On July 11th 2018 the Business Wales Wrexham Enterprise Hub hosted His Royal Highness the Duke of York for Pitch@Palace on Tour 10.0 – and what a day it was!
Pitch@Palace was founded by the Duke of York in 2014 as a platform to amplify and accelerate the work of entrepreneurs across the UK. The programme connects entrepreneurs and early-stage businesses with potential supporters, including CEOs, influencers, investors, mentors and business partners.
On the day 17 fearless entrepreneurs were given 3 minutes to pitch their business ideas back to his HRH, the Duke of York and room full influencers – 3 of whom would be selected for a fast track to the Pitch@Palace Boot Camp where they’ll receive support and advice from industry experts. A big part of the pitch was to end it (before the buglers played!) with an “ask”. An ask could be anything to kick start a business; a call to investors, being put in front of a certain contact, or a hunt for collaborators – a very influential black-book was within the entrepreneurs grasp!
It was tough and businesses covered a wide range of sectors such educational technology, biotech and medical technology, fitness tech each overing a unique take of how they were going to disrupt their sector. The trick to each pitch, summarise your business in under three minutes and don’t sound those trumpets. In the end only three out of seventeen pitchers had to face the music.
After all seventeen pitches it was time for a well earned lunch. Whilst His Royal Highness and the other ten judges held lunch in private to discuss the all important matter of the judging panel’s choice for winner. Audience members and contestants took their minds and nerves momentarily off of the competition as they enjoyed a selection of food, art and beverages from local Wrexham based businesses.
“There can only be one winner” is how the saying goes, the goods news is that in this case there could actually be three winners! His Royal Highness The Duke of York took to the stage praising all those who had pitched on the day, especially their nerve control at having a member of The Royal Family sit in the front row.
So the three winners?
Four Minutes is a company currently based at Welsh Ice in Caerphilly. Using new technology they help provide the public with longterm skills enabling them to react in an emergency, beginning with school children.
NearMeNow is this years second winner from Welsh Ice in Caerphilly. Through their app the team plan to help revitalise struggling high streets, aiding independent businesses through cooperation, communication and interaction with their customers.
Psycapps are a London based company who create digital games that are aimed to help individuals cope with mental health focusing on building resilience and strengthening their wellbeing in general.
Understandably all of the winners were rejoicing (and probably still are) but it wasn’t all doom and gloom for the other pitchers, far from it. The Duke announced that the shortlist for recommendations was higher from Wrexham than previous competitions, meaning that six more of the pitchers have been highlighted to be recommended to influencers within their fields.
On top of all this everyone from pitchers to audience members had plenty of time to meet brand new friends and collaborators throughout the day whilst celebrating entrepreneurship here in the UK.
Yes even after the winners had been announced the event was far from over. We were all thrilled to welcome a very special guest to deliver the keynote speech, Jessica Leigh Jones.
If the name sounds familiar it’s because Jessica is currently a key player in designing the future of Sony, as both an engineer and a director. Jessica has been a trailblazer in her field, she shared her inspirational journey with our audience. The challenges within the education system, difficulties of being a female in her chosen field and the future of robotics and automation in relation to the workforce.
Jessica’s presence further demonstrated how lucky we are to have events where our community of budding entrepreneurs have a chance to listen and learn from someone who only a short amount of time ago was in their shoes. Then through hard work, determination and overcoming several obstacles went on to be a truly inspirational influencer.
Next week we’ll be catching up with the winners from Pitch@Palace to get their version of events and find out what life has been like since they heard their names announced in the top three.
And if you’re reading this thinking that you have a great tech based business or idea that you’d like to Pitch@Palace be sure to check out all of their websites and social media platforms to find out when you can next apply.