Applications for Darebin’s Pitch It competition are now open

Darebin Pitch It
2018 Pitch It Winners — CERES Fair Wood Founder, Chris Ennis, and Manager, Peter Smyth. Photo credit : Stephen McKenzie

Darebin’s pitch competition is back for another year!

Do you have a business idea that will benefit our community? Have you got what it takes to Pitch It in under 10 minutes?

Darebin Pitch It gives local students, graduates, entrepreneurs, businesses and not-for-profits the opportunity to turn innovative start-up ideas into reality.

How it works:

  • Submit your start-up idea at
  • Get invited to the Pitch It day on 22 March to present your idea
  • The top five ideas will be selected for the Accelerator Program who then battle it out at the Grand Final for a chance to win $20,000 start-up cash!

Darebin Mayor Susan Rennie said Pitch It is looking for start-ups with new and exciting ideas with a social impact focus.

“Pitch It will help to boost the local economy and jobs by helping innovative start-up enterprises to get off the ground,” Mayor Rennie said.

“We are particularly interested in hearing about ideas and supporting start-ups that will improve our community as a whole, and encourage us to be more connected, healthier and bolder. These could be ideas that are based on sustainability, inclusion, equity or health and wellbeing.”

Last year’s Pitch It competition winner, Chris Ennis from CERES Fair Wood, said the competition was the catalyst that turned the side project into a fully-fledged business, with the prize money going towards employing staff and launching their website.

CERES Fair Wood, based in Preston, is a social enterprise which aims to bridge the gap between environmentally conscious timber consumers and small Australian farm foresters and sawmillers by supplying sustainable wood.

“Before the Pitch It competition we just had an idea – winning the competition was really what kicked the whole thing into gear,” Mr Ennis said.

“We’ve got a functioning, living business now.”

“If you’ve got an idea to improve the lives of those in the Darebin community then I would really encourage you to apply,” Mr Ennis said.

“Regardless of the outcome, Pitch It will really help push your idea forward. It’s a great starting point.”

Applications for Pitch It are open now and will close on March 15.

For more information, and to apply go to