Inaugural Innovation Pitchfest : February 2015

Innovation Pitchfest is one of the most rewarding projects I have ever created and had the pleasure seeing to fruition!

Innovation Pitchfest February 2015 Winners, OrbitkeyWinners of the inaugural event were the ecstatic Orbitkey creators Charles Ng & Rex Kuo, worthy winners and the crowd favourites! Pictured here with Tchibo executives, Bastian Grafe and Andreas Kulenkampf.


I have the pleasure of working with Reed Gift Fairs and innovating Trade Fairs and exploring opportunities to support exhibitors and retail in general.  So when I met Tchibo Creative Sourcing & Cooperation Director Bastian Grafe at the August 2014 Reed Gift Fairs, proposing the concept of Innovation Pitchfest was obvious to me!

Reed Exhibitions are the largest trade fair company in the world; their 2 gift and homeware fairs: Reed Gift Fairs and Life Instyle are the most visited shows in Australia.

Tchibo Germany are one of Europe’s largest privately owned retailers AND have an extensive high quality manufacturing options in Asia.  They are interested in Australian designers and supporting the industry through access to their manufacturing.

I am a Retail Strategist who has been an avid supporter of great retailers and exhibitors and have been looking for manufacturing options and partners who will support and develop the industry.

WHAT A PERFECT STORM!!  Together we put on the inaugural Innovation Pitchfest after the Sydney Gift Fairs in February 2015.

View the Press Release here.


Our fabulous Judges were:

  1. Christoph Honnefelder: Tchibo Director Products
  2. Bastian Grafe: Tchibo Director of Creative Sourcing & Co-operation
  3. Sally De Swart: Reed Exhibitions Australia Group Exhibition Director
  4. Tara Dennis: Interior Designer
  5. Deb Bibby: Editor Real Living Magazine
  6. & me: Nancy Georges: The Retail Miss Fix-it


We had so many fabulous entries and had a hard time picking the Top 20!  The Top 20 arrived bright and early at Fishburners, Australia’s largest co-working space, in Sydney on 25 February 2015.

Picking the Top 8 from the Top 20 was hard work and a cause for much discussion amongst the judges. Here are the Top 8, click on the image to enlarge and see link:

Congratulations to Little Urban Farmers’ Hanging Garden, not only did Michelle win 2nd place in the Pitchfest, she took out the People’s Choice Award sponsored by Vend!!  Vend displayed the Top 20 at the Reed Gift Fairs and visitors were invited to vote on their favourite item.  They then selected one lucky voter to win Free 12 months of Vend – congratulations to Anna Rhodes, owner of McLaren Unvaled in SA.

Innovation Pitchfest People's Choice Award Winner - Little Urban Farmers

As the winners, Orbitkey got to visit the Tchibo Team in Hong Kong, more on that shortly!

Thank you to everyone who was part of this fabulous event!!


Innovation Pitchfest Feb 2015 Top 8



We ‘hungout’ with Winners Charles and Rex after their trip to Hong Kong below: