North East businesses compete to see the light

North East businesses compete to see the light

North East businesses are being given the opportunity to share their business ideas with a range of London-based angel investors should they survive a novel pitching test

Organisers of new investment programme FinanceCamp North East have announced details of Pitch Black, staged at the end of their 21st June event to put new pitching skills straight into action.

Entrepreneurs will be given just three minutes to win over a panel of three judges and an audience with their business pitch, however, should they fail as this task, they will be plunged into darkness.

Those who succeed will be awarded the opportunity to attend a special meeting of angel investors in London, working in partnership with UK Business Angels Association, who are seeking to invest in the North East.

The audience will also select an additional pitch to join the Pitch Black winners on the London trip.

Both winners will secure first class travel to Virgin Headquarters in London to meet key members of staff from Virgin Group who will spend time reviewing their plans and sharing knowledge on how to make them fly.

Simon Green, executive director of Venturefest North East which organises FinanceCamp, said: "Pitch Black is designed as an exhilarating way to immediately put into practice the pitching skills of delegates who will have spent time perfecting their techniques.

"The test will come at the end of an inspiring day that's dedicated to giving businesses all of the tools and knowledge they need to get hold of money to grow.

"The impending darkness certainly adds an element of drama but by this point in proceedings our businesses will be more than capable of impressing the audience before lights out!"

Carole White, chief executive at TEDCO, which has partnered with Venturefest on the event, added: "What we are offering businesses is a unique opportunity to effectively leapfrog the usual route to investment by brokering introductions with key individuals who can finance their ambitions and support their plans."


The esteemed panel of investors includes:

  • Michael Blakey, serial angel investor, Founder of Avonmore Developments and UK Business Angel Association Angel of the Year 201516
  • Andy Fishburn, Head of Investment at Virgin Start Up – a not-for-profit Virgin Company, established by Sir Richard Branson to provide funding, advice and mentoring to early stage entrepreneurs in the UK
  • Bill Hartshorne, Business Advisor for TEDCO Business Support and a former business banker who has a particular focus on helping new business starts with growth ambition.

      The event will take place on 21st June 2016 at Ramside Hall, Durham.