Startup Shakeup Media Release - A Startup Showdown

Published on 23 July 2019

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Save the date. July 26 is when the Startup Shakeup Pitchfest, one of the biggest events for the entrepreneur community in NorthEast Victoria, comes to town.

Like an episode of Shark Tank, but without the bite, Pitchfest is the “grand finale” event - a celebration of innovation and new business opportunities spawned over the last 12 months held in Benalla - for local business network Startup Shakeup.

“The network has attracted new business ideas and startups from across the North East, particularly from our service area of Indigo Shire, Mansfield, Benalla and Wangaratta.” Says Emma Jones, project coordinator. “Pitchfest will celebrate the collaborative effort between Councils, business, community and education leaders to build a supportive local startup network, and showcase the business ideas from our very own backyard that have what it takes to go global.”

“Everyone ‘pitching’ has a story about a moment when they turned hardship or frustration into a business idea that makes life better for people in our communities. Through Startup Shakeup, they’re being supported to develop their idea to reach customers across Australia and worldwide, while staying based in North East Victoria.”

Some of the “pitchers” include Emma Avery, Wangaratta-based founder of Cloth Baby, making it easier to save money and reduce landfill by using modern cloth nappies, Tarnya Bruinier in Shepparton who produces meal bases and cake mixes for people with food intolerances, and an online app that simplifies market bookings from Nick & Jay Cooper in Mansfield.

Pitchfest will have selected contestants take the stage to present their 3 minute pitch to a panel of judges and an eager audience of supporters, evangelists, and investors. And there are big prizes up for grabs, including a major prize worth $10,000 thanks to Findex.

Judges include Melbourne Angels Founder and President Jordan Green, Runway Geelong CEO Peter Dostis, CSU Marketing and Business Lecturer Larissa Bamberry, and Findex Project Manager Briar Hanley.

The Startup Shakeup Pitchfest is for anyone interested in supporting local businesses who are making the leap to go global, and will be held at the Benalla Town Hall - July 26 at 6pm. Free tickets to this event available at:

What is Startup Shakeup?

Thanks to a $400,000 grant from LaunchVic, Startup Shakeup is a network of entrepreneurs, businesses, and investors striving to turn big ideas into jobs and opportunities for growth in North East Victoria. Startup Shakeup is a 4 council collaboration between Benalla, Indigo, Mansfield, and Wangaratta, managed by Benalla Rural City Council, in partnership with CSU, GOTAFE and NE Tracks LLEN. Stay up to date at: