Jobs for NSW has announced its first Regional Pitchfest since the formerly independent agency was restructured last month following the re-election of the Berejiklian government.
Minister for Jobs Stuart Ayres said the state-wide pitch competition for regional startups would see applicants participate in one of nine local pitching events located in Armidale, Bathurst, Broken Hill, Byron Bay, Dubbo, Lightning Ridge, Wagga Wagga, Wollongong and Young.
“This year’s event will be a grassroots celebration of the rapidly growing number of startup communities, local councils and business organisations building a culture of entrepreneurship in regional and rural communities,” he said.
“As a government we want to be doing everything we can to create the right environment to launch a startup that will grow and create jobs.”
Mr Ayres was appointed to oversee Jobs for NSW after it ceased being an agency and became an integrated division within the newly-created Business and Economic Development Unit inside the NSW Treasury.
Jobs for NSW was the primary driver behind the creation of the Sydney Startup Hub, and was previously chaired by David Thodey and other industry luminaries including Craig Dunn, Dr Chris Roberts, and Helen Zimmerman on its board prior to the restructure.
Jobs for NSW was moved into Treasury along with a series of other industry department functions, lifting the profile of the portfolio. Treasury is one of just three central agencies (the others being the Department of Customer Service and the Department of Premier and Cabinet).
Jobs for NSW also played a lead role in creating momentum for the far more ambitious Sydney Technology and Innovation Precinct near Central Station.
As part of the Regional Pitchfest, a winner for each local event will secure an all-expenses paid trip to the Regional Bootcamp at the Sydney Startup Hub in August where five finalists will be selected to compete in the NSW final in Wagga Wagga in September. Winners will win a share of $20,000.
The winner of the inaugural Regional Pitchfest in 2016 was then 13-year-old high school student Michael Nixon, who founded educational company Edukits and created The Amazing Annoyatron, an educational kit which teaches kids coding skills that is being sold in 10 countries.
Applications for 2019 Regional Pitchfest are open until June 9.