The Pitch Challenge is a friendly shark-tank style event where entrants deliver their new business or growth idea to a panel of judges, under three categories, including New Business Idea and Business Growth Idea. The third category is an exciting People’s Choice allowing family, friends and community members to vote for the idea they think most likely to succeed.

Finalists will receive one-on-one coaching to focus their idea and deliver with confidence.

It's the flagship competition of Business Navigator Western Downs, a business growth and innovation advisory service partnering with owners of new and developing businesses in the Western Downs to accelerate their ideas. Business Navigator is a Shell’s QGC business program delivered in partnership with Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise.

Lead business coach Ariane de Rooy said the small team provides strategy, finance and marketing advice as well as hands-on assistance to help commercialise ideas and achieve business growth objectives.

“We partner with clients to introduce new ways of thinking about their business, develop and implement business goals and plans, source funding and connect leaders with other industry experts,” she said.

Shell’s QGC operations manager Nagaraj Ramaraj said the business was proud to support the region’s economic development through this innovative partnership.

“We’re looking forward to hearing more great ideas at the Pitch Challenge in 2020 and seeing the continued growth of businesses across the Western Downs,” he said.

The Pitch Challenge is open to new and existing businesses of any size within the Western Downs region.

Winner of Best Growth Idea in the 2018 Pitch Challenge, David Abbott, has continued development of his unique steel picket driving concept, a system which enables safer and more efficient rural fencing installation.

“Being a part of the Business Navigator Pitch Challenge gave me the confidence to move forward with my idea, and the Business Navigator team continue to be helpful with getting it to prototype stage,” Mr Abbott said.

Applications are now open. To enter, head to

The Business Navigator Pitch Challenge Finals will be held in Chinchilla on 19 March 2020.

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