Business contest and startup unite to help entrepreneurs elevate their pitch

Published May 29, 2014

One of the UK's longest running small business competitions has joined forces with an innovative video startup to help entrepreneurs raise their game when pitching for support.

Founded in 2008 as a small event in Bristol, The Pitch, presented by and UK Business Forums in association with AVG, has grown into a nationwide competition that has supported thousands of entrepreneurs across the UK.

Business owners can apply for The Pitch 2014 at until 13 July.

The Pitch, which has business support worth thousands of pounds up for grabs, has always moved with the times and developed the way applicants apply and try to impress the panel of judges.

In 2014, video has been introduced for the first time through collaboration with technology startup .

Trading since 2013, the London-based company is backed by innovation incubator The Sandpit. It provides groundbreaking products that allow competition entrants to submit a video pitch using any device.

Dan Martin, editor of and founder of The Pitch, says: “We are on a mission to track down Britain’s most innovative entrepreneurs so our application process needs to be top notch. Adding video into the mix lets our applicants bring their business to life.”

Paul Halliwell, managing director at Powermeeter, adds:  “Investors don’t just invest in business plans; they invest in people. A recorded video pitch is a great way to make sure that your passion shows through.”

To help entrepreneurs record a killer video, Judith Bitterli, Chief Marketing Officer at AVG Technologies, the lead supporter of The Pitch 2014, has provided advice on delivering a great elevator pitch in the free Small Business Toolkit all entrants receive when applying for The Pitch 2014.

Here are the first three parts of her advice:

·         It’s not about you

It’s not about your business either. It’s about your customer. Why is your business going to help the customer? Why is it important for the customer to have the problem solved?

·         Know your audience

Your angle or hook may work in one instance but completely fail in another. Think about who you are pitching to, what motivates them and why they would be interested in your business, and work that into your pitch.

·         How are you going to make money?

Don’t leave the audience guessing as to what your business model is; tell them!

From the entries to The Pitch 2014, 100 applicants will be shortlisted to attend one of two pitch training bootcamps in Manchester and London in September. From those, 30 will be selected to compete at the grand final in Bristol on 23 October.

The finalists will compete in front of judges including serial social entrepreneur and founder of Karen Darby, Company Shortcuts boss Lara Morgan, who built luxury toiletries provider Pacific Direct into a £20m business, and Judith Bitterli, serial entrepreneur and chief marketing officer at AVG Technologies.

The champion will receive a prize package worth thousands of pounds including online business security services from AVG, a Nokia tablet, a year’s access to business lounges around the world, free taxi travel, PR consultancy and web design advice. All finalists will have access to investors.