#DiC2016 celebrates top talent on the Coffs Coast

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Anthony Jephcott, Telstra Business Centre Coffs Harbour with the Winners Nanette Backhouse and Leanne Taylor of MatchMyRide and Brendan Yell of Softlayer.

After months of development, honing their ideas at workshops and consulting with mentors, the finalists in the Telstra Business Centre Coffs Harbour Digital Innovation Challenge pitched their business proposals on Saturday 18 June 2016.

Pitching live to an audience of over 80 people and a panel of five industry experts, seven prospective winners battled it out to share in over $150,000 in prizes.

Now in its second year the Telstra Business Centre Coffs Harbour Digital Innovation Challenge saw women dominate the podium with Jodie Curtis and Vrindy Benson taking out the highly commended award for their COLLAB. The App which connects entrepreneurs and creatives around the world to enable them to grow their business or their portfolio.

The grand prize went to local business women Leanne Taylor, Nanette Backhouse and Sam Chapman for their business platform  Match My Ride that connects people who want to buy a car with dealers.

“With the tech development team already based at the Coffs Harbour Innovation Centre, the MatchMyRide platform is live and we have dealers locked in. Thanks to this amazing prize package we will now be able to expand our market reach and grow the business,” said Leanne Taylor from Match My Ride.

Brendan Yell of Softlayer with Jodie Curtis and Vrindy Benson co-founders of COLLAB. the App and Anthony Jephcott of Telstra Business Centre Coffs Harbour

Brendan Yell of Softlayer with Jodie Curtis and Vrindy Benson co-founders of COLLAB. the App and Anthony Jephcott of Telstra Business Centre Coffs Harbour

Startup Alley was a new highlight of the day, with 12 new businesses showcasing their ideas to over 80 attendees. The diverse range of businesses included Martin & Fortuin with their financial literacy programs, the young guns of Your Tech Mate providing affordable in-home IT helpdesk services, through to Vertipot with a unique vertical growing system ideal for small space gardening and horticulture.

“The overriding theme from all our speakers was that we can deliver global businesses from the regions. Coffs is set to boom through innovation. We have the connectivity, we have the creativity and now we have the entrepreneurial community primed and ready to take-off,” said Stephen Saunders, Section Leader, Industry and Destination Development.

Digital Innovation Challenge and Startup Alley participants have all been part of the supportive business development environment provided by 6 Degrees Coworking Hub.  6 Degrees offers people with ideas at all stages of development the opportunity to Pitch their Passion on a monthly basis to a panel of experts, develop their business and use the space for motivation and networking with like- minded entrepreneurs and freelancers.

Based on the success of the event on the weekend, next year is already shaping up to be bigger and bolder. So get involved now and be a part of the supportive 6 Degrees community. www.sixdegreescoworking.com

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