The strength of Rotorua’s business community is evident in the unprecedented growth of a local group that runs a monthly networking event and an annual Pitch Night.
Rotorua X Trust has the mission to connect and inspire business owners and leaders. Their events provide an opportunity for the business community to come together on a regular basis, meet likeminded people and hear inspirational speakers.
Speakers range from successful entrepreneurs, elite sports stars and charitable enterprise leaders to share the ups and downs of success and lessons learnt along the way.
Chair Darren McGarvie says he is blown away by the growth in numbers, which has accelerated over the last year.
“Interest and attendance in our monthly events show that the Rotorua business community is hungry for opportunities to connect, be inspired and learn from others who are leading the way.”
“Our first event in 2009 had 12 attendees. That grew up to an average of forty attendees after a few years. Over the last year growth has accelerated rapidly, and we are now seeing up to eighty people coming along each month, which is huge.”
“Our biggest event is the annual Pitch Night held at the end of October. This will be our fifth one and we have had an unprecedented level of quality applications to pitch. Usually we are shoulder tapping people to apply to pitch, but this time applications have flown in.”
“We have made the decision to close applications early, and increase the number of teams pitching to eight, rather than six.”
The winners on the night will share $10,000 of business support prizes that includes co-working, business training, legal advice, HR advice, branded water bottles and marketing support.
To ensure the pitches are a high calibre, teams must attend a 90-minute pitching workshop by Firestation, the central North Island business growth centre. In addition, all teams have an hour individual coaching session to finesse their pitch.
An outstanding panel of judges have been confirmed; Dr Leon Fourie chief executive Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology, Mark Copeland principal at Mark Copeland Lawyers, Jasmin Jackson 2017 Epic pitch winner and chair of Ka Pai Kai Rotorua, Catie Noble president Taupo Chamber of Commerce, Michelle Templar chief executive of Destination Rotorua and mayor of Rotorua Steve Chadwick returns as head judge.
“Pitch Night is a fun and lively evening showcasing the entrepreneurs in our region. Attendance is free, and we encourage the business community to come along and help pick the crowd favourite.”
Pitch Night is on Wednesday 31 October from 5.30pm at Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology.
To RSVP or find out more details go to www.rotoruax.nz.