The competition that brings innovative Australian design to a global market has revealed the winners of Innovation PitchFest 2015, which took place at the Melbourne Showgrounds from 1-4 August. 

The three-day event that saw 20 finalists from around Australia ‘pitch’ the features and benefits of their product in a series of competitive rounds to an expert judging panel uncovered a host of ingenious new designs, covering everything from homeware and hi-tech accessories, the latest kitchen devices, organic babywear, clever travel goods and environmentally friendly Christmas trees. 

Innovation PitchFest is an international collaboration between European retail giant Tchibo Germany, Australian trade fair leader Reed Exhibitions and retail consultancy Magnolia Solutions and has been created to introduce unique Australian designs and products to the international marketplace. 

Winners Monica Ho and Jade Su from Montague Transformer Bag, a clever and compact multi-purpose bag ideal for work, weekends or travel, said they were both honoured and excited to be named the Innovation PitchFest 2015 winner. “We are so thankful and unbelievably overwhelmed, it’s like a dream come true,” Jade enthused. 

“Innovation PitchFest is such a great platform to present our products, and to receive recognition from reputable, experienced people in the industry is so valuable. We certainly didn’t expect it, but this win, which allows us to work with retail giant Tchibo, gives us unimaginable potential for our innovative product. Before Innovation PitchFest, as a company we didn’t believe we would have been able to take the Transformer Bag to the international market. Now with the help of Tchibo, anything is possible for us! 

“Our Transformer Bag is fun and versatile – so different to what we were seeing on the market. We wanted our company to create something that was much more than a bag, something that was compact and convenient for today’s busy lifestyle and on-the-go person. The Transformer bag is available in fun, fresh prints and colours, and can go from formal to casual compactly and easily – it’s the essential multi-occasion bag.” 

The Innovation PitchFest 2015 winners are: 

1st Prize Winner – Montague Transformer Bag 

A clever and compact multi-purpose transformable bag ideal for work, weekends or travel available in a range of prints and colourful designs. 

2nd Prize Winner – Escargot Milk Cotton Baby Suit 

Baby jumpsuits made from the softest Australian milk cotton and packaged in an amazingly cute milk carton – the perfect gift for any baby and ideal for little ones with sensitive skins. 

3rd Prize Winner – Cerachef Colour Change Cookware 

Revolutionary and stylish non-stick cookware that changes colour when it reaches the perfect cooking temperature, then returns to its original state when cool and ready for cleaning. 

Innovation Award – MaCo 

The clever magnetic cable organiser that can be used at home, in the car, at the office or worn when out and about. It eliminates mess, tangles and provides a neat and stylish storage solution for earphones, chargers and technology cables. 

People’s Choice – Padpod 

Designed by an industrious 13-year-old for her grandmother, who was finding it difficult reading her iPad in bed, Padpod is the perfect accessory for your iPad, e-Reader, smartphone or book. This nifty beanbag can hold all of these devices on your lap, a table, desk or in bed at the perfect angle and can be used at home or work, on a plane or in a car – anywhere. 

Remaining Top 8 Finalists: 

Tactica One 

The ultimate ‘man candy’, Tactica One combines the latest hi-tech material technology with smart design to deliver a chic bottle opener that is extremely tough, ultra-lightweight and a worthy companion for your premium drink experience. 

Phoebe Lamps 

An Australian made lamp with a difference, Phoebe is designed to move through life with its owner and easily adapt to each new phase. The highly durable plastic shade design separates, so by inserting any paper, photograph, map, artwork or even fabric between the two shade pieces, you can transform the lamps appearance in minutes. 

One Two Tree 

Here’s to Christmas with a twist! An eco-friendly, chic alternative to the traditional Christmas tree made from sustainable wood sources that lasts for years and provides a stylish design solution for any festive occasion on your calendar. 

Bella Baby Bag 

A chic and completely reversible black/tan baby bag manufactured from an exclusive Italian fabric that’s anti-bacterial, odour free and waterproof both inside and out. Unzips to become a portable change or play mat and also includes discreet pockets to hold valuables as well as a nifty handbag insert. 

The Innovation PitchFest judging panel included celebrity interior designer and Better Homes & Gardens presenter Tara Dennis; Deb Bibby, Editor of Real Living magazine, Michael Stam, Director of Merchandising for Tchibo Hong Kong; Sally De Swart, Reed Exhibitions Group Exhibition Director and Nancy Georges, The Retail Miss Fix-It of Magnolia Solutions and founder of Innovation PitchFest. 

The winners received the following prizes: 

Group 1: Reed Gift Fair Exhibitions & Life inStyle Exhibitors 

1st Prize Winner 

· 4 days/3 nights in Hong Kong as a guest of European retail giant Tchibo. $2000 from QBO Intuit. Product submitted to be stocked in Tchibo stores. Ability to leverage off the Tchibo manufacturing capability for winner’s own supply chain, thereby achieving economies of scale unable to be achieved domestically. Innovation PitchFest trophy.

2nd Prize Winner 

· $1000 from QBO Intuit. Magnolia Solutions 4-Hour Power Business Consultancy. Innovation PitchFest trophy.

3rd Prize Winner 

· Magnolia Solutions 4-Hour Power Business Consultancy. Innovation PitchFest trophy.

People’s Choice Award Winner 

· Magnolia Solutions 4-Hour Power Business Consultancy. 12 month subscription to Vend, the world’s No 1 POS Software system.

QBO Intuit Innovation Award Winner 

· $1000 from QBO Intuit. QBO Intuit Trophy.

"Innovation PitchFest has far surpassed my expectations,” said Nancy Georges of Magnolia Solutions, founder of the event.

“I knew that Reed Exhibitions was the perfect group to source great exhibitors who had clever products and wanted to promote them to the world. I knew that Tchibo was the perfect partner to take Australian businesses into their European stores and make their manufacturing available to Australian businesses. What I hoped for was that the Australian businesses that took part in the event – especially the Top 20 – would go the extra mile, challenge themselves and create a community of amazing people who supported each other. Thankfully this hope is a reality! I will do everything I can to support these wonderful people and look forward to the evolution of Innovation PitchFest!" 

Innovation PitchFest is bringing Australian design to a global market…plus it’s an invaluable opportunity to get influential eyes to stand up and take notice! The next event will take place in February 2016.