Pitch night success

September 18, 2018

The Local Food Launchpad celebrated the end of an intense 10-week accelerator program helping our food system become healthier, sustainable, resilient and socially inclusive with a pitch night at One Roof last month. The room was buzzing with over 120 people coming from all around Melbourne and across Australia to share the excitement, camaraderie and anticipation of the participants in the room as they prepared to pitch their innovative ideas culminating weeks of hard work and eureka moments.

The 2018 cohort welcomed a diverse range of products, services, enterprises and community projects aiming to solve the challenges and finding ways to increase food production in Melbourne and increase opportunities to purchase locally and regionally grown food. For many of the participants, Local Food Launchpad is the first time that they’ve had the chance to follow their passion, work on their dreams and start their own venture. It was also the very first time for nearly all of them that they’ve stood up in front of a crowd to share that passion, those dreams and their big plans.

We had some special guest speakers on the night including Councillor Beverley Pinder, Dr Rachel Carey from The University of Melbourne and Miranda Sharp from Melbourne Farmers Markets. The scrumptious food was created by previous Local Food Launchpad alumni, Ben McMenamin from Social Food Project, with canapés and other tasty treats made from local, sustainable and ethically-sourced produce and featuring ingredients from the gardens, farms and kitchens of the Launchpad participants.

Every year that we run Local Food Launchpad, there are always a few participants that are in need of seed funding to take their ventures forward. This year there was a crowdfunding component to the program (with the generous support of StartSomeGood) and provided an opportunity on Pitch Night for attendees to make a contribution, and help those ventures to take their next big steps.

Pitch Night attendees raised $3,000 to be split among our four ventures running crowdfunding campaigns this year. They are:

  • The Veggie Empire at Beales Rd Farm
  • Farm Raiser
  • Eat, Grow, Nourish
  • Bunjil Farm

Since the pitch night, Pat and Kirsty from Farm Raiser have raised over $16,000 in their crowdfunding campaign.

If you’d like to find out more about the Local Food Launchpad program and some of the success stories that emerged, we'd like to introduce Pat and Kirsty from Farm Raiser and Helen and Jo from Eat, Grow, Nourish.

Check out their stories: