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 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.
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.
"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:
- Grabble, P@P 3.0 audience vote winner
- Inlifesize, P@P 3.0 participant
- Jeremy Bassett, Marketing Strategy & New Ventures Director, Unilever
- Xavier Rolet, CEO, London Stock Exchange Group