Live Pitch & Panel debate for Duke of York New Entrepreneur of year award

The event will see ten semi finalists of the inaugural Duke of York New Entrepreneur of the Year Award pitch to a panel of judges, who will choose five finalists that will then face a public vote to determine the overall winner.

The award is currently open to enter for any first business founder that has been trading for 18 months or less on 1 April 2014. The Duke of York New Entrepreneur of the Year Award recognises those demonstrating the entrepreneurial aptitude, commercial acumen, vision, ambition and drive to build a successful enterprise. Judges will focus on the market opportunity identified, the model to capitalise on it, and how it has been executed within the first 18 months of trading.

Vonage, a leading provider of cloud-based, internet telephony for small businesses, and Lead Supporter of the Duke of York New Entrepreneur of the Year Award, is partnering with the National Business Awards to find and recognise the best first-time business founders.

Each semi finalist will present a three minute pitch on their business model, key achievements and elements underpinning future growth to a panel of judges and an audience of National Business Awards Alumni and partners, investors, entrepreneurs, business leaders and media. Semi-finalists will also benefit from presentation coaching to hone their pitch.

The judging panel will include Ed Wray, Co-founder of Betfair, Charmaine Eggberry, former Wayra director and CEO of Plan B Consulting, Guy Rigby, Head of Entrepreneurs at Smith & Williamson and Simon Burckhardt, Managing Director of Vonage UK.

The panel will select five finalists based on pre-supplied entry forms, pitches and responses to questions from the panel. The overall winner will be determined by a combination of judges’ scores and a public vote. All attendees will be able to trial a new web-based networking app to connect before, during and after the event.

Commenting on the launch of this award at the 2013 ceremony, HRH The Duke of York said: “It’s become clear to me and to the National Business Awards that there’s a gap. It’s a small gap but a very important gap – and that is for those that are starting out in business. To find a way of being able to recognise the excellent work of entrepreneurs who are new to business, the National Business Awards and I have come together to create a new award.”

Simon Burckhardt, Managing Director of Vonage UK said: “As an enabler of the UK’s small businesses, particularly home-based businesses, with its award-winning internet telephony services, Vonage is proud to be Lead Supporter of The Duke of York New Entrepreneur of the Year Award. We look forward to the event, to celebrate and support Britain’s brightest new business leaders.”

Recognising enterprise excellence, innovation and ethics, the thirteenth annual National Business Awards will celebrate a range of achievements through 17 award categories – they are open to enter until 23 May 2014.

To find out more and for your chance to attend the event in Liverpool visit the National Business Awards website