Pitch Perfect

Bachelor of Commerce student Bree Postma, a finalist at the Survive the Panel event by EY, reveals her plan to get older generations socially savvy.

“Who here has ever experienced the struggle of teaching their grandparents or parents how to use technology?”

Bree’s opening question was met with knowing laughs from the crowd gathered on October 6 for the Australia & New Zealand final of Survive the Panel.

Topping hundreds of student submissions, Postma was one of four finalists selected by Ernst & Young to present her ‘big idea’, Famphoto, an app that helps older people stay in touch with their family and friends. Judged by EY’s Oceania CEO, Tony Johnson, and a guest panel, Postma competed for a share of $20,000 on the night.

Survive the panel
Bree and her giant cheque at Survive the Panel

Tell us how you came up with your idea?

Famphoto came about watching my own grandparents struggle with existing social media sites. Facebook, Twitter and instagram are all designed for users who have a certain level of technological knowledge, as well as the devices to use them - this is technological knowledge that the majority of the older demographic simply don't have.

Congratulations on coming equal second! What was Survive the Panel like?

The EY Survive the Panel competition was a huge learning curve and an excellent experience. It provided me with the tools and motivation to turn a simple idea into a solid business plan.

It was quite nerve racking presenting to a room of about 80 people, especially after I had just watched the other contestants presentations which were all amazing, but once I started my presentation, I felt comfortable and enjoyed the whole experience.

Where to next for the app?

Over the summer I hope to develop Famphoto into a working prototype. I am currently on the search for IT students to help develop the app. So please get in contact if you know of anyone who can help!

To help you prepare, you received presentation coaching from EY and worked with a mentor from the EY Melbourne office to help develop your pitch. What are your top tips for pitching your ideas?

Turning a simple idea into a functional business plan took a lot of hard work, but the end result was worth it. My top tips for students pitching their ideas are:

  • practice as much as you can
  • watch youtube videos of TED talks and product launches
  • and finally, relax and enjoy the pitch! Don't be too set on the outcome, as the process of presenting an idea is a huge learning curve and a valuable experience in itself.

Speaking at the event, Tony Johnson spoke of the value of this annual panel event and highlighted the importance of entrepreneurship.

“At EY we take entrepreneurship very seriously…entrepreneurs take risks, they come up with ideas, they create jobs and they change things for the better, they change communities.”

See Bree’s pitch video on EY’s Facebook page