands training device restricts blood flow to build muscle strength, and Bond University Assistant Professor of Aboriginal Health, Clinton Schultz, whose company, Sobah, brews non-alcoholic craft beer using Indigenous ingredients. Both report a keen interest in their companies as a result of taking part.

I want to congratulate and acknowledge the winners, Powerwells and OncoRes. Both national winners will now get to pitch their businesses at the global final of Pitch@Palace at St James's Palace in London later this month. We wish them well, and I look forward to hearing more about their endeavours.

Australians have done particularly well at Pitch@Palace. Last year's global winner was actually Gold Coast surf industry legend Nev Hyman, whose company, NevHouse, turns recycled plastic into affordable cyclone-proof housing. Australians are amongst the boldest thinkers in the world. In my role as Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, I'm constantly impressed by the innovative things being done by Australians. The Liberal-National government is supporting many of those innovators through our Entrepreneurs' Program. We have seen examples of crossover where those being supported through our government programs are also impressing people around the world through Pitch@Palace. I congratulate everyone involved, especially the crew from Bond University.