Here are the nominees for the much coverted prize which will be judged on the day by:
* Doug Richard, serial entrepreneur and former Dragons’ Den panellist
* Tim Campbell, founder of The Bright Ideas Trust and winner of The Apprentice 2005
* Charlie Mullins, Founder, Pimlico Plumbers
* Helen Stevenson, Chief Marketing Officer, Yell
Jennifer Twigs, Lily Pins, Quality hairdressing service for care homes
training as a hairdresser, Jennifer found she had a natural talent for
working with elderly people with special dementia needs. Bringing these
two complementary skills together, she founded Lilly Pins, a visiting
hairdressing service that visits care homes for the elderly and
provides top-notch haircuts to people who would otherwise not have
access to them. All Lilly Pins stylists are fully trained carers,
enabling them to deal with the unconventional situations that can often
arise when dealing with dementia patients.
SOUTH EAST HEAT WINNER
Anthony Lau, Cyclehoop, Simple steel bike-locking device
Lau, founder of Cyclehoop, took the top prize at the South East heat.
Lau was judged the best by a panel of experts including serial
entrepreneur Karen Darby. Although many local authorities are promoting
the environmental and health benefits of cycling to the public,
thousands of bikes are stolen every year. Many authorities also
struggle to find cost-effective solutions for cycle parking.
Lau, a graduate in architecture, has created a device to tackle the
issues. Clamping on to existing street furniture without the need for
concreting, Cyclehoop prevents thieves lifting bikes over signposts,
reduces street clutter and provides effective parking solutions. Some
200 units have already been installed in locations around the UK.
SOUTH WEST WINNER
David Webb and David Wright – Vibe Gum
creators of a unique energy boosting chewing gum scooped the top prize
in The Pitch, South West heat. The judges were ultimately swayed by
what they saw as an innovative product with genuinely global potential.
“We felt like we were on the spot a little bit with the cameras and the
judges, but it was good fun. I think we can be pleased with it,” said
The product idea came about following a skiing trip where Webb found he
was often in need of an energy boost. “You can’t take an energy drink
in your jacket when you’re skiing, and when I spoke to Dave about the
problem, he suggested energy gum,” he said.
The pair are currently busying themselves with the preparations for
their product launch later this year which will aim to coincide with
The Pitch Grand Final. “We’ve got a great plan and a product that has
massive potential,” said Wright. “Winning something like this could
help us secure the support we need.”
Tom Warrender – Get Set Schools
innovative business creates realistic scenarios to demonstrate to
school pupils the physical effects of drug abuse and physical assault.
Children carrying out experiments on a realistic mannequin known as
Stan get to watch the different ways the human body reacts. Stan is one
of Get Set School’s educational props used in workshops aligned to the
Stan wasn’t able to attend the heat, but Andy, a lifelike arm
traditionally used by medical students in higher education to practise
taking blood, was on display to give the judges a sense of the hands-on
nature of Tom’s business. Children use Andy to learn more about the
inner working of their bodies and how blood is circulated.
Get Set Schools also offer sporting training services, part of the
company’s overall aim to enable school children to make more informed
choices about their health and career aspirations.
NORTH HEAT WINER
Kenneth Cheung, managing director of BeeCycle
the top prize at the Manchester heat, Kenneth Cheung successfully
presented his innovative recycling product, wowing the judges with his
slick pitch and detailed scientific knowledge.
His main product is the OvO, a self-sustainable pot which utilizes
composting micro-organisms to break down food waste into compost for
growing plants in. The business also resells other recycling products
and is currently developing its own larger composting systems. As well
as the consumer market, BEEcycle is targeting the education sector,
where the OvO is already used by 20 schools in the North West. Founded
in 2007, his company aims to reduce the 6.7m tonnes of food waste
thrown away every year in the UK which, when dumped on landfill sites,
produces methane 23 times more potent than greenhouse gases.
SCOTLAND HEAT WINNER
Craig Smith, The Printed Bag Shop
of work, with no money and little hope of getting a job, Craig and his
partner decided to take the plunge and start up their own operation
selling printed bags over the internet. In just two years, the company
has achieved impressive growth and attracted high profile clients
including Coca Cola, Boots, The London Stock Exchange and Virgin Money.
With the high quality of business talent on display, this heat of the
competition was incredibly tight, but the judges were ultimately won
over by Craig’s confident and charming pitch as much as they were by
his business, and selected him as winner of The Pitch Scotland.