Michael Nixon has proven age is no barrier when it comes to good ideas.
The 13-year-old is looking to become the next Steve Jobs as the youngest budding entrepreneur of the six Regional Pitchfest finalists, and held his own as he took out the two major awards for the evening.
The event gave business minds the opportunity to sell their idea to a panel of experts.
The Kooringal High School student pitched his EduKits business, which is based around 3D printing, won the top prize of $5000 as well as the Community Choice award of $2500 – chosen by the live audience.
Michael said he was nervous before taking the stage, but grew in confidence as the night went on.
“Back stage, I couldn’t remember the first words of my pitch,” he said.
“But I was fine when I got up on stage.”
Michael wanted to thank his grandmother for planting the seed to begin his entrepreneurial venture.
“She gave me a $1000 loan to buy my first 3D printer in February,” he said.
“It gave me the opportunity (to set up EduKits).”
Michael said he would put the money into his growing business.
“I want to teach other kids how to use CAD (computer-aided design),” he said.
“I want to be able to change all Australian kids from users to makers.”
Back stage, I couldn’t remember the first words of my pitch.Michael Nixon
Michael said the EduKits website will offer 3D printing kits for children and also classrooms. It will also have video tutorials and project booklets to help share knowledge.
“The Pitchfest money will go toward making it happen,” he said.
“I’m passionate about 3D printing.”
Event founder Dianna Somerville said the inaugural evening, which was held on Wednesday night at Wagga’s Civic Theatre, was a fantastic success and hoped to take the concept on the road to other regional areas next year.
“I hope it’s going to inspire more people to do something with their ideas,” Ms Somerville said.
“The judges were impressed with the standard. One judge, who has been to more than 150 similar events, said the pitches were among the best she’d seen.”
The event’s runner-up prize was awarded to Will and Andy from 36Tee. Based out of Albury, the pair presented their golfing app idea that is already generating a lot of investment interest.