Stakes raised in product pitches

Alexander ScottPilbara News
Port Hedland Chamber of Commerce chief executive Clair Boyce.
Camera IconPort Hedland Chamber of Commerce chief executive Clair Boyce. Credit: Sam Jones/Sam Jones

The Pilbara is set to play host to its own type of Shark Tank event to foster innovation and develop new businesses.

The new program, called Launchpad, was announced by the State Government last month as part of the Regional New Industries Fund.

It will run similarly to the international Shark Tank TV program, which has seen up-and-coming businesses pitch their products to industry experts around Australia, the US and Asia.

The program will target new and small businesses across the Pilbara to take part in a series of free workshops to learn the skills needed to pitch their ideas, get capital, and organise their companies.

Once the course is completed, the organisations will compete against each other in regional pitch nights to an audience of industry, community and government representatives.

The winners will face off at a Regional Pitchfest in Port Hedland later in the year.

Launchpad has been developed by the Pilbara Regional Innovation Network, led by Port Hedland Chamber of Commerce and The WEB Business Hub. Included in the initiative are chambers in Onslow, Newman and Karratha, and the Karratha Enterprise Hub.

Port Hedland Chamber of Commerce chief executive Claire Boyce said the initiative would allow entrepreneurs to test, support and develop their ideas. “It will be a massive opportunity for small businesses to sit back, reflect on their business and hopefully get themselves to the next stage,” she said.

Member for the Pilbara Kevin Michel said he was looking forward to seeing what businesses grew from this initiative.

“The Pilbara is rich in entrepreneurs with great ideas and work ethic,” he said.

“This is an opportunity for them to work with business accelerator experts to further increase their capacity, capability, or exposure.”

Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan said Launchpad aimed to foster innovation in the region.

Ms MacTiernan said it would give small and medium businesses the chance to overcome challenges, and would offer invaluable exposure and training.

The online Launchpad sessions start later this month.

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