Write idea lands South West start-up $10,000

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After signing up to the Ideas Place to learn how to deliver a punchy, persuasive business pitch, Tale Mapper founder Jean Kerwin has won $10,000 in seed funding as part of a pitch night.

Tale Mapper specialises in life writing packages aimed at people with a loved one facing end of life.

The Ideas Place Pitch Night was held last week, with Kirsten Diprose also winning $5000 for her podcasting business and Ted Argyle winning $3000 for his customised memorial products.

All three took part in the Ideas Place Ignite Program, which is designed to help South West entrepreneurs get their ideas ready to launch, with expressions of interest in the third and final program of this funding round now open.

The inspiration for Ms Kerwin’s business came from close to her heart, and the Ideas Place helped her to develop it further.

“A few years ago I gave my grandmother a book that had a whole list of questions in it for her to fill out about her own life,” she said.

“I gave it to her and she said ‘if you have any questions, just ask me’. I said ‘just have a read through and fill it out’. She never did it.

“She passed away and I felt so sad that I hadn’t taken the time to just sit with her and get those stories.

“She didn’t want to write it herself. She wanted to be listened to.”

Ms Kerwin, who has three tertiary qualifications in writing, said that a project working with the Men’s Shed organisation reinforced the importance of listening to and recording people’s stories.

“People really love to be listened to,” she said.

“Especially when you are facing end of life, it can really help combat depression.”

The 10-week Ideas Place Ignite Program covers a wide range of topics from marketing to copyright protection, and aims to help emerging entrepreneurs explore all aspects of their new business.

Ms Kerwin encouraged anyone looking to better understand what was needed to launch or grow a start-up to get involved.

“I already had a business plan together, but the Ignite Program helped me to make it clearer,” she said.

“We had professional speakers coming in for each class. One week was a lawyer, another time was an insurance person, and we got to ask any questions related to our business.

“I met a whole bunch of entrepreneurs that were just starting out like me, and there were heaps of different ideas and people from all different fields, and you got the opportunity to give each other feedback.

“You’ve got different specialties and points of view, so that was really interesting and inspiring.

“Most of the people who did the course still worked full time, because it’s once a week in the evenings, and only every third one was in person.

“So if you have a family or if you’re working, it’s not a huge chunk of time.”

She said that she would use the $10,000 in funding to access further professional services, take out advertising and also purchase a laserjet printer to allow her to print her stories in-house.

Expressions of interest in the upcoming Ignite Program are now open and close on April 19.

Visit www.theideasplace.com.au to find out more.

About the Ideas Place

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.