Britain’s biggest business contest returns with thousands to invest in startups

Organised by and sponsored by Constant Contact, and ICAEW, the initiative was founded as a small event in Bristol in 2008 but has since grown into a nationwide entrepreneurial extravaganza that has helped hundreds of small companies on the road to success.

Like in previous years, the champion of The Pitch 2013 will receive business support worth thousands of pounds including mentoring from serial entrepreneur and founder Karen Darby and a day with the founder of phenomenally successful business Morphsuits.

But for the first time in the competition’s history, an investment panel including Sift founder Ben Heald and investors from Heron Capital Partners has come on board with a minimum of £25,000 to invest in at least one company taking part in the competition.

Interested entrepreneurs need to apply at by 30 June after which up to 50 shortlisted contestants will be selected to compete at The Pitch Live in Bristol on 25 September. Five finalists will then compete in the grand final for the chance to win the package of support.

At The Pitch Live, the investment panel will announce which companies they are interesting in backing.

Dan Martin, editor of and founder of The Pitch, said: “Our competition had very humble beginnings and I never imagined how much it would grow.

“We are delighted to back for a sixth year and the investment we have on offer is just the injection Britain’s innovative small firms need to grow.

“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 oozing creativity and enterprise.”