After watching hundreds of pitches from this year’s boot camps, the wait is over. Meet our 16 finalists for The Pitch 2018 and read their elevator pitches below.
These startups will pitch at our grand final in London in October. The event is judged by award-winning entrepreneurs like Perkbox founder Chieu Cao, Creative England CFO Mehjabeen Patrick and Moneypenny’s Ed Reeves. The winner receives a money-can’t-buy mentoring package from our judges and partners.
“Over a third of all the food we produce gets wasted before it’s even left the farm. If food waste was a country, it’d be the third biggest emitter of greenhouse gases.
ODDBOX is London’s first and only sustainable fruit and veg subscription box that fights food waste with every box.
We work closely with farmers across the UK (and from abroad), rescuing fresh, seasonal surplus fruit and veg which are at risk of becoming food waste. With every box, Londoners reduce food waste, save CO2 and water.”
“BizGive uses technology to enable consumer-led corporate giving, driving greater donation impact for ethical and business return. Our platform captures consumer passion points to derive data-driven marketing insights and personalised social impact content.
BizGive’s technology platform gives consumers a voice to direct corporate donations to charitable causes of their choice, without leaving a company’s website. We capture votes alongside basket data and behavioural metrics, to derive insights on customer passion points and their influence on spending and company interactions.
We enable brands to extract commercial value from giving, enabling CSR teams to gain greater stakeholder support. The platform unites CSR and marketing, deepening customer engagement through direct interactions, impactful storytelling and data for ongoing optimisation and personalisation.”
“We are disrupting the snack category by launching a ground-breaking innovation with the first-ever popped sorghum product to Europe! Where popcorn uses corn, we use an alternative grain called sorghum which is set to be the next super-food according to Women’s Health Magazine!
Not.Corn has various health benefits including more protein than a large egg and one-fifth of your daily fibre intake and is vegan and gluten-free. It also supports sustainability, requiring 50% less water to grow than corn! Oprah has even called out popped sorghum in her list of favourite things!
Not.Corn uses an alternative grain to corn which has various health benefits, sustainability benefits and contains no hulls (the annoying bits that get stuck in your teeth!) which prevents consumers (survey: 72% of 180) from eating popcorn during the day.
We have sold 1,000 units to Pink Parcel (as a test trade) and will be launching across health stores, retail, food boxes and online next month. We have also generated press ahead of the launch including being featured in the Stylist magazine.”
“JustWears in the new underwear for the urban gent. Designed with a clever banana pouch and breathable fabric which is 100% wood, JustWears delivers underwear with a cooling design that says no to sweat and gives a man’s crown jewels the palace they deserve.
We are about to break the balls of a billion-dollar industry. Our crowdfunding campaign was one of the most successful ever in our category and we’re on a mission to challenge the big boys and attack a market that is ripe for disruption.
Underwear is the item in your wardrobe that everyone wears every day, it impacts how you move, how you feel and how your clothes fit but many men don’t give it a second thought. As is so often the case – it took a woman’s eye to notice something was wrong.
JustWears has big ambitions to pioneer the idea of underwear as a subscription service for men who receive an exciting new underwear design in the post as often as they like.
Is men’s underwear about to have its Dollar Shave Club moment? Joey thinks so.”
“In this age where more and more people are busy and stressed, Blisscloud is here to remind you to get off your bum, out of your head and onto your mat.
Blisscloud designs and produces yoga mats and accessories that are non-toxic, beautiful and high performance.
The Original BlissCloud Mats consist of a sustainable tree rubber base with a gorgeously soft microfiber top which offers a superior grip while absorbing sweat. The sweatier you get the better your grip! No more ’embarrassing noises’ as sweaty skin meets cold rubber.
Each BlissCloud has been lovingly designed to create the highest vibe space for your yoga practice. With designs as individual and beautiful as you are. Pick the mat which reflects the energy you want to transmit.”
“The creative dating app which celebrates personality over looks.
In a very crowded market focused on superficiality, we are offering an alternative way of dating which celebrates individuality and creativity. We are a dating app which allows users to set up their very own personality quiz unique to them.
