Innovate UK EDGE Pitchfest: Get investment ready

Supporting innovative small to medium sized businesses to hone their investment propositions and pitching skills.
Woman stading by whiteboard with quote from Pitchfest attendee

Innovate UK EDGE Pitchfest supports innovative and ambitious UK small to medium sized businesses to get investment ready and develop their investor pitch in order to help raise finance. 

 

What would you like to know?  

•    What does Pitchfest offer
•    Pitchfest in 6 steps
•    Am I eligible to attend
•    How to apply
•    Training dates and locations
•    Highlights from Pitchfest round 1
•    Pitchfest lead trainer and Pitchfest Champions
 

What does Innovate UK EDGE Pitchfest offer?

  • Two-days of comprehensive pitch training
  • Access to leading pitch and investment experts
  • Bespoke support from a dedicated innovation and growth specialist 
  • An opportunity to build a clear, compelling and credible investment proposition
  • Supercharge your elevator pitch and build a persuasive investor pitch
  • Understand how to find investors in your region and across the UK
  • Gain experience by testing your pitch in front of real investors and receive constructive no-risk feedback
Pitchfest flow

Innovate UK EDGE Pitchfest in 6 steps

1. Meet your innovation & growth specialist (virtual, 1 hour)

Once successfully accepted onto Innovate UK EDGE Pitchfest at the end of the competitive selection process, you will be allocated an innovation and growth specialist from your region. The preparation meeting is a chance to provide key information to your specialist, discuss your investment journey so far and establish your goals through a thorough diagnostic process. 

Each region also has a dedicated Pitchfest Champion, the aim of your regional Pitchfest Champion will be to provide expert knowledge and support your investment journey.

 

2. Group ‘Get to Know You’ Meeting (virtual, 2 hours)

Before you start the training, you will get the chance to meet the like-minded peers embarking on the same Pitchfest journey as you, meet your expert trainer, Ian Tracey and understand what to expect. You will also have the opportunity to work on your elevator pitch.

You will gain a step-by-step guide of the upcoming training sessions and how your Pitchfest Champion and innovation and growth specialist will support you throughout.

 

3. Pitch training day 1 (virtual, full day)

Get an insider's look at what investors are looking for and how to find them, develop your value proposition, boost your presentation skills, understand investment legals, valuation tools, structure deals and fundraise efficiently. You will need to allocate time to prepare a pitch deck for Training Day 2.

 

4. Pitch training day 2 and peer-to-peer pitching (virtual, full day)

After two weeks of fine-tuning, deliver a 5-minute pitch for peer-to-peer and trainer feedback. Before the Investor Session, you will work with your Pitchfest Champion and innovation & growth specialist to strengthen your pitch.

 

5. Investor session (virtual, 20 minutes)

Gain experience by testing your 5-minute pitch to a panel of investors, with a Q&A session and constructive feedback.

 

6. Ongoing bespoke innovation and growth support

Your innovation and growth specialist will support you with your ongoing funding and finance journey, helping you to fully leverage your completed Pitchfest training.

Depending on your stage, for example, they can help by developing a realistic finance strategy to achieve innovation goals and growth ambitions.

Outside of finance and funding, and depending on your needs, they can provide a host of related support tailored for innovative businesses, ranging from access to technical know-how to exploiting IP and entering new markets.

 

Delegate event journey

 

Delegate journey

 

Is your business eligible for Pitchfest?

Innovate UK EDGE is looking for UK registered, high-growth potential innovative small to medium sized businesses interested in internationalisation and seeking to raise c. £500k of investment (over the next 24 months). If you are seeking to raise less, please make a case when describing your investment plan.

Your business will need to be looking to test your pitch to investors (Business Angel / Venture Capital finance), with a minimum of £100k in turnover / sales pipeline / route to market secured.

Businesses can have up to 500 staff (unless in Northern Ireland, when the limit is 250).

"Excellent, really glad to be part of this having been given the opportunity to take part. Really appreciate it - I think it’s game changing."

 

How to apply for Pitchfest

To submit your application, please select your region below and click ‘Apply here’. If the link for your region isn’t available yet, sign up to our newsletter to hear when it is.

Pitchfest is highly competitive. Applications are assessed by a panel of experts and only 15 will be successful in each region.

It is possible to apply for a region where you are not based if you face genuine difficulty attending the dates for your home region. You will need to provide an explanation at application stage.

Read the eligibility criteria carefully to ensure your business can apply and answer as fully as you can. 

Please note that all stages of Pitchfest are mandatory to attend and only one representative per company can attend. It must be the same one company representative each time.

“Pitchfest was pivotal to our business. There was a great mixture of encouraging positive feedback and genuine insights for improvement. We added the feedback into a subsequent pitch and won the competition!”

