Mae Laine Bath Teabags wins Shark Tank pitch! / by Kian West

At a signature event on Tuesday, 16 May 2017, Newcastle Business Club invited well-known entrepreneurs and ‘sharks’, Naomi Simson and Dr Glen Richards, to talk about their business journeys but also to hear pitches from local entrepreneurs.

In conjunction with KOFM, Newcastle Business Club ran a competition, including not only a $15,000 advertising package for the winner, but also the opportunity to meet and pitch to Ms Simson and Dr Richards.

Whilst there could be only one winner, announced by KOFM’s Tanya Wilks, - Mae Laine, an Australian lifestyle brand by Kylie Wiblen – the competition judges also thought another entrepreneurial business deserved a mention – CoverMe by Tony Singh.

Kylie Wiblen (3rd from Right) pictured with Shark Tank hosts.

Kylie Wiblen (3rd from Right) pictured with Shark Tank hosts.

When we found out this exciting news we reached out to Kylie to find out a bit more about winning this amazing prize. 

What does winning a competition like this mean to your business?
Kylie: Amazing. It will give my brand the opportunity to leap to next level in marketing and therefore brand awareness.

Did you get any specific advice from the Shark Tank?
K: Yes, I took so much advice and tips away from this experience. The experts have done it before me and are super successful so I hung onto every word. Growth within a business needs to be at a rate that is manageable. Don't grow too fast too quick crash and burn. Keep the passion alive. Have a plan and know where you want to be in the future.

How did you find the experience of pitching in-front of an audience?
K: Apart from never addressing an event this large, I learnt to put together a presentation slide show within a few days. Ok nervous, but honoured to already be considered successful on my entrepreneurial journey to be selected from all the businesses who entered. Speaking just flowed once I was on stage. I was telling my story the one with passion and sheer determination to keep going. 

What would you tell Novocastrians just starting out or thinking about starting a business? 
K: Make sure you LOVE what you do, make sure you have a supportive network that get why you are doing what you are doing, its not just a job to me its so much more. Find the harmony some weeks its long hours and seven days and others its ok to take a day off be flexible and remember that life really is short. Happy Soaking!!!

Find Kylie's winning product:

Find Kylie's winning product:


Newcastle Business Club president, Dene Kilpatrick, said the two entrepreneurs provided an indication of the amazing businesses being borne in the region.

“Both Naomi and Glen were impressed with the businesses chosen to pitch to them – from very different ends of the scale,” Dene said. “They provided great feedback and advice to Kylie and Tony, but also encouraged the room to support local startups.”

The event was sponsored by Merchant Business Brokers and co-founder Shane Fox said it was an exciting and inspiration event.

“As a business owner I attend many events, but this one stands out for me, as it had a lot packed into a short time!” Shane said. “We got to hear some valuable words of wisdom from people who have done the hard yards, as well as learn about some emerging businesses and their plans for the future.”