Young inventor scoops The Pitch 2009 crown
The entrepreneur behind an ingenious solution to bike theft has been crowned the winner of BusinessZone.co.uk's £50,000 pitching competition at a celebrity packed grand final in London.
Anthony Lau, founder of Cyclehoop, emerged victorious after presenting to a panel of top class business talent and an audience of 150 entrepreneurs at the exciting conclusion to The Pitch 2009.
In a polished pitch, Lau dealt expertly with a grilling from judges Tim Campbell, winner of The Apprentice 2005; former TV Dragon Doug Richard; Pimlico Plumbers founder Charlie Mullins and Helen Stevenson, chief marketing officer at Yell.
Despite several probing questions about his finances, Lau, who has won £50,000 worth of business support, coped well with the tense cross-examination and impressed with a list of orders from local councils around the UK.
Lau, whose product clamps to signposts and street lamps providing a cost effective and safe solution to cycle parking, secured his place in the final after winning the South East heat of the competition. He was joined by four other regional champions and a wildcard contestant selected in an online vote by BusinessZone.co.uk members.
Commenting on Lau's victory, Richard said: "Cyclehoop is not only innovative, but has traction in the market, a growing market opportunity and the sort of founder who combines charisma and practical nouse to make it all believable."
Charlie Mullins added: "Being a judge at The Pitch 2009 gave me a wonderful opportunity to meet the entrepreneurs behind next generation of business start-ups and to hear their creative and inventive ideas.
"It was a hard decision to choose the overall winner but my congratulations go to Anthony Lau. Cyclehoop is a simple and effective business idea and I hope it is really successful. I also have to say well done to all the contestants for dealing with the gruelling questions posed by us judges!"
The other contestants taking part in The Pitch 2009 grand final were:
- David Webb and David Wright, co-founders of Super Mouth
- Kenneth Cheung of BeeCycle
- Craig Smith of The Printed Bag Shop
- Tom Warrender of Get Set Schools
- Jennifer Twigg of Lily Pins
Videos of The Pitch 2009 grand final and the conference that preceded it will be available soon on BusinessZone.co.uk.