Six South West start-ups to pitch for seed funding

News date:

This is the date and time that this news article was published.

The participants in the next Ideas Place Pitch Night have been chosen, with six South West entrepreneurs to vie for a share of $23,000 in prize money.

Adam Kent, Chris Hosie, Jean Kerwin, Kirsten Diprose, Lisa Nolan and Ted Argyle will have five minutes each to present their innovative business idea on Thursday March 21 from 6.30pm at the Port Fairy Bowls Club.

A panel of judges will award $10,000 in seed funding to the winner while second and third place will win $5000 and $3000 respectively. The Fletcher Jones Family Foundations will also present $5000 to the idea with the best potential for a positive social impact.

Ideas Place Facilitator Liz Grant said that potential start-up business ideas could come from anywhere.

“There’s a lot more innovation happening in the region than people acknowledge,” she said. 

“It’s great to see and support people who have an idea and who have got it off the ground and want to take it somewhere really amazing.

“If you have an idea that’s been brewing, or even if you’ve been dabbling as a hobby, it would be great to come along because passion is infectious. 

“Come along, meet other people and hear their journey and it might actually spark something in you.

“Or even if you’ve been in business for many years, come along and again, it might spark a whole new passion for your business.”

The majority of the participants completed the Ideas Place “Ignite Program” - a multiple-week training program to help start-ups grow their idea, design or product into a viable business. They also completed the three session “Boot Camp” to get their idea ready for the Pitch Night.

Applications for the final Ignite Program of the current funding cycle have just opened, with anyone inspired by the Pitch Night able to get started on their own idea.

“If you have an idea, the Ignite Program is a fabulous program to work on it,” Ms Grant said.

“We take you through a whole process where you not only take your idea forward, you learn a lot about business as well.

“By the end of the Ignite Program you’ve got a pretty good idea of whether your business is going to fly, but also what you have to do to grow it.”

Tickets to the Pitch Night are $10, which includes light catering. Under 16s are free. Tickets are available at

The Ideas Place is a program to help South West entrepreneurs and start-ups bring their innovative ideas to market.

Made possible via LaunchVic funding, other partners include the Warrnambool, Moyne and Corangamite councils, South West TAFE, Great South Coast Food & Fibre, the Fletcher Jones Family Foundations and What Your Customers Want.

About the pitchers:

Adam Kent, Warrnambool

Idea: Asset Connecting Communities reduces the risks of social isolation experienced by veterans and their families. Our activities provide connection to peers and the non-veteran community, increasing the support networks needed.

Chris Hosie, Warrnambool

Idea: People who need to decompress from high stress environments come to us to learn new ways of connecting with self, others and nature in structured learning activities, while having fun!

Jean Kerwin, Terang 

Idea: Tale Mapper offers a range of life writing packages, which help you to preserve your loved ones' life stories. We assist you in recording the memories of those who are facing end of life, due to age or illness, and turn them into a professionally written story. We then present you with an elegant keepsake box that holds the stories, transcripts, and digital files, ensuring their legacy is preserved for generations to come.

Kirsten Diprose, Caramut

Idea: Rural Podcasting Co. enables you to tell your own story, through the medium of podcasting. We specialise in rural stories, supporting individuals, businesses and communities to craft unique and engaging podcasts.

Lisa Nolan, Warrnambool

Idea: Mental Health Journey Services is introducing to the South West peer support / lived experience mental health support online and in-person so that people needing mental health support can achieve their short, medium and long term recovery goals.

Ted Argyle, Cudgee

Idea: At Ella Rose Memorials we create unique custom made memorial products to celebrate and honour a life lost.