Turning bright ideas into reality with UOW Pitch competition

A total of $30,000 in cash prizes was recently awarded to the winners of UOW’s first ever ‘Pitch’ competition.

Held at the Little Prince in Globe Lane, UOW Pitch provided bright, energetic entrepreneurial-minded students and staff the opportunity to turn their ideas into reality through seed funding via cash prizes.

There were three entry categories -- student (undergraduate), student (postgraduate) and staff. The student prizes where secured through Innovation and Commercial Research’s (ICR) successful application for funding from the Student Services and Amenities Fees. ICR then secured sponsorship for the staff prize from Tibra; Davies, Collison & Cave; and Accounting Professionals.

The aim behind UOW Pitch is to further promote involvement in entrepreneurialism and the commercialisation of ideas, inventions and research outcomes from UOW students and staff.

Director of ICR, Elizabeth Eastland, said the event was an amazing testament to the variety and depth of innovative ideas and talent that existed within the University community.

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Professor Judy Raper, awarded 30 finalist certificates to individuals and teams.

Awards were then given out by the Vice Chancellor, Professor Paul Wellings, who referenced an article from The Times Higher Education Supplement, that universities have a duty to nurture students’ fledgling businesses.

The Vice-Chancellor said he believed that UOW was ahead of the curve with initiatives such as UOW Pitch and iAccelerate.

Student Undergraduate: Winner - $5,000 prize money, Ms Elizabeth Langdon, Symptom Diary. Runner-up - $3,000 prize money, Mr Wilfrid Russel-Smith, Topaz Sustainable Timbers.

Student Postgraduate: Winner - $5,000 prize money, Mr Adam Poole, The Safety Compass. Runner-up - $3,000 prize money, Mr Dipak Patel, Persistent Joint of MgB2.

Staff – Judges were unable to split so co-winners were announced: Winner - $4,000 prize money, Mr Robert Gorkin III, The GELDOM - a novel hydrogel condom that looks and feels more natural. Winner - $4,000, Ms Kelly Lambert , I-Kan: development of an app for patients who need a low potassium diet.

A selection of encouragement awards and best pitch for both staff and students were also awarded.

Encouragement Awards - $1,000 prize money each: Mr Kai Forsyth & Mr Ross Wiech, Dropper; Mr Matt Carter & Ms Bernadette Mcleod, Angel; Mr Mandeep Sodhi, Location-based shopping offers and parking finder; Mr Tomas Holderness, Exposure - Data Illumination Platform.

Best staff Pitch $1,000 prize money: Mr Robert Gorkin III, The GELDOM - a novel hydrogel condom that looks and feels more natural.

Best Student Pitch $1,000 prize money: Mr Wilfrid Russell-Smith, Topaz Sustainable Timbers.


  • A total of 30,000 dollars was awarded entrepreneurial-minded students and staff to help turn their ideas into reality at UOW Pitch, held on 26 September.

  • UOW Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Wellings pictured with the joint Pitch staff winners Robert Gorkin III and Kelly Lambert

  • Director of Innovation and Commercial Research Elizabeth Eastland with the Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Wellings

  • Pictured at the Pitch event are (from left) Dipak Patel, Wilfrid Russell-Smith, Chris Carter (Davies, Collison & Cave), Professor Paul Wellings, Professor Judy Raper, Tim Berry (Tibra), Kelly Lambert, Adam Poole and Robert Gorkin III

  • Deborah Loveday with 3D printed robot trophies produced through the Australian National Fabrication Facility Materials Node at the iC