14 startups in the human technology field pitched their businesses to a Royal audience at Sunderland's Software Centre.
Companies who are developing solutions in Artificial Intelligence, Education Technology, Health Tech and Robotics amongst other categories were invited to apply to this round of the Pitch@Palace Programme.
Pitch@Palace offers businesses the chance to get their tech business ideas in front of a global audience of influencers.
Established by The Duke of York, the programme generates impressive results; in less than three years Pitch@Palace has helped over 247 businesses grow, with some now enjoying huge global success.
Pitch@Palace on Tour saw Sunderland Software City bring the Duke of York and his team to Sunderland, to hear three minute pitches from 14 of the UK's most ambitious businesses.
In the end, the victors taking the spoils were:
BQ asked Prince Andrew what inspired him most about the businesses he saw pitch in Sunderland. "Their passion," he replied. "They're passionate, they're determined, and most of those ideas are trying to solve day to day problems that they've encountered. They're providing a service.
"Any business that starts up today is going to be international; as soon as you have a presence on the web you're international. We're seeing a focus on new markets that we haven't seen before, businesses are seeing the entire globe as a marketplace."
Billy Webber, COO of Sunderland Software City, said: “We are delighted to have welcomed HRH The Duke of York to the Sunderland Software Centre for Pitch@Palace on tour.
“The event was an inspiring demonstration of the creativity and innovation of the tech sector in the region and a unique opportunity to bring together start-up companies, investors and mentors in one room to celebrate and champion North East tech.
“We look forward to seeing the winning businesses progress onto the bootcamp and final stage of the competition.”
Michelle Cooper, investment manager at Northstar Ventures who've funded both trylife and My Little Explorer, said: “We were really pleased to see our investees shine in the Pitch@Palace competition and wish them all the best for the bootcamp.
"We would also like to thank Sunderland Software City for inviting us to be involved and hosting the successful event.”
Take a look at our recap of the whole event here: