Pitchfest, Enterprise Europe Network’s flagship national pitch training and showcase programme, is increasing momentum following a competitive process to select the most innovative companies to take part in the South East, the Midlands and the North. Nearly 60 companies are being trained to become pitch-ready for a chance to present their businesses to investors.
"Businesses with sound plans and the ambition to scale can now engage in the Pitchfest programme," said Iain Edwards, EEN Innovation Specialist and Pitchfest Champion for the North of England. "So far Pitchfest has been a great success, with quality companies learning from their peer group and accessing hands-on training. Feedback from those involved has been outstanding."
Pitching for finance
Originally conceived and delivered by EEN partners in the East of England, Pitchfest is open to innovative companies with the potential to scale, or who are already scaling, and who are looking to raise between £100,000 and £2 million. Selected companies are trained in developing the necessary skills to pitch for investment with concise and compelling presentations. The programme is suitable for businesses seeking angel or VC finance and who are EIS or SEIS-registered. Companies compete with others while developing and polishing their business proposition, earning an opportunity to pitch their business to investors.
"Signing up for Pitchfest gave us a clear deadline meet in sharpening up our business case and investment plans, and we greatly appreciated the feedback. The event itself was excellent, and I met a number of useful investor contacts who can help us in the next phase of our development." said Peter Hill of Myriofoam.
The programme spans four days, with two training days, a selection day and a showcase day, during which shortlisted finalists pitch their business ideas to investors. Approximately 20 businesses are selected to participate in each programme, and up to 10 are offered the opportunity to pitch to a panel of investors during a private session on the final investor showcase day.
Torquil Goodwin, EEN Principal Business Advisor and Pitchfest Champion for the Midlands, said: "Overall this has been a great experience for the companies, and for us. The feedback from the companies involved has been universally positive and it is also a great example of the different parts of the Innovate UK family coming together to deliver meaningful impact for those businesses."
Rhys Williams, Business Development Director at Terry's Patisserie said of their participation last year: "Pitchfest was an event that has become a personal and professional highlight of 2019. The competition was of a standard that exceeded previous pitch competitions we had entered ... The company and I were really pushed beyond our day-to-day challenges. [Pitchfest] enabled us to step back and analyse the business."
Pitchfest in numbers
- 76 Pitchfests to date across England
- 147 innovative companies trained
- 69 companies pitched to investors
- 167 investors in attendance
- £2.5 million raised so far.
Signing up for Pitchfest gave us a clear deadline meet in sharpening up our business case and investment plans, and we greatly appreciated the feedback. The event itself was excellent, and I met a number of useful investor contacts who can help us in the next phase of our development."
Peter Hill, Myriofoam.