Matthew Neville

Investment competition headlined by Sage kicks off for UK startups

Startups across the UK are being invited to enter a competition to practice their pitching skills, get connected with investors, and win prizes worth more than £10k plus a “money-can’t-buy” mentoring package.

The Pitch claims to be the biggest annual competition for startups in the UK, with regional finals in Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh, and London.

Businesses that enter get access to exclusive advice and support from The Pitch partners including headline partner Sage, crowdfunding platform Crowdcube, Fiverr, Haines Watts, Agora Talent, and AVAMAE.

All About The Cooks, YesRef, Chu-Lo Drinks, Goodloans and Financielle have all been finalists in the competition. Between them, the 2021 finalists have gone on to raise more than £1.3m through connections they made at The Pitch.

The founder of Chu-Lo Drinks, Steph Buttery, was shortlisted by the Great British Entrepreneur awards as Food and Drink Entrepreneur of the year for the North West. Steph recently made it to the final of Gordon Ramsay’s Future Food Stars on BBC One.

Steph Buttery, founder of Chu-Lo Drinks said: “The best way to get good at pitching is by pitching - all the time, every opportunity. The Pitch is a great place to start. They offer a really good structure including story, team, level of investment you need, what you’re going to spend it on - which is key for investors.

“My first pitch was so bad, but I kept practising. There was a week where I did four pitches in one day. The final one was at the International Drinks Expo. I won it because each time I just got better and better. The better you pitch, the more successful your business will be.”

Winner of The Pitch 2021 Zak Nason-Giwa, co-founder and CEO of Goodloans, added: “We’ve made quite a bit of progress since The Pitch. First, we closed a £900k pre-seed round. Second, we just closed a six figure multi-year SaaS deal with a major corporation.”

Chris Goodfellow, founder and CEO of Inkwell Agency, who deliver The Pitch, commented: “The Pitch is the perfect platform for early-stage startups to tell their story and connect to the support they need to make their business a success. As well as the competition, our team works hard behind-the-scenes to make one-to-one introductions to investors.”

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