Hall of Fame
Over the past seven years The Pitch has discovered some serious entrepreneurial talent, and we've got more than our fair share of success stories. Here are just a handful of the brilliant businesses who have found success with The Pitch and beyond, as well as some of our key milestones.
Arthur Kay, BioBean
The Pitch 2013 Champion
London based entrepreneur Arthur wowed the judges and investors at The Pitch 2013 with his ground breaking business BioBean, which converts coffee grounds into second generation biodiesel and biomass briquettes. Arthur is currently being mentored by The Pitch judge Karen Darby, and is expanding his company even further.
The Pitch comes home!
After four years on the road, 2013 saw The Pitch come back to Bristol, the South West's hub of innovation, creativity and entrepreneurialism for The Pitch Live, a day long entrepreneurial extravaganza.
Sam Zawadzki, AdvancetoGO
The Pitch 2012 Champion
Scottish finalist Sam was crowned The Pitch 2012 Champion at Ministry of Sound in London, after impressing the judges by confidently pitching his business, AdvancetoGO. AdvancetoGO is an online resource for landlords and rental property tenants, allowing them to better manage their properties. Sam currently is being mentored by Pitch judge and serial entrepreneur, Karen Darby.
The Pitch gets social
Since Day One The Pitch has always been big on social media, but in 2012 we got the contestants to jump on the social media bandwagon, with the introduction of The Pitch Social Media campaign. Those shortlisted in The Pitch 80 had to conduct their own social campaigns in order to gain the most votes on their Pitch profiles, with the winner announced at The Pitch Live in Liverpool.
The Pitch Social Media campaign gained a whopping 13,000 votes in total, and was won by Richard Conway of Childcare.co.uk, who also made it through to the final.
Ross Dickinson, Kibosh
The Pitch 2011 Champion
Plumber Ross scooped the prize in 2011, with his innovative pipe repair system, Kibosh. Scotsman Ross was mentored by Karen Darby, and her support was crucial during his negotiations to successfully secure an international licensing deal with Rothenberger, the "Rolls Royce" of the plumbing tools world!
Naomi Kibble and Helen McAvoy, Rocktails
The Pitch 2011 finalists
Graduates Naomi and Helen made it to The Pitch 2011 Grand Final with their frozen cocktails, Rocktails. The duo went on to appear on Dragon's Den, and won the backing of Judges Peter Jones and Duncan Bannatyne, with The Dragon’s agreeing to inject £80,000 into the brand. However, the pair turned them down, deciding they didn't want to lose the 40% stake The Dragons were demanding.
Since then Rocktails have gone on to sign a deal with Sainsbury's, and are looking to expand into bars, pubs and catering establishments this year.
Ben Atkinson-Willes, Active Minds
The Pitch 2010 Champion
Ben impressed the judges in 2010 with Active Minds, a range of jigsaw puzzles designed specifically for those with dementia. With over 800,000 people in the UK living with dementia, Active Minds sought to stimulate conversation and engagement in those affected, and was inspired by Ben's personal experience with his grandfather.
Since winning The Pitch Active Minds is now selling across Europe and North America and is used by the NHS and Alzheimer's Society.
Anthony Lau, Cyclehoop
The Pitch 2009 Champion
2009's competition was won by London based Anthony Lau, who wowed the crowds with Cyclehoop, an innovative cycle rack that clips onto street furniture.
Cyclehoop now has a dedicated Cycle Hub in London's Paddington Station and councils across the capital have installed Cyclehoop's innovative Car Bike Ports on the carriageways.
Global Entrepreneurship Week
The Pitch 2009
In 2009 The Pitch gained the recognition of Global Entrepreneurship Week, the world's largest campaign to promote entrepreneurship, with the 2009 final being hosted as part of GEW's week of activities.
The Pitch goes national!
Year two of The Pitch saw the competition hit the road, as we hosted regional heats in all four corners of the UK. Expanding the competition opened The Pitch up to entrepreneurs from all across the country, and was the first step towards the competition becoming what it is today; the UK's biggest small business competition!
In the beginning...
the Bristol Design Festival
The Pitch began as a small event at the Bristol Design Festival. Organised from scratch in just four weeks, we partnered with organisations including the University of the West of England and the Bristol Entrepreneur Network.
The event allowed owners of local start-ups and small companies to pitch their business to a panel of successful entrepreneurs. With 25,000 viewings of the subsequent videos on BusinessZone.co.uk, the event gave entrepreneurs valuable advice on how to pitch their business.
The competition was won by Nicki Stewart; founder of unique luxury gift hampers Diverse Hampers.