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Pitch@Palace: Accelerating Entrepreneurship in the UK

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 28/10/2015 Advertising Week

One of the more profound relationships that has developed in our years with Advertising Week Europe is HRH, The Duke of York. What we've learned in our time with him and his team is that there is true, honest and massive commitment to seeing UK entrepreneurs thrive. With that in mind, Pitch@Palace (P@P) became a reality.
This wonderful programme, founded by The Duke of York in Spring 2014, supports entrepreneurs with amplification and acceleration of their business ideas. One of the key tenets is providing a platform where there is opportunity to engage and interact with potential supporters including CEOs, angel investors, mentors and business partners. Though UK-focused, the goal is to ensure that these innovative ideas find their way to the global market.
Pitch@Palace takes place twice a year at St. James's Palace -- where 12 to 15 of the very best and brightest entrepreneurial minds pitch their ideas to around 300 leaders.
Winners are chosen by audience vote and another is chosen online in the "People's Choice Award" category -- which is now open for Pitch@Palace 4.0 voting in advance of the 2 November gathering.
Over time, the number of valuable connections made has increased -- from 300 at P@P 1.0, to 500 at P@P 3.0. But what's most impressive is additional data, including the fact that 75% of entrepreneurs from P@P 3.0 made 5 or more important connections, and the top 5 most active made an astounding 148 connections in sum.
The proof of commitment is in some of the results thus far including:
Insane Logic
Insane Logic develops and launches speech and language therapy tools for children. Since founder Zoe Peden pitched at Pitch@Palace 2.0, the company is pursuing a partnership with the largest Children's Communication Charity, as a direct result of a connection made at the event.
SAM Labs
Joachim Horn founded SAM Labs to make electronic development kits for use in schools. Following Pitch@Palace, SAM Labs has launched its product to market and is partnering with school deployment programmes worldwide.
Autism Biotech
"Very few people besides The Duke of York could have brought so many investors together", says Dr. Suzanne Saffie-Siebert, founder of Autism Biotech, which aims to market the world's first reliable test for Autism spectrum disorders. Since Pitch@Palace, the company have engaged in advanced talks with a potential investor.
And the feedback from some of the winners and attendees underscores the importance of the programme:
"The most amazing two days...with such an influential yet down to earth group of people. It's refreshing and genuinely really encouraging to see The Duke of York's passion and interest for the disruptive entrepreneurship that exists in Britain, and I'm honoured to have been selected."

  • Grabble, P@P 3.0 audience vote winner

"Thank you so much for a wonderful evening. The format was fabulous and the contacts are invaluable. We are currently 75% funded and I am confident that the remaining funding will come because of Pitch@Palace."
  • Inlifesize, P@P 3.0 participant

"I really enjoyed it and was most impressed by HRH's leadership in this space, the strength of the startups and the quality of the audience."
  • Jeremy Bassett, Marketing Strategy & New Ventures Director, Unilever

"The quality of the businesses and the strength of their pitches was excellent. We believe that these businesses are of vital importance to the strength of the UK economy."
  • Xavier Rolet, CEO, London Stock Exchange Group

It will be exciting to see the results of Pitch@Palace 4.0 -- and you can follow all of the proceedings now, during and after the event on Twitter using #pitchatpalace. And, as mentioned above, you can cast your vote for the People's Choice Award here, and help shape the future of some of the world's next, most important entrepreneurs.

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