Written on the 14 September 2016


RIVER City Labs will shake up its pitching event for startups next month, with a focus on early stage innovation companies (ESIC) eligible to receive a new tax incentive.

RiverPitch ESIC has been designed for early stage investors and startups looking to benefit from the federal government's 20 per cent tax offset for investing in innovative companies, which was introduced in July.

Eight investment-ready companies will pitch their business to a number of angel investors, venture capital firms and fellow entrepreneurs. River City Labs founder and Shark Tank star Steve Baxter (pictured right) will also judge and provide feedback.

River City Labs CEO Peta Ellis (pictured left) says the initiative connects fledgling businesses with funding to grow.

"RiverPitch is a great opportunity for early stage innovation companies to gain direct access to a ready pool of angel investors and venture capital firms," Ellis says.

"It's important for ESICs to take full advantage of the 20 per cent tax offset as cash flow is vital to any business, especially startups.

"River City Labs wants to help guide these companies in their quest for funding so they can be successful businesses both locally and globally."

RiverPitch participants, including Travello and Bliss, have raised millions of dollars' worth of investment since 2012.

Stockbroking firm Morgans Financial Limited and law firm McCullough Robertson are sponsoring the event.

"We believe events like these continue to empower the ecosystem and continue to develop entrepreneurs into building sustainable, long-term businesses," Morgans financial adviser Chris Titley says.

"The entrepreneurial thematic is rapidly developing and with the support of River City Labs, RiverPitch will continue to be a flagship event on the calendar for startups and investors alike."

McCullough Robertson partner Reece Walker says the firm offers a wide range of support for startups, including intellectual property, commercial contracts, IT, privacy laws, structuring and capital raising.

"The innovation agenda in Australia is changing: there are a number of new incentives, but there's also a large amount of uncertainty as to what has actually come into effect," Walker says.

"While there's a rush to be the first and to put business ideas into action, we also want to make sure that these ideas are protected and that companies are structured in the right way right from the start to meet their objectives."

RiverPitch ESIC will be held on October 12, while applications close on September 18.







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