The Duke of York’s Pitch@Palace programme’s finalists include former doctor using technology to help people quit smoking, and two 14 year old female entrepreneurs tackling food waste
Pitch@Palace, the programme established by HRH The Duke of York to support entrepreneurs with the expansion and acceleration of their business ideas, has announced the winners from the Boot Camp that will go on to participate in the Pitch@Palace 8.0 final at St James’ Palace on 1 November.
12 finalists have been chosen from 41 companies, covering businesses ranging from wheelchair innovation to disrupting the diamond supply chain, music for pets, car sharing and a new take on financial products including insurance and mortgages.
As the theme for Pitch@Palace 8.0 is ‘The Future of Mobility and Materials’, all of the business ideas explore the potential impact that technological innovations in the mobility and connectivity sectors can have on our everyday lives.
“Every year the calibre of entrepreneurs applying to Pitch@Palace gets better and better”, says The Duke of York. “The 41 entrepreneurs at Boot Camp were selected from hundreds of applicants that have pitched at regional events across the country. Boot Camp really showcased the diverse nature of the UK’s entrepreneurial market, and now the best of the best will compete at St James’s Palace. I am incredibly proud of the achievements of the entrepreneurs in the Pitch@Palace 8.0 competition, and will be excited to see how we can help them succeed in the next phase of their journey.”
The Boot Camp saw 41 startups pitch to The Duke of York and a room full of industry influencers at the prestigious Hult International Business School. The startups also took part in a number of workshops with industry experts and listened to inspiring talks from Facebook, Founder and CEO of the Hult Prize Foundation Ahmad Ashkar and former Pitch@Palace winners, among others.
Founded in 2014, Pitch@Palace gives entrepreneurs the chance to get their innovative tech business ideas in front of an audience of prestigious influencers who have the ability to catapult them to the next level, including CEOs, angel investors, venture capitalists, mentors and potential future business partners.
The following Pitch@Palace 8.0 contestants will take part in a final pitch on the 1st November at St James’s Palace:
● Quit Genius - the world's first app to deliver personalised and gamified cognitive behavioural therapy to smokers trying to quit
● KINDEO - an autobiographical storytelling platform for older people
● Unmortgage - the missing first step on the housing ladder
● Eat Me App - Eat Me is a retrofit IOT solution and mobile application which enables household consumers to transform their relationship with food waste
● RAB Microfluidics - Productizing and Commercialising Microfluidic Technology for Lubricating Oil Analysis
● ZapGo - we tackle two battery problems: slow charging and short life. We exploit carbon nano-materials including the ‘wonder-material’ graphene, and charge in five mins
● MusicForPets - we make relaxing music for cats and dogs. We now have over one million fans and get 10 million views a month with each pet using our content for two-four hours a day
● Atelier Technology - enterprise cloud platform connecting the jewellery supply chain: a vertical software solution for retailers, brands, wholesalers and manufacturers worldwide
● By Miles - the UK's first real-time pay-per-mile car insurer, combining flexible policies with a smart driving app to make car insurance fairer
● ForestCar - a sustainable car sharing service for airports. We rent out cars parked at airports and use a share of our revenues for reforestation
● Freedom One Life - the business was established to design and manufacture a game changing 21st century power wheelchair. Alex created FOL due to the limitations of the market
● Exaactly.com - A new addressing system that enables customers to mark any location on earth for delivery, eliminating inaccuracy and providing personalised online orders
"Any startup will tell you that a strong eco-system is integral to success”, says Louise Bleach, Business Development Manager of Desolenator and winner of Pitch@Palace 7.0. “Since the finals at Pitch@Palace, we’ve been very fortunate to have been introduced to some incredible individuals, such as Dr. Han who is the special envoy for water at the UN (as well as being the ex-prime minister of Korea). It has given us more than a foot in the door - but rather a direct invitation to the top floor.
"The calibre of semi-finalists at the Boot Camp this week was fantastic. It's very inspiring to hear about all these home grown innovations and especially encouraging to see a truly diverse set of entrepreneurs. It is always incredibly nerve racking standing in front of CEOs, experts and VCs - the audience at Pitch@Palace are primarily made of individuals at the very top of their game and this makes for an intimidating arena.
"My advice would be to remember that only YOU are the expert at what you do. Only you know your story and the ins and out of your business because you live and breathe it every day. I found that once I internalised this, it translated as assuredness confidence in my pitch."