If there’s one thing we can take out of the first episode of Your Money’s new reality show RiverPitch, it’s that you’ve really got to know ‘why’ before you make a pitch to Steve Baxter.
The program, which premiered on Tuesday, sees 24 entrepreneurs battling it out across Australia at a chance to turn their start-ups into household names.
But for our Queensland contestants, that means getting past the veteran investor and former Shark Tank tough guy.
In our first episode, we meet the Queenslanders vying for the crown and get a taste of what they have to offer, including a set of adjustable headphones, a giant garage sale “movement” and a headpiece that stops you from snoozing.
Within the first five minutes, it’s clear that Baxter has lost none of his edge, as the new round of contestants get grilled in preparation for a pitch session later in the day.
James Fielding from Audeara presents a set of headphones that actually tailor soundwaves to your ear. Sounds like a decent yarn but Baxter cuts straight to the chase.
“Why do I give a stuff about James?” he barks. “Right now, [investors are] looking at their watch.” Tough love.
That’s a theme the other contestants soon get a taste of as the training session goes on.
Yas Grigaliunas wants to, as the business name suggests, hold the World’s Biggest Garage Sale. But must first learn to get to the point, Baxter warns.
And we’re soon witness to what turns out to be a somewhat uncomfortable exchange with the nervous Lachlan, who’s not quite able to explain why he’s built a product that identifies construction site locations, or who it’s for.
Moving on it soon becomes pretty clear who the standout of the bunch is.
As if Baxter’s shining approval wasn’t enough, Alex Moss of Canaria Technologies literally already has a seal of approval from NASA.
And she’s created a product that will save companies millions a year while also saving lives. A trifecta. Or two.
Our first cover feature is out tomorrow thanks to Brisbane News Magazine! Grab a copy of their science and technology issue whilst you can! pic.twitter.com/4vnxPYIf8C
— Canaria (@TeamCanaria) November 27, 2018
Alex’s product is an earpiece that can read when a person is becoming fatigued at work.
She says it’s a scenario that causes two-thirds of workplace accidents and which costs materials companies around $10 million a day.
And it was impressive enough to prompt a rare smile from the mentor.
After our Queenslanders are fine-tuned on presenting their ‘why’, the contestants are ready to present their real pitches.
There’re a few surprise improvements, including from James, who it turns out actually has a pretty impressive set of headphones selling in more than 60 countries worldwide, and Yas who describes her business as a “rainbow unicorn” to a round of applause.
There were some sweaty moments and some harsh judgments. But at the end end of the day, only four entrepreneurs make it through to the next round.
Our lucky Queenslanders are Dan Swan of Realar, Yas Grigaliunas, James Fielding and, unsurprisingly, the NASA-endorsed Alex Moss.
Stay tuned for next week!
Watch the full episode above for more.