Wagga boy Michael Nixon set to show off coding invention at finals of national competition

A Wagga boy is set to take centre stage at the Civic Theatre when he represents the state as part of an ideas and innovation competition on August 18.

Michael Nixon will compete against seven other finalists in the Australia Post Regional Pitchfest to present his “Amazing Annoyatron” idea. It is an educational kit designed to introduce kids and teens to electronics and coding and Michael said he couldn’t wait to see how the audiences and judges responded to his invention.

“It’s no doubt going to be a tough competition against every other state and territory winner,” he said.

“I’ll be giving it my best shot and hope to do NSW and Wagga proud by taking out the top prize.”

The winner will receive a $7500 cash prize and a trip to Silicon Valley in the United States to help grow their business.

Pitchfest creator Dianne Somerville said it was fantastic to see Michael’s growth.

“He won the Wagga event with a different idea last year,” she said.

“The idea he has now is like Lego for coding that your plug into your computer.

“It allows you to breakdown and rebuild code to make sounds like a dripping tap or a burglary alarm. Things someone might do to annoy their brother or sister.”

Pitchfest is a national competition and series of events, Ms Somerville said, that is about supporting, unearthing, and shining a spotlight on regional entrepreneurship.

Creating the event was a way to “give back” to the Wagga community and open more doors for regional growth.

“Australia Post were in the audience last year,” Ms Somerville said.

“They scooped the idea and rather than create something, they gave me this opportunity that allowed me to scale my business on a national level.

Pitchfest is a great way to “encourage” participation in technology, Ms Somerville said, and encompassed a holistic approach in all programs on offer.

“With Australia Post’s involvement, they really looked at opportunities to scale these businesses globally,” she said.

“We really wanted to put a spotlight on being able to start your own business anywhere in the country and take it anywhere in the world.”

An expert judging panel will be in attendance at the event alongside a live, Wagga audience and Michael said he is looking forward to the event.

“I’m really excited to have this opportunity to further develop and raise the profile of my business at a national level, right here in Wagga,” he said.