UQ-Latin American Colloquium Pitch Competition

Advancing Latin American and Australian relations through Entrepreneurship and Innovation 

We are looking for startups and social enterprises who are building businesses that will create a positive impact in Australia and Latin America. The 2019 Latin American Colloquium (LAC) theme is Advancing Latin American and Australian relations through Entrepreneurship and Innovation. 

To support this theme, LAC 2019 will include a pitch competition open to the wider community. 

We welcome all interested startups and social enterprises to submit a 90-second pitch outlining their organisation or business, including products, processes or services, and how they would build relationships with Latin America to create a positive impact.

Applications are closed for 2019. 

The aim of the pitch competition is to increase awareness and understanding of the partnership opportunities between Australia and Latin America, and to provide partnership opportunities for Australian startups and social enterprises interested in working with, and expanding into, Latin America.


  • the opportunity to pitch a proposal at the Australia-Latin America Business Council (ALABC) dinner on 22 October 2019;
  • $5000 prize; and 
  • UQ-ALABC trophy.

Background to the Latin American Colloquium 

This is the 13th year that UQ has hosted the Latin American Colloquium. Each year, the University brings Ambassadors, industry and government heads together to showcase Queensland's engagement with the diverse regions of Latin America. 

Latin America has 21 countries with a population of almost 600 million people, predicted to reach 800 million by 2050. The region's middle class has experienced significant growth throughout the past decade to now represent one-third of the population.

According to Trade and Investment Queensland (TIQ), Latin America provides trade growth and potential in:

  • mining
  • food and agribusiness
  • infrastructure
  • education and training.

Mid-term opportunities also include energy production, higher education, knowledge services, financial services, environmental services, biofuels, and community engagement.

Social entrepreneurs may extend products/services or support that contribute to greater economic inclusion for vulnerable groups in Latin America.

To be eligible to enter the pitch competition, entrants must:

  • demonstrate to the promoter’s reasonable satisfaction that you are a start-up or social enterprise organisation based in Australia with an Australian Business Number (ABN); 
  • be at least 18 years at the time of the competition (for individuals only);
  • have no more than 20 employees (full time equivalent);
  • have developed a product, process or service (which may be in prototype stage), regardless of whether or not that product, process or service is currently offered for sale;
  • demonstrate to the promoter’s reasonable satisfaction that you have current experience in or plan to work or expand into Latin America; and
  • agree to send at least one person to attend and pitch in person at the Latin America Colloquium being held in Brisbane at the St Lucia campus of the Promoter from 2 to 6 pm on 22 October 2019 (the Colloquium).

Applications are closed for 2019

Online application - Round 1

Applications will consist of a short application form plus the submission of a video pitch of no longer than 90 seconds.

The 90-second pitch should outline: the organisation/business, the products, process or service, and the opportunity to build relationships with Latin America that create a positive impact.

Pitch criteria

The video and application will be assessed based on the following criteria:

  • potential for impact – does the product, process or service address an identified and significant need or market in Latin America
  • organisational readiness – is there a clear plan to build partnerships and opportunities and does the applicant have the required skills to deliver
  • level of innovation – is the product, process or service innovative and new.

The judging panel will consist of three-panel members; one from UQ, one industry representative, and one government representative. 

Pitch competition - Round 2

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to the final pitch event to be held at the LAC in Brisbane on Tuesday 22 October 2019.  Funding support to enable travel by regional and interstate applicants will be available (one person per organisation). The winner of the pitch competition will be announced at the LAC event.

Winners will have the chance to pitch to investors at the Australia-Latin America Business Council (ALABC) dinner Tuesday 22 October 2019 evening, win a AU$5000 cash prize and a trophy. 

Pitch criteria

The final 4 minute pitches followed by a Q&A will be assessed based on the following criteria:

Comprehension and content:

  • Did the presentation provide an understanding of the product/service to the audience?
  • Did the presentation clearly describe the impact/relationship the product/service has with Latin America and Australia and how it will benefit both countries?
  • Did the presentation follow a clear and logical sequence? Was the business model explained clearly? 
  • What is next for the product/service? What are the next steps?  

Engagement and communication:

  • Did the speech make the audience want to know more?
  • Did the presenter convey enthusiasm for their product/service?
  • Did the presenter capture and maintain their audience's attention?
  • Did the speaker have sufficient stage presence, eye contact and vocal range; maintain a steady pace, and have a confident stance?
  • Did the PowerPoint slide enhance the presentation - was it clear, legible, and concise?

The judging will be based off an audience vote with the judging panel asking questions. Should there be a tie the judging panel will decide the winner. 


  • A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted. No slide transitions, animations or 'movement' of any description are allowed. The slide is to be presented from the beginning of the oration.
  • No additional electronic media (e.g. sound and video files) are permitted.
  • No additional props (e.g. costumes, musical instruments, laboratory equipment) are permitted.
  • Presentations are limited to 3-4 minutes maximum.
  • Presentations are to commence from the stage.
  • Presentations are considered to have commenced when a presenter starts their presentation through either movement or speech.
  • Following the 2 minutes of voting the winner is final.

Additional Notes:

  • Dress code: Business attire
  • If unable to attend the pitch competition on Tuesday 22 October then next eligible contestant will be invited
  • Palm cards are allowed but are not desirable.