 

Pitchfest 2021-2022 dates and locations 

If you have an innovative offering to test your pitch to investors and your product or service has an international market - Pitchfest is for you! Please sign up to our email newsletter for announcements.

Sign up to our email alert

 

South West of England

Apply here

Wednesday, 1 September 2021, 5pm: Application deadline
Wednesday, 8 September 2021: Notification of application outcome
Pre-agreed date, 1 hour: Meet 1-2-1 with your innovation & growth specialist 
Thursday, 16 September 2021, 2 hours: Group ‘Get to Know You’ Meeting 
Thursday, 14 October 2021, full day:
Training day 1
Thursday, 28 October 2021, full day: Training day 2
Wednesday, 10 November 2021, 20 mins: Investor session
After 10 November 2021: Ongoing bespoke support

East of England

Apply here

Tuesday, 14 September 2021, 5pm: Application deadline
Tuesday, 21 September 2021: Notification of application outcome
Pre-agreed date, 1 hour: Meet 1-2-1 with your innovation & growth specialist 
Tuesday, 5 October 2021, 2 hours: Group ‘Get to Know You’ Meeting 
Tuesday, 19 October 2021, full day: Training day 1
Tuesday, 2 November 2021, full day: Training day 2
Tuesday, 16 November 2021, 20 mins: Investor session
After 16 November 2021: Ongoing bespoke support
 

North of England

Apply here

Monday, 13 September 2021, 5pm: Applications deadline: 
Monday, 20 September 2021: Notification of application outcome 
Pre-agreed date, 1 hour: Meet 1-2-1 with your innovation & growth specialist 
Wednesday, 6 October 2021, 2 hours: Group ‘Get to Know You’ Meeting 
Thursday, 21 October 2021, full day: Training day 1
Thursday, 4 November 2021, full day: Training day 2
Thursday, 18 November 2021, 20 mins: Investor session
After 18 November 2021: Ongoing bespoke support
 

Midlands

Apply here

Tuesday, 21 September 2021, 5pm: Applications deadline
Tuesday, 28 September 2021: Notification of application outcome
Pre-agreed date, 1 hour: Meet 1-2-1 with your innovation & growth specialist
Tuesday, 12 October 2021, 2 hours: Group ‘Get to Know You’ Meeting
Tuesday, 26 October 2021, full day: Training day 1
Tuesday, 9 November 2021, full day: Training day 2
Tuesday, 23 November 2021, 20 mins: Investor session
After 23 November 2021: Ongoing bespoke support

 

London

Apply here

Wednesday, 6 October 2021, 5pm: Applications deadline
Wednesday, 13 October 2021: Notification of application outcome
Pre-agreed date, 1 hour: Meet 1-2-1 with your innovation & growth specialist 
Wednesday, 27 October 2021, 2 hours: Group ‘Get to Know You’ Meeting
Thursday, 11 November 2021, full day: Training day 1
Thursday, 25 November 2021, full day: Training day 2
Thursday, 9 December 2021, 20 mins: Investor session
After 9 December 2021: Ongoing bespoke support

 
Northern Ireland

Apply here

Tuesday, 30 November 2021, 5pm: Applications deadline
Tuesday, 7 December 2021: Notification of application outcome
Pre-agreed date, 1 hour: Meet 1-2-1 with your innovation & growth specialist
Thursday, 3 February 2022, 2 hours: Group ‘Get to Know You’ Meeting
Thursday, 17 February 2022, full day: Training day 1
Thursday, 3 March 2022, full day: Training day 2
Thursday, 17 March 2022, 20 mins: Investor session
After 17 March 2022: Ongoing bespoke support

 

South East of England

Apply here

Wednesday, 1 December 2021, 5pm: Applications deadline
Friday, 10 December 2021: Notification of application outcome
Pre-agreed date, 1 hour: Meet 1-2-1 with your innovation & growth specialist
Tuesday, 8 February 2022, 2 hours: Group ‘Get to Know You’ Meeting
Tuesday, 22 February 2022, full day: Training day 1
Tuesday, 8 March 2022, full day: Training day 2
Tuesday, 22 March 2022, 20 mins: Investor session
After 22 March 2022: Ongoing bespoke support
 

Wales

Apply here

Wednesday, 1 December 2021, 5pm: Applications deadline
Monday, 13 December 2021: Notification of application outcome
Pre-agreed date, 1 hour: Meet 1-2-1 with your innovation & growth specialist
Thursday, 10 February 2022, 2 hours: Group ‘Get to Know You’ Meeting
Thursday, 24 February 2022, full day: Training day 1
Thursday, 10 March 2022, full day: Training day 2
Thursday, 24 March 2022, 20 mins: Investor session
After 24 March 2022: Ongoing bespoke support
 

 

Have a question about Pitchfest?