We have strength and depth across the team, with all the necessary components to scale the company. Our team includes both sector experience as well as a strong marketing team.”
“Fourex is money exchange made easy. Mixed coins and notes are simply placed into the kiosk, and the machine uses its high-speed technology to identify, evaluate and exchange each and every coin or note.
The kiosks accept coins and notes from over 150 currencies, as well as money from the old European currencies. (Deutschmarks, Pesetas, Schillings, etc). Local UK coins can also be converted into cash. You can choose to exchange your money directly into either pounds, euros or dollars.
We pride ourselves on having some of the most competitive exchange rates in the market. Our exchange rates are competitive because we do not have large branches with big overheads and staff costs and so are able to pass on these savings to you.”
“We support members of the emergency services to achieve life-changing results through bespoke and expert coaching. We give back to people who give everything for us.
1 in 4 staff and volunteers in emergency service roles have contemplated suicide as a result of stress or poor mental health. They are also far less likely than the general public to seek help. Mightify is founded on personal experience of these issues, as well as successfully coming out the other side.
We now share our knowledge and expertise through coaching to help these dedicated and passionate people to achieve true fulfilment in their career, health and personal life. We empower emergency services personnel to realise their value, present it in a compelling way and proactively chase down their goals.
We deliver a range of coaching and training services for individuals and teams. Taking a holistic view of personal development based on our expertise in coaching, fitness, nutrition and more. We specialise in working with emergency services such as police, fire and ambulance staff.”
“Afrocenchix formulates natural products for Afro and curly hair through e-commerce and subscription services. The health and beauty needs for people with darker skin tones and tightly curled hair are currently ignored by mainstream brands. Afrocenchix creates a world where finding safe, effective products online is the normal, everyday experience for black and ethnic minority families.
We apply cosmetic science and trichological expertise to create safe, effective products for the unique needs of our consumers. Starting with hair products, we’ve built trust with our market and we know how to meet their unique needs.
We use natural & organic ingredients to formulate all our products in-house and unlike many large companies, we trial them on real women (not tresses). Our certified vegan hair products were the 1st Afro hair brand on Whole Foods UK shelves.
The UK Afro market is valued at £4.2 billion and the global Afro market is valued at $500 billion. Black & mixed race women spend 6x more than other groups on cosmetics globally due to a lack of effective options and the fact that this texture requires more care and products.”
“YourTour lets anyone create hyperlocal GPS-guided augmented reality audio tours of anywhere via their phone in a matter of hours.
We have two apps:
1) The Explorer App: Using earphones, the narration, turn-by-turn audio, on-screen guidance and augmented reality makes exploring effortless and immersive.
2) The Creator App: It’s simple, quick and totally free to create a tour on their iPhone – all they need is their knowledge.”
“Rejuvenation Water is the World’s first Amino Acid enriched spring water designed to provide essential nutrition and hydration whilst on-the-go.
Rejuvenation Water is a healthy soft drink and alternative to the big branded, high sugar soft drinks. Our streamlined team of two has turned Rejuvenation Water into one of the fastest-growing drinks companies in the UK, with listings in Waitrose, H&B, Ocado and Costco.”
City Girl Networks
“Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and the social networks that reigned before them have been a catalyst in the increase of loneliness, isolation and anxiety amongst young women. We’re building a social network to fix it.
The City Girl Network is an international social network helping young women find the friends, travel companions, business connections and housemates to feel more at home in their city. We use online and offline tools to build real life connections.
In 18 months, we’ve exceeded 5000 members in 10 cities; 8 cities are in the UK, plus Berlin and San Francisco. Over 500 girls have found work, 200 have found housemates and 60 have travelled together. By the end of the year, we expect to double in cities.
Our network has helped many of our members to start businesses, supported 24 women to close their gender pay gap and helped dozens of women avoid homelessness. Our network of 68 city-wide volunteers run regular events, manage highly-engaged forums, curate a magazine and run social interest campaigns.”
“WorkClub presents a contemporary and sustainable solution to support the growing demand for flexible and affordable workspace for the remote workforce. The Pure Gym of flexible workspace, creating an affordable membership to access a city-wide network of drop-in work spaces and meeting rooms.
WorkClub’s proposition is to