Thousands of pounds are up for grabs for innovative entrepreneurs with the return of one of the UK’s longest running small business competitions: The Pitch.
The annual race for investment hosted by BusinessZone.co.uk has grown from a small Bristol event in 2008 into a national phenomenon that has helped hundreds of small businesses get up and running.
This year the ICAEW, Alibaba.com and Constant Contact are sponsoring the event, which will see entrepreneurial hopefuls battling it out to bag the prize.
Businesses registered with Companies House and trading for less than three years are eligible to enter.
But if you’re simply a budding entrepreneur with an idea however, you can still take part as a One to Watch.
To take part in The Pitch, apply at www.thepitchuk.com/enter by 30 June. Entries will be narrowed down to 50 shortlisted contestants who will present their idea to an invited audience at The Pitch Live in Bristol on 25 September.
After this, five finalists will be selected by the judges to compete for business support worth thousands of pounds, including mentoring from entrepreneur and crowdmission.com founder Karen Darby and a day with the founder of successful business Morphsuits.
For the first time in the competition’s history, there will also be an investment panel including Sift founder Ben Heald and investors from Heron Capital Partners, who have a minimum of £25,000 to invest in at least one company taking part.
The investment panel will announce which companies they are interested in backing at the Live event, which will also include networking, business masterclasses and more, including a Pitch after party.
The six-year-old competition had “very humble” beginnings, said editor of BusinessZone.co.uk and The Pitch founder Dan Martin.
“I never imagined how much it would grow. We are delighted to be back for a sixth year and the investment we have on offer is just the injection Britain’s innovative small firms need to grow,” he said.
“But the Pitch 2013 isn’t just about the contestants. We are on a mission to help as many small business owners as possible by providing advice and making connections.
“The Pitch Live on 25 September will be our biggest live event yet and we can’t wait to welcome hundreds of entrepreneurs to Bristol, a city that’s oozing creativity and enterprise.”