Media Release: 2020 Incubator Program Finale and Pitch Night Announcement, featuring Rotten Tomatoes Founder Patrick Lee

Startup Gippsland 2020 Incubator Program Finale and Pitch Night Announcement, featuring Rotten Tomatoes Founder Patrick Lee


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On 27 November, twelve of the best and brightest business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs from across Gippsland will compete for cash prizes in the Startup Gippsland 2020 Incubator Pitch Final.

Now in its second year, the Startup Gippsland 2020 Incubator program gave 56 founders the opportunity to participate in a twelve week intensive training and mentorship program. With a mix of startups stretching from concept stage, to established businesses looking to adapt and scale, this year’s cohort represented the changing face of business and entrepreneurship in Gippsland.

From 9-19 November, participants will compete in pitch events shire-by-shire to advance to the Pitch Final, where a total of $8,000.00 in prizes will be on offer.

To kick off the evening, Startup Gippsland is honoured to welcome Patrick Lee to address the finalists and audience. Patrick is the founder of the hugely successful film news and review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes, as well as six other businesses across the US, China, and Hong Kong. He’s an advisor to a host of startup incubators and investment funds across the globe, and is an in-demand speaker on entrepreneurship and technology all over the world.


“I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my startup career and have learned one critical lesson: focus. I’ll be attending the Startup Gippsland event to share what I’ve learned and hopefully help some startups avoid making the same mistakes I did,” says Patrick.


The judging panel for the night, led by Melbourne Angels’ founder & President Jordan Green,  includes a host of business leaders from across Gippsland & Victoria. Jordan will be joined by:


  • Judy Anderson (CEO of Startup Vic). 
  • Nikolle Mauchline and Kate Wallis from Commonwealth Bank 
  • Loretta Willaton from Telstra 
  • Tim Weight from Regional Development Australia 
  • Tim Devine from AKQA


The twelve finalists will be competing for four cash prizes, generously sponsored by Telstra, Regional Development Australia, Commonwealth Bank, and AKQA:

  • First prize – $3000 from Regional Development Australia 
  • Runner-up – $1000 from Telstra 
  • Most Innovative – $1000 + 6 months mentoring from AKQA 
  • Audience Choice – $3000 from Commonwealth Bank


Stephanie Thoo, Program Manager for Startup Gippsland says:

“It’s been an incredible journey for each and every entrepreneur in the program this year. In true Gippsland-fashion, they’ve been resilient, resourceful and driven to make their businesses succeed, in spite of everything that’s happened in 2020. The pitch event is our community’s opportunity to celebrate their achievements and journey so far, and what better way to do this then to hear from and be inspired by someone like Patrick who has been in their shoes and succeeded!”

Startup Gippsland is a project by the Bass Coast Shire, Baw Baw Shire, East Gippsland Shire, Latrobe City, South Gippsland Shire and Wellington Shire councils, co-funded by the Latrobe Valley Authority and Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources, and delivered by GippsTech.

The Startup Gippsland 2020 Incubator Program Pitch Final will be held virtually at 6:30 PM on  27 November. Attendance is free and open to the public.

To register for the Pitch Final, or any of the six regional semifinals, visit

To learn more about our 56 participating businesses, visit


Media Enquiries
Natasha Wright / Sarah Kay
+61 (0)3 5644 3321

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Startup Gippsland 2020 pitch showcase event with Patrick Lee founder of Rotten Tomatoes website

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