Wagga teen wins national business competition

Wagga’s own Michael Nixon has proved age is no barrier when it comes to innovation. 

The 14-year-old named the winner of the first regional Pitchfest on Friday night, with his start-up EduKits business.

Michael’s pitch, The Amazing Annoyatron, introduced a fun and affordable way to teach electronics and coding to school students of all ages.

The young entrepreneur competed against seven finalists from across Australia, putting forward “big ideas” for regional business. 

Michael said the win and the journey to get there would “open many doors” for himself and his business. 

“I’m stoked and really excited,” Michael said. 

“First of all I’ve been able to make great connections through networking ... and the amazing prizes are going to really help the business.”

He said the idea for the tech business came from his own experiences and frustrations when teaching himself coding.

“Learning wasn’t fun,” he said.

“It all focused on coding and circuitry and there was no reason for kids to use them.”

To combat the boredom, Michael created a product that would teach coding and circuitry through a design that would also be useful.  

The year-nine student launched his fun and creative kits at the Australia Post Pitchfest finals for NSW earlier this year, with plans to soon expand across the country and internationally. 

Michael was awarded the $7500 first prize, a trip to the US, and an eCommerce Business Growth Pack.

The runner-up, John Hyslop from Tasmania, was awarded $5000 for his business, Deviant Distillery, producing an imitation 10-year-old whiskey in just 10 weeks.

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