The Pitch 2017: How to get involved and advice from the winners

The Pitch 2017
The Pitch 2017
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Christopher Goodfellow
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Sift Media
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The Pitch 2016
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We can hardly believe The Pitch is ten years’ old! Over the past decade, the team behind The Pitch has been lucky enough to work with thousands of small businesses. And in that time we’ve done a fair bit of growing ourselves; going from an hour-long section in a university design fair to a sold out event at Google’s London HQ.

The Pitch is now open for applications! Click here to sign-up.

This year the applicants will be whittled down to just 50 entrepreneurs who will attend an intensive training bootcamp in London, where attendees will receive advice on key business skills, finance, marketing, technology, sales and all aspects of pitching their business. At the end of the bootcamp, they will present live on stage to a panel of judges who will select 15 finalists.

The finalists will compete at The Pitch 2017 final in London in October, where one entrepreneur will be crowned champion and will receive a huge package of business support products and services. All attendees will have access to investors looking to back small businesses.

The Pitch is supported by Propel by Deloitte, who we’re pleased to confirm as this year’s Headline Sponsor.

“We are really excited to be supporting the Pitch 2017 in its 10th year anniversary and would love to hear about your business along the way.

“Propel by Deloitte was developed with one aim in mind; to help startups and small businesses grow. That’s why the service addresses some of the biggest headaches that start-ups and their management teams face as they look to rapidly expand their business – such as getting the financial reporting right, nailing investment opportunities and importantly identifying the key drivers for growth,” explained Pete Harris, Propel by Deloitte operations lead.

Advice from previous finalists of The Pitch

Kafoodle: winner of The Pitch 2016

Kafoodle faced fierce competition to win last year’s installment of The Pitch, which was judged by Kashflow founder Duane Jackson, Resolver founder and Pitch 2016 winner James Walker, Crowdcube COO Matt Cooper, and more.

Recently we talked to Kafoodle founder Tarryn Gorre about the startup’s journey so far, the importance of being cocksure and investment. This is what she had to say about raising investment:

“We actively decided to bootstrap because we believed we should sell enough of the product for us to be operating in the first place. It’s harder than anyone prepares you for, but a lot of companies just default to going after funding without actually thinking ‘hang on, if I can build the product and I can sell it, do I really need to go out for funding right now?’

“Kim [my co-founder] would probably say it’s to keep control because she’s so passionate about the product. But for me the decision to bootstrap was because we have a good product, we managed to pay for it to get built, so if we couldn’t sell it then we had no right to get funding.”

Read the full profile - How Kafoodle turned a near death experience into a business.

Wriggle: 2014 Pitch finalist

Since being in the top 15 of the class of 2014, the founding team of curated restaurant deal app Wriggle have expanded from Bristol into Brighton and Cardiff, and secured a major seed round. We spoke to founder Rob Hall about the difficulty of having to release a minimum viable product to demonstrate your idea:

“In reality, you very quickly realise ‘shit, there are bugs everywhere’. In terms of how we got where we are today, we took a big step a year ago when we broadened out with guide articles and content marketing. That’s part of a broader evolution that will continue for years to come.”

Read the rest of the article here.

Resolver: winner of The Pitch 2015

Complaints handling platform Resolver went on to complete a Series A investment round of £2.8m and build a series of crucial partnerships in the year following winning The Pitch. This is what founder James Walker wrote in a recent article about brand building in BusinessZone:

“I realised that to a certain degree, I needed to evangelise about Resolver. By convincing large numbers of key industry representatives, politicians, consumer rights experts and other key influencers I could launch Resolver as a multi-platform complaints tool. Many, many meetings later, Resolver was launched - with 1,500 companies signed up and covering 30 sectors.

“Believing in the value of the product is crucial. When I was travelling around the country getting people on board, many people didn’t think I could bring the strands of such disparate industry sectors, dispute schemes and competition between brands together in one standard approach to sorting out complaints. But they saw the value in doing it – and that was half the battle.”

Read the full article about Resolver's journey from The Pitch to Series A funding and Walker’s column here.

The Pitch offers an inspiring programme of advice, ideas and events; we want to educate and empower entrepreneurs and early-stage startups to succeed in business. Find out more here.

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