From application to Pitchfest final, the process focuses on honing applicants’ business plans, perfecting their pitching skills, building confidence and getting ambitious entrepreneurs in front of an audience of potential investors.
Pitchfest is jointly organised by Aston University, the University of Birmingham and the University of Warwick, in association with Venturefest West Midlands. Application is via an online form and attached business plan, and shortlisted candidates will be invited to attend a pitching workshop, where experts from the participating universities and Minerva Business Angels will help develop and strengthen their pitches.
After that are further selection panels, where candidates will make a series of presentations to investors and industry experts. Past panel members have included representatives from each of the Business Schools, the Accord Group, Barclays, Finance Birmingham, Harper Dennis Hobbs, Innovate UK, Midven, and Santander.
The grand final will take place on Tuesday 27 June at the NEC, where a high profile judging panel will select the top pitches in three categories as well as the winners of the ‘Best Pitch’ trophy and over £1000 in cash prizes.
Karl Drage from Smart Renewable Heat Limited was a finalist in 2016. He said: “Since taking part we have secured £150,000 SEIS funding, won £20,000 in a regional Climate-KIC competition and have exceeded our early development aspirations by three times.”
To apply, go to the website, which also has a downloadable business plan guide, plus more information about previous finalists and investors. If you have any questions, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0121 204 3225.
Think Sandwell wishes everyone taking part the best of luck in the competition. To find out how we can help support your business ideas, take a look at our Business Services pages.