PRINCE ANDREW has been part of a judging panel that has taken pitches from 17 of the best and brightest minds from Queensland, Northern Territory and northern New South Wales as part of a nationwide competition to find Australia's top entrepreneur.

The Duke of York was the special guest at Bond University on the Gold Coast for the inaugural Pitch@Palace Australia startup competition which this year has a focus on technology.

The Duke spent the day at Bond University talking with students and entrants from Queensland, northern New South Wales and the Northern Territory about their business ideas before they pitched their ideas directly to him as part of the competition which was designed to pick the regional winners who will then attend the national final in Sydney next week.

"This event is all about connections and connectivity," Prince Andrew said.

"What I want to see is these entrepreneurs to ask for something from the people present here and I want all of you to think about how you can connect these entrepreneurs and help them scale up their business.

"We can all play a part in helping build these businesses and I always have one ask of both the Entrepreneurs and the audience.

"You, the entrepreneurs must make at least one follow up Action with one or more of the other entrepreneurs present here today.

"The whole point of Pitch@Palace aims to support, enhance and add value to start Up and scale Up companies by providing a platform for entrepreneurs and Audiences to meet and network.

The Duke of York also says Australian businesses need to think globally as they develop and progress.

"The global nature of business and particularly new, innovative, distributive and technically minded businesses, that increasingly see international borders as irrelevant to the new ways of conducting businesses.

"Because of the revolutionary difference the internet and World Wide Web is making it means that the UK and Australia are closer, in business terms, than at any time in our relative histories.

"But, from my perspective, Pitch@Palace is a way of making those connections easier around the globe not just between the UK and Australia."

The budding business moguls presented an array of innovative ideas and inventions at the Bond University event, including a Tinder-like app for airport travellers, a new banking platform, improved cold sore treatment, cyber-security technology, and an app that uses storytelling to support mental health.

From this event, eight regional finalists will be selected to attend a national Boot Camp at Wollongong next week, where they will be joined by a further 16 finalists from the other states to be mentored by a number of leading Australian and international business identities.

Half of these Boot Camp entrepreneurs will then be selected to pitch their ideas at the Pitch@Palace Australian final, to be held at Government House in Sydney next Wednesday, 27 September. The winning team will be crowned Australia's best and then be flown to London to represent Australia at the global final of Pitch@Palace at St James' Palace on 6 December, 2017.

Boot Camps and On Tour regional finals will also be held in New South Wales and Victoria at the University of Wollongong, Macquarie University and Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology.

Finalists for Queensland, Northern Territory and northern New South Wales:

Accessibili-t, by Kathryn Lyons, is a not for profit charity which acts as an education-based change agency for the disabled, using new assistive IP devices to encourage inclusion and improved accessibility.

Banish My Cold Sore:

Banish, by Sean Moore, has recently completed market testing of a new treatment for the common cold sore virus. The unique blend of active ingredients and excipients has resulted in a strong value proposition whereby 93% of trial users claimed Banish heals cold sore outbreaks faster than any other product they have used in the past. Banish is about to undergo evaluation from the Therapeutic Goods Administration in order to fully commercialise.


BlockGrain, by Caile Ditterich and Baden U'Ren, increases efficiency and transparency in the grain management and logistics industry with its integrated cloud-based platform.

Blue Lens Innovation:

Blue Lens Innovation is an enterprise that has developed a model to take start up ideas from conception to the market place. Blue Lens carefully selects ideas and technologies that it understands, knows how to accelerate to market and can commercialise reliably with its partners. Blue Lens works with universities, organisations and entrepreneurs to help develop and introduce innovation to the world.


CryptoPhoto, by Chris Drake, offers high-security authentication that is extremely fast and easy. The technology protects everyday users against almost all online and offline attacks.


FAEBELLA, by Alisha Geary, is a luxury active wear brand which offers apparel with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art designs. The company's mission is to share the rich culture and history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people by presenting their art on active wear.

Flowpay Australia:

Flowpay Australia, by Manfred Neustifter and Luke D'Alessandro, is a banking platform which enables supply chains to improve cash-flow. The solution integrates payroll, bills, accounts receivable and payable.


Fresh&Go, by Lukas Beisswenger, is focused on sustainable cleaning solutions, particularly for shoes, which are affordable for all demographics.

Hang Around:

Hang Around is the brainchild of Gus Bruno and is an application designed to allow people to connect with fellow travellers in airports around the world.


KOORCA, by Rusty Broad, is a rural tech start-up developing solutions to improve emergency response capability and public safety worldwide. The primary product is the KOORCA smartphone app.

Nev House:

NevHouse, by Nev Hyman, turns recycled plastic and other sustainable materials into low cost homes, schools and medical clinics. These structures are constructed in five days or less and function off the grid.

PickUp Australia:

PickUp Australia, by Christine Makumbe, is a transport service which uses the power of technology to provide an online transport booking and journey planning platform for people with a disability, the elderly, or those with limited mobility.

Promis, by Cameron Lawrence, is a bill management software that assists organisations and businesses to eliminate time and money spent on bookkeeping and accounts processing. Promis reduces the manual steps and associated human error through smart automation.

Pummel Fitness:

Pummel Fitness, by Damien King, is an innovative platform and mobile app focusing on assisting fitness professionals to maximise their business potential through offline and online sales.


Quoject, by Annabel Vassella, is a holistic commercial marketplace which brings together clients and service providers to transact, collaborate, share and educate via cutting edge automated IT solutions and service offerings.


Scan2Invoice, by Bjoern Krollner, is a scanning software that scans paper invoices, extracts data and exports to accounting software saving time and money in data entry.

Zottie Dottie:

Zottie Dottie, by Zoie Carroll, uses digital storytelling to destigmatise mental health, helping Australians become more resilient. Zottie Dottie has shared more than 750 stories in the short space of 18 months with its global audience of more than 900,000 people, and gently guides Australians towards the appropriate support services available. 

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