La Trobe's entrepreneurial talent showcased at PitchFest

PitchFest: Showcase celebrated La Trobe's incredible entrepreneurial talent. Top students took the stage for a 'Shark Tank' style competition with up to $30,000 prize money up for grabs.

After nine weeks of workshops, mentoring and coaching, nine of La Trobe's best entrepreneurial student teams – chosen from the University's Entrepreneurship program 'Elevate' – competed for one of three spots in a final showcase event.

PitchFest: Showcase saw student teams Passive House Collective, ReadStemm and Business Space Meet Technology (BSMT) Universe Company take the stage to compete for their share of $30,000 in seed funding.

Passive House Collective's Sally Morgan and Nathan Gatt focused on housing for the future. The business vision is to empower individuals with the knowledge to create healthier, more energy-efficient homes, while significantly reducing their environmental impact through passive house design.

Natasha Nagle pitched a media and production company and platform, ReadStemm, geared towards providing scientists and researchers with the skills, confidence, and support needed to communicate their work in effective and engaging ways.

Business Space Meet Technology (BSMT) Universe Company's Samet Alan and James Tucker presented an innovative platform connecting universities, government, and research hubs.

With Dr Megan Fisher, La Trobe University Pro Vice-Chancellor (Industry Engagement),  and Michelle Wade, Victorian Commissioner to South Asia and Trade Commissioner to India, in the audience – as well as industry partners, inspiring alumni and members of La Trobe's successful entrepreneur community – the pressure was on.

Making the tough judgement calls was an expert panel:

  • Andrea Gardiner, La Trobe University alumni and Jelix Ventures Founder and CEO
  • Raaj Rayat, La Trobe University alumni and AirTree Investment Manager
  • Andrew Lai, BOAB Managing Director.

A testament to La Trobe's entrepreneurial spirit – all three teams emerged winners and took home $10,000 of investment each!

As part of the Thursday 26 October festivities, attendees heard from advanced startups taking part in The Big Leap program – a partnership between La Trobe University, Arrow Digital and the Federal Government to accelerate Australian startups to scale in India.

Congratulations to the three teams on their incredible achievements. Counting down to Elevate 2024 already!

To learn about future entrepreneurship activities, connect with the La Trobe University Innovation and Entrepreneurship team on