2019 pitch night winners

2019 Pitch Night Winners

Big Brothers Big Sisters won 2019 Pitch Night

Event Details

A packed crowd at 2019 BoP Pitch Night enjoyed a diverse line-up of pitches that elicited both tears and laughter throughout the night.

Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) stole the show winning both the hearts and minds of the judges and audience. They walked away winning the supreme award EPIC Pitch and the People’s Choice Award.

The winning pitch was a team effort with mentor David Remmerswaal, mentee Logan Potae and staff member Daryl Parker.

Remmerswaal was overcome with emotion on stage.  He shared the story of an old friend from school and how they have ended up on very different paths in life. While he finished high school, did an OE, and completed further education. His friend wasn’t so lucky, left school early and ended up in prison.

“How do two kids that grow up in the same neighbourhood, end up in such different situations in life. If I’d made a couple of bad decisions when I was younger could that have been me? He wasn’t a bad kid, he just didn’t have the right role models in his life.”

His passion for the important work BBBS do in helping Rotorua youth to have strong, dependable role models resonated with the crowd and no doubt secured them the people’s choice award.

Remmerswaal said he entered pitch night as the event always drew a good crowd and it was the perfect opportunity to raise awareness and sponsorship for BBBS.

“Winning provided a really good confirmation that BBBS Rotorua provides a huge amount of value to our tamariki and that there are so many community minded people in Rotorua who want to do their part and support our cause.”

“We had a number of individuals and businesses approach us after the event asking how they could support and partner with BBBS. This support will help us to grow the impact we make in Rotorua.”

Daryl Parker, BBBS co-ordinator said the win was exhilarating.

“We presented together as a staff member, a Mentor and a Mentee because we are all about producing positive outcomes though relationships and last night was another way we achieved that.”

“It’s a great reward for all the hard work to see David tearing up because this journey means so much to him and to listen to Logan express how much David has benefitted him in a healthy mentoring relationship.”

“This will benefit us as an organization because it increased our profile in the Rotorua community and this is the community we are supported by and serve”

“Thanks so much to Darren and Rachael and Rotorua X for providing us such an amazing opportunity.”

Runner-up Will O’Connor was surprised when his name was called as EPIC Pitch Runner-Up.

“I froze on stage during my presentation and although I recovered, I thought I had completely failed.”

“Afterwards, the support I got from the attendees was incredible. Most people didn’t take any notice. If you have a new business or you’ve got an idea, pitch night is an amazing opportunity to gain valuable feedback.”

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“The presentation aspect of the night is only a small part. The community is keen to hear your idea regardless of whether you like public speaking or not. I think I proved that last night.”

Both organisations took a share of the $10,000 prize pool of business support services, mentoring and training.

Over the last six years, Pitch Night has been an annual event and has seen 46 pitch teams on stage. The event is an opportunity for the region’s commercial and not-for-profit organisations to showcase what they are doing and to practise their pitch in front of a live audience.

Awareness and recognition of the event continues to grow year on year with people travelling from Hamilton, Taupo, Tokoroa and Palmerston North specifically to attend.

The esteemed judging panel included Deputy Mayor Dave Donaldson, Michelle Templer chief executive of Rotorua Economic Development Limited, Jon Sandbrook investment manager WNT Ventures, Alex Williams marketing & creative manager Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology and Linda Bradbrook business growth advisor, NZTE Regional Business Partners Network.

Head judge Dave Donaldson said judging was a tough job.

“I really I think this shows what great innovation there is in Rotorua. It’s pretty intense on the judges table, it’s not an easy job. Congratulations to everyone who had the courage to get up and put their pitches across in such an entertaining way.”

Pitch Night event director Darren McGarvie said each year the event seems to get bigger and bigger.

“We had a record number of registrations to attend this year. It has also been interesting to see a change in how the pitches are delivered with a bigger focus on story behind the founder and why the organisation exists.”

“There has also been an increase in the number of businesses that also want to have a social enterprise and non-profit alongside their business, which can only be good for Rotorua and our community.”

Video of all the pitches from the evening will be loaded onto the Rotorua X Facebook page.

More information

  • Rotorua X is a charitable trust with the purpose to connect and inspire Rotorua businesses and social enterprises. 
  • Pitch Night was developed to help foster an entrepreneurial community in Rotorua to support businesses and non-profits to launch and grow.
  • The evening was only possible through the event partners Firestation, Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology, Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust and Rotorua Economic Development Limited. As well all the organisations that provided goods and services as prizes.
  • Six organisations pitched on the night:
    • Maxine Parker from Swim-Able NZ, helping children, adults and people with special needs learn essential skills so they can enjoy water activities.
    • Will O’Connor from Endurance Training Hub/ Performance Advantage, an interactive online self-coaching platform for endurance athletes and enthusiasts.
    • Martyn Evans and Tiana Hodge from MartynEvans Art, creative colouring and art book plus an online shop with wearable art and giftware.
    • David Remmerswaal from pitching Big Brothers Big Sisters of Rotorua, a mentoring organisation that is making a difference to children’s lives.
    • Michael Burton from Burton Security, a traditional security firm offering an innovative online model.
    • Andria Studman from DYSCO, a proven solution to overcome dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia and a other dys-orders to ensure all children and adults have the opportunity to live a productive life.

2019 BoP Pitch Night Winners Prizes

Best EPIC Pitch – $6,060 value
Firestation Programme
(Choice: Activate / Incubate / Accelerate)
Firestation Co-working 3 month
Mark Copeland Lawyers – 90 mins
EMA BoP – 90 mins HR Advice
Firestation Boardroom – 4hrs

Runner-up – $2,636 value
Firestation Co-working 3 month
Firestation Business Coaching 2hrs
Dubzz Facebook or Google Training
Firestation Boardroom Hire 4 hours
Firestation Marketing Review 2hr

People’s Choice Award – $1,691 value
Firestation Co-working – 3 month
Firestation Boardroom Hire (4 hours)
Business book: Own choice from Firestation Library

2019 BoP Pitch Night Videos:

Winning Pitch – Big Brothers Big Sisters
Runner-Up -Endurance Training Hub
Swim-Able NZ
Martyn Evans Art
Burton Security

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