We are happy to help. Email our organising team at pitchfest@innovateukedge.ukri.org

“It’s a great experience and I would recommend it to every entrepreneur looking for investment. It provides a wealth of information and a good insight into the investment world.”

 

Highlights from Innovate UK EDGE Pitchfest - Round 1

A group of 97 dynamic and innovative businesses from a wide variety of sectors across the UK took part in Innovate UK EDGE Pitchfest to help them get investment ready. Their investment journey was varied, from never having raised finance before to their next substantial raise.  

The successful completion resulted in 99% positive feedback from the businesses and within the first few months of completing their training, a handful of clients have already successfully secured a high volume of investment. 

They received 2 days of high energy intensive training on how to create a top-quality pitch deck, present to investors and prepare for an investment round, culminating in a pitch presentation and Q&A session with a panel of investors. The companies were given a range of tools to quickly and effectively articulate their business offer in a fast paced and fun environment. 

Each company is now receiving ongoing bespoke support from their innovation & growth specialist with their investment journey.

Read a client success story here.

Ian Tracey Pitchfest Lead Trainer

Ian Tracey

Pitchfest Lead Trainer

A highly experienced pitch trainer, Ian has supported the Pitchfest offering for the last three years to help companies pitch prospective customers, grant providers and investors. He was the former Head of Access to Funding & Finance at Knowledge Transfer Network, developing strategies to assist innovative companies through the application and raising of finance.

Ed Tellwright

Ed Tellwright 

Pitchfest Champion South West of England

Ed is our lead Access to Finance specialist in the region, helping businesses raise early stage finance. He has helped businesses across the region access private angel finance since joining the most successful angel network in the South West in 2013. Whilst there he helped businesses raise in excess of £70M.

Mark Rayner, Pitchfest Champion East of England

Mark Rayner

Pitchfest Champion East of England

Mark is a Senior Innovation Specialist, he has international experience in high growth technology businesses. His career spans SME lending, life sciences, corporate finance, venture investment and as a business builder at a number of high growth companies, globally. He has been a founder, COO, CEO and NED for technology, investment and environmental businesses.

Iain Edwards

Iain Edwards

Pitchfest Champion North of England

Iain is a specialist in the northern region with extensive experience of helping business raise capital. He works to prepare businesses, whether early stage, scaling or growing, then engaging those businesses with appropriate investors. The investors might be angels or funds administered by VC’s, private equity, family offices, corporate venturing and also corporate financiers. With a network across the UK, there have been notable successes, not least, finalists and candidates from last year’s Pitchfest.

Torquil Goodwin

Torquil Goodwin

Pitchfest Champion Midlands

Based out of Coventry, Torquil supports businesses across the whole of the Midlands region on a range of innovation and growth issues including investment options and finance. Prior to joining the Innovate UK EDGE team, Torquil was a successful General Manager for a number of multi-national blue-chip organisations including private equity backed ventures. His background in business growth investment, acquisitions and consolidation has given him invaluable experience in the drivers of success for these ventures, both from an operational and strategic standpoint.

Dugald Carlean

Dugald Carlean

Pitchfest Champion London

Dugald is an Innovation Adviser, helping SMEs to start-up, grow and scale through expert advice and support. He is a legally trained equity capital markets Corporate Finance specialist with a track record of advising the UK small/mid-market across varied industries. An unashamed generalist, Dugald has worked for numerous small cap specialists in London on multiple capital market transactions including IPO's, RTO's, Equity Funding and M&A.

Jakub Rakoczy

Jakub Rakoczy

Pitchfest Champion South East of England

Jakub is a Senior Innovation Adviser helping companies become investment ready, provide guidance on accessing grants and protecting intellectual property rights. He is based and working in Hampshire actively supporting companies in the area of IP & accessing R&D funding.

Heather Abrahams

Heather Abrahams

Pitchfest Champion Wales

Heather has over 25 years’ experience in senior roles including Client Development Consultant, Commercial Bank Manager, Regional Business Development Manager, Account Director, Programme Director and Investment Executive. Her current role as Scaleup Director/Innovation & Growth Advisor for Innovate UK EDGE, Heather helps businesses to overcome the challenges of raising investment to grow their business. Heather has assisted many SMEs to access a range of funding including debt, angel, mezzanine and equity, and understands the challenges involved and she is ideally placed to assist companies to successfully pitch for and secure investment.

Mo, CEO at Route Konnect, with specialist Ellie, discussing Pitchfest and a recent Pitch win
Mohamed Binesmael Route Konnect

Innovate UK EDGE’s help with messaging has been crucial at our early stage. Engagements with investors and customers have been positive as a result.
 

Mohamed Binesmael
Route Konnect