Celebrating the Success of Croc Pitch – DIH’s Premier Pitch Contest

Croc Pitch 2024

As we look forward to Croc Pitch 2024 in October, Darwin Innovation Hub (DIH) is immensely proud of the journey we’ve embarked upon since our inaugural Croc Pitch event in 2017. As a leading pitch contest for Australia’s North, Croc Pitch has played a pivotal role in fostering innovation and supporting emerging businesses in our region.

Over the course of five Croc Pitch contests, DIH has facilitated investments exceeding $6 million into businesses competing in Croc Pitch through Paspalis Innovation Investment Fund (PIIF). This milestone reflects our commitment to driving economic growth and cultivating a dynamic entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Croc Pitch, hosted by DIH, grants winners the opportunity to pitch up to $1 million to the PIIF Investment Committee. A successful pitch initiates due diligence and a non-binding term sheet, subject to negotiation and agreement.

At Croc Pitch 2023, Agricultural Robotics found real support for the mango industry, showcasing the Auto Harvester, as well as clear potential for advanced manufacturing in the North.

“While terms were not finalised, our team is actively engaged in negotiations with PIIF for a mutually beneficial collaboration on the Mango Ag-Tech program. The Darwin Innovation Hub’s commitment to fostering innovation in the North is remarkable” – Dr Amanda White, Founding Director, Agricultural Robotics.

While not all Croc Pitch winners secure investment, DIH remains steadfast in its commitment to nurturing promising ventures. Every participant in Croc Pitch is a consideration for venture capital investment. In some cases, investments are made in competitors who didn’t win the pitch contest; for example, in 2023, finalist Blueflite secured a business investment of US$1M.

“The Croc Pitch was a fantastic event, providing excellent opportunities for networking and learning about the Northern Territory. It was an inspiring experience to explore the unique business potential in the region” – Frank Noppel, CEO of Blueflite.

It’s important to note that Croc Pitch is not solely about immediate investments. Rather, it serves as a platform for connecting promising ventures with potential investors, facilitating valuable dialogue, and paving the way for future collaborations.

Contrary to misconceptions, the absence of immediate investment does not diminish the value of Croc Pitch. It underscores our commitment to responsible investment practices and ensuring the long-term success of ventures.

Venture capital is a nuanced process that involves careful evaluation, negotiation, and alignment of goals between investors and companies. The DIH acts as a bridge in this journey, facilitating meaningful connections and laying the groundwork for sustainable growth.

“The Darwin Innovation Hub offers fantastic support, serving as a great foundation for doing business in the NT. With excellent facilities, dedicated staff, and access to the NT ecosystem, it’s an ideal environment for growth and innovation

Paspalis is a supportive business partner with a deep understanding of start-ups. They open doors, make valuable introductions, and have a visionary approach, driving innovation and growth”- Frank Noppel, CEO of Blueflite.

We continue to refine our processes and partnerships to ensure every participant benefits from valuable exposure, access to our investment readiness program, and potential investment opportunities. Croc Pitch remains a beacon of support for aspiring entrepreneurs, and we anticipate even greater successes in the future.