At a signature event on Tuesday, 16 May 2017, Newcastle Business Club invited well-known entrepreneurs and ‘sharks’, Naomi Simson and Dr Glen Richards, to talk about their business journeys but also to hear pitches from local entrepreneurs.
In conjunction with KOFM, Newcastle Business Club ran a competition, including not only a $15,000 advertising package for the winner but also the opportunity to meet and pitch to Ms Simson and Dr Richards.
While there could be only one winner, announced by KOFM’s Tanya Wilks - Mae Laine, an Australian lifestyle brand by Kylie Wiblen, which includes “Bath Teabags” and other bathing products.
Kylie says that Mae Laine was created after the night she accidentally dropped a tea bag into her bath water!
“It started floating around me and then turned into a light bulb moment! I always enjoyed having a salt bath but didn't much enjoy that piercing my butt feeling! So I got busy turning a late night idea into something more. A feeling that everyone could experience, no matter whether they were at home or on holidays,” she said.
“In May 2013 I decided to take the plunge and attend a local Hunter Valley winery market at Pokolbin and see if anyone might be interested in my idea. My very first customer (Melissa) is still very supportive of this journey I am on. So what started as a hobby has turned into something special for not only myself but everyone. My products are now stocked in stores and online across Australia.”
The competition judges also thought another entrepreneurial business deserved mention – CoverMe by Tony Singh. CoverMe is the first intuitive, functional mobile platform that has been designed for medical specialists to solve the day to day problem of finding cover and managing clinical work by reaching out to the network of registered specialists in their region.
Newcastle Business Club president, Dene Kilpatrick, said the two entrepreneurs provided an indication of the amazing businesses originating from our region.
“Both Naomi and Glen were impressed with the businesses chosen to pitch to them – from very different ends of the scale,” Dene said. “They provided great feedback and advice to Kylie and Tony, but also encouraged the room to support local startups.”
Merchant Business Brokers sponsored the event, and co-founder Shane Fox said it was both exciting and inspirational.
“As a business owner I attend many events, but this one stands out for me, as it had a lot packed into a short time!” Shane said. “We got to hear some valuable words of wisdom from people who have done the hard yards, as well as learn about some emerging businesses and their plans for the future.”
Pictured top: Newcastle Business Club Committee with Naomi Simson and Dr Glen Richards.