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Taking part in Pitchfest   

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Taking part in Pitchfest is a great opportunity to grow.

Not only will you be putting yourself in front of an audience of investors looking for businesses to back, you will be developing your ability to compose and deliver a pitch that is both engaging and appealing.

There are other benefits too - improved self-confidence, skills and networks that can help further your business in the future.

How It Works 

From application to Pitchfest final, the process is all about honing your business plan, perfecting your pitch, building your confidence and getting you in front of an audience of investors who could help you realise your business potential.

Each business applying takes part in one pitch preparation session. Most will go on to one of the follow-up judging panels, after which selected businesses are invited to present and/or exhibit at the final.

Pitchfest Application Flow (web res)

Dates 

Pitch Preparation: Thu 30 August 2018

Judging Panel: Thu 6 Sept

Pitchfest Final at iCentrum, Birmingham: Thu 27 Sept

Applications for Pitchfest 2018 are now closed, however we are accepting applications for Pitchfest 2019.

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Experiences

Here's what some the past years' Pitchfest finalists have to say about their experience:

Roompik 
(Early award winner)

“Pitchfest was the catalyst for getting the deal across the line with investors - the moment it all finally happened”

Roompik is a self-funded start-up company, providing an app that enables people to advertise their spare room as well as their lifestyle so that users find better house shares more easily. 

They want to be the global go-to app for all flat-share rentals by 2018, looking to achieve a valuation of £100-150m.

“We saw Pitchfest as an opportunity to find investment to transform Roompik from a start-up into a thriving business – a place where we could reach a wide audience of investors at one time.”

Roompik were looking for £125,000 investment. They received an initial investment part-way through the panel selection process, and completed their round of investment just 2 weeks after the event, able to generate 40% more than they had originally set out to win. Two of their investors were previously unknown and had seen them at the Pitchfest final.

“Our pitch evolved dramatically throughout the process — just repeatedly answering the questions from the panel judges helped. So even if you don’t get through to finals, the process will help your pitch - it might mean the difference between an investor saying yes or no”.

Micro Fresh
(Growth award and Best Pitch winner)

“The publicity from the event is something you just can’t buy – taking part has given us exposure to some of the best investors in the region and nationally. The confidence I have gained in approaching investors has helped us secure international investment too.”

Launched in 2007, Micro-Fresh produces invisible anti-bacterial treatments for clothing and footwear, and hygiene & healthcare environments, and is now a recognised anti-bacterial brand supplying 8 out of 10 of the UK’s top children’s footwear retailers. 

Although growing at 40% year on year, Micro-Fresh wanted more rapid scale. Their target investment was £200,000 to increase staffing and develop intellectual property.

“We have received grant funding before, but this was our first round of growth investment. The coaching workshops were invaluable — we took another look at our financials and re-focused our pitch for an investor audience.”

Micro-Fresh received a significant proportion of their investment as a result of Pitchfest, receiving over 45 individual approaches from investors.

Smart antenna 

(Launch business finalist)

“The event is well organised and the workshops are very useful”

Smart Antenna Technologies (SAT) is a spinout company from the University of Birmingham, which has developed a global antenna system for devices with multiple wireless data connections, including smart phones, tablets and laptops.

SAT were hoping to achieve investment of around £1.4m to exploit the technological lead it currently holds.

“Pitchfest was a very good opportunity for networking and sharing funding options with investors."

SAT completed a £1.2m follow-on investment as part of a total funding syndicate of £1.5m shortly after the Pitchfest event in 2015. The investment will help them to increase the team size by 30% which will support future project delivery and attract a wider base of potential customers.

 



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