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The Governor of Victoria's speech for Pitch@Palace On Tour Melbourne.


Your Royal Highness The Duke of York KG
Mr Martin Bean, Vice-Chancellor and President of RMIT
Pitch@Palace judges and semi-finalists
All distinguished guests

First, I acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land upon which we are gathering and pay my respects to their Elders past and present and to any Elders here with us this afternoon.

Tony and I are delighted to again welcome His Royal Highness The Duke of York KG to Government House for Pitch@Palace On Tour Melbourne.

We are delighted too to welcome the ‘pitchers’, supporters, investors and all those connected with this showcase of Victorian innovation and creativity.

I’m confident that it is not just the pride of the Governor of Victoria if I emphasise the prowess of our State when it comes to innovation.

It has long been one of the foundations of our culture and economy.

Early last century, the nation’s major research institute, the CSIRO, was founded in Melbourne, as was the global vaccine and bioscience behemoth, CSL. The Cochlear Implant derives from here. We have the nation’s first and only synchrotron and the world’s first commercial 3D bioprinter.

Melbourne is the crucible for global companies like seek.com, carsales.com and realestate.com.

And with around 1,100 tech startups, this city has about twice the average for other ecosystems at a similar development stage.  In fact, one in four entrepreneurs in Melbourne have moved here from another country, specifically to launch a start-up. That’s a very good sign!

Our Universities have bustling accelerator programs to incubate and develop new business ideas. And our Goods Shed Docklands area is just one precinct in which the thriving ecosystem successfully clusters.

But I am proud that innovation and entrepreneurship truly do not just reside in city warehouses. They are just as at home in Victoria’s paddocks and wineries, regional food businesses, advanced manufacturing centres, defence and cyber tech capabilities and in our booming mining equipment and technology industry.

And so, what a pleasure it is, to see so many different business ventures here today: traversing sectors as diverse as medtech, health sciences, edtech, sports equipment,  toys, fashion, STEM, volunteering and employment.

Today presents a perfect opportunity for our entrepreneurs to pitch their ideas. In the market, an idea alone is simply not enough. An entrepreneur must be able to sell the vision. To demonstrate the viability of their business and to garner support and backing. 

What a perfect platform this format provides, in front of so many potential supporters, influencers, mentors, business partners and funders.

I must thank His Royal Highness for his vision, which lies behind the success of Pitch@Palace.

And also, RMIT’s Vice-Chancellor and President, Martin Bean CBE, who has underpinned the vision here in Victoria.

It is important to thank today’s judges for sharing their time and expertise to support and encourage the next generation of entrepreneurs.

And of course, we thank the pitchers from whom you are about to hear. Thank you for the cleverness to think big ideas. Thank you for displaying the courage to pursue them.  Thank you for being prepared to seize this opportunity.

We wish you all well today, for the subsequent Pitch@Palace Australia 2.0 Grand Final, and of course for the Pitch@Palace Global at St James’s Palace in London next month.