By now I’m sure you’ve seen the incredible array of businesses who pitched before His Royal Highness Prince Andrew for Pitch@Palace here at the hub.
Now that the dust has begun to settle we wanted to catch up with this years winners and find out what the whole experience was like from their point of view. This week we spoke to Mark Hesketh from Four Minutes to discuss their journey to Pitch@Palace and what life has been like since.
1.Can you describe what it is that your business does and what inspired the idea?
Four Minutes, set up in 2017, in the traditional sense, offers first aid training to new mums, parents, individuals and people in the workplace in South Wales.
Current teaching methods in the first aid training industry tend to be theory-heavy and lengthy. Participants generally attend because of Health and Safety guidelines or because they have experienced a first aid emergency and not coped well.
Current teaching methods come up short when delivering a solution in terms of engagement or effectiveness and European Resuscitation Council (ERC) studies state participants lose the confidence to act within 3 months of their training.
With over 10 years of experience of delivering First Aid training, we wanted to come up with a new way of delivering effective first aid skills that can be used in the first Four Minutes to save a live or ensure a better survival outcome.
Using the latest in Mixed Reality technology we have developed a new way of delivering critical emergency skills that would be embedded in the student in an environment which is as close to real-life as possible whilst still being safe. Our technology will enable life-saving skills to be taught without the need for a formally trained first aid instructor. We will change the industry.
2. Obviously you’re fresh off of a victory at Pitch@Palace, why did you choose to enter that specific competition?
I have to admit, this was all a little bit last minute and our timeline meant we would have been ready to talk our new technology in public within 5 months. However, we were encouraged to apply for this great opportunity by Mandy Weston, Gareth Jones and Sarah Smith of the Development Banc and we managed to submit our entry within an hour of the deadline.
3. Looking back now, what was the most nerve racking part of the day, the actual pitch or waiting for the results?
We only had 5 days to prepare a pitch and “ask” and we also needed to complete our patent registration before we could talk about our invention in public. We rewrote our pitch (again!) on the day before the event so there was no way we could learn it word for word. On the day, sitting in the “Green Room” waiting to walk up on stage and deliver the pitch was stressful indeed. It didn’t help that the room felt like we were sitting in an oven. Everyone waiting to pitch was stressed but everyone was really friendly. It didn’t feel like a competition but that we were all supporting each other to get through it. There were no losers!
4. Now that your official winners with a royal seal of approval what advice would you give to anyone planning to enter Pitch@Palace in the future?
It is a fantastic experience not to be shy of, and if you can prepare and get through this, you will easily be able to deliver a pitch to an investor. Worse case scenario is that you will come out of it knowing exactly what you need to do to improve your pitch for future presentations….but on the other hand, you may well win!
5. I know that you’ve already seen benefits from your time at Pitch@Palace, what’s life been like since the win?
It’s only been a week since the event and we’ve spent most of that time responding to press, connecting with key influencers and people who can really help us achieve our goals. It’s a really empowering feeling when people reach out to you on LinkedIn to follow what you’re doing as they want to be part of your future.
6. Now for the final question, it’s the one we’ve all been dying to ask. What did you do to celebrate the victory?
Honestly?….We spent hours and hours responding to emails and posts on social media. The overwhelming positive reaction we’ve received feels 10 times better than a skinful of beer…but yes we did have a few drinks.
We’ll be continuing our catch up with the Pitch@Palace winners next week, if you’ve enjoyed this interview be sure to get in touch with Four Minutes if you’re interested in learning more, working alongside them or just to say a well earned congratulations.