Small business owner shaking up property rental market crowned UK’s best entrepreneur

Sam Zawadzki, founder of AdvancetoGO, was one of six business owners who presented at London’s iconic Ministry of Sound nightclub in the grand final of The Pitch 2012.

Pitching as the Scottish finalist, Edinburgh-based Zawadzki wowed the judges and took the top prize of a package of business support worth £50,000 including mentoring from serial entrepreneur and founder Karen Darby, £6,000 worth of marketing services from hibu and a bespoke tailored suit from A Suit That Fits.

AdvancetoGo is a platform that helps private landlords manage property. Landlords can upload information about their properties which generates adverts that automatically post to multiple sites such as Right Move and Gumtree, saving them time and money.

AdvancetoGo also provides template lease agreements, guarantor forms, and inventory statements as well as storing information such as meter readings, security codes, insurance certificates and warranties which can be accessed through any computer.

Zawadzki has generated some impressive testimonials including one from legendary entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson who said the company is “fun, creative and will challenge the property industry”.

Organised by in association with digital services provider hibu and sponsored by Crunch Accounting and ICAEW. Dan Martin, editor of and founder of The Pitch, commented: “The road to crowning The Pitch 2012 champion has been a long one; from opening applications in February, to our semi-final in Liverpool in October and culminating in our fantastic grand final.

“As a result, Sam truly deserves to be our champion. His passion and innovation impressed our judges and it just goes to show that dedication to a cause can bring you huge rewards.

“We congratulate our champion and all the finalists and look forward to following the rest of their business journeys.”

Richard Hanscott, chief executive officer of hibu in the UK, said: “The Pitch is an impressive showcase of inspirational entrepreneurial talent across the UK and the competition illustrates that despite the wider economic climate, new businesses are still finding local markets in which to start-up and grow. Many congratulations to Sam Zawadzki. We are delighted to help him take his business further.”

Joining Richard Hanscott and Karen Darby in judging at The Pitch 2012 grand final was Darren Fell, founder of Crunch Accounting and Charles Carter, director of regions at ICAEW.