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River City Labs to host first RiverPitch that focuses on early stage innovation start-ups


RiverPitch, Australia’s leading bi-annual pitching event for start-ups, will for the first time focus on early stage innovation companies in line with a new tax program by the federal government.

RiverPitch ESIC will be held on 19 October, 2016 and has been specifically designed for early stage investors and start-ups looking to benefit from the government’s 20 per cent tax offset for investing in innovative companies. This measure came into effect on 1 July, 2016.

RiverPitch will seek up to eight investment-ready companies to pitch their business to a roomful of angel investors, venture capital firms, and fellow entrepreneurs, including Shark Tank star Steve Baxter.

RiverPitch is organised by technology start-up hub River City Labs, founded by Mr Baxter.

“RiverPitch is a great opportunity for early stage innovation companies to gain direct access to a ready pool of angel investors and venture capital firms,” River City Labs CEO Peta Ellis said.

“It’s important for ESICs to take full advantage of the 20 per cent tax offset as cash flow is vital to any business, especially start-ups.

“River City Labs wants to help guide these companies in their quest for funding so they can be successful businesses both locally and globally,” Ms Ellis said.

RiverPitch alumni has raised millions of dollars since the event’s inception in 2012. Start-ups such as Travello and Bliss secured more than $1 million thanks to RiverPitch.

Who is behind RiverPitch?

RiverPitch is again sponsored by stockbroking firm Morgans Financial Limited and leading law firm McCullough Robertson.

“Morgans Financial Limited is delighted to continue its long-standing sponsorship of RiverPitch. We believe events like these continue to empower the ecosystem and continue to develop entrepreneurs into building sustainable, long-term businesses. The ‘entrepreneurial’thematic is rapidly developing and with the support of River City Labs, RiverPitch will continue to be a flagship event on the calendar for start-ups and investors alike,” Morgans Financial adviser Chris Titley said.

Mr Titley and Morgans Financial continue to actively contribute to the ecosystem via the very successful Morgans Startup Series Podcast, which has featured numerous RiverPitch start-ups as well as alumni of River City Labs.

McCullough Robertson Partner Reece Walker, who along with his team has been supporting start-ups for many years, including a large number of River City Labs alumni on key issues such as intellectual property, commercial contracts, IT, privacy laws, structuring and capital raising, said the firm was delighted to continue its partnership with RiverPitch.

“The innovation agenda in Australia is changing: there are a number of new incentives, but there’s also a large amount of uncertainty as to what has actually come into effect. While there’s a rush to be the first and to put business ideas into action, we also want to make sure that these ideas are protected and that companies are structured in the right way right from the start to meet their objectives,” Mr Walker said.

“We have been attending RiverPitch for many years as a sponsor and as an interested member of Brisbane’s start-up community. We are excited to see what’s coming up this year – the ideas get better and better, and are more commercially focused each year.  We can’t wait.”

What you need to keep in mind

RiverPitch ESIC 2016 will be held on 19 October from 2pm to 6pm (venue in Brisbane to be announced).

Applications for RiverPitch close on 25 September. For more information, please visit: http://riverpitch.com.

In the lead up to RiverPitch, River City Labs is organising a Tax Incentives for Early Stage Investors information evening on 14 September from 5.30pm at its Fortitude Valley premises. Speakers include ShakeelYusuf, PwC financial advisory practice director, and Cole Wilkinson, Pitcher Partners partner. Sign up for free here.

Key dates:

• Tax Incentives for Early Stage Investors information evening, 14 September
• RiverPitch, 19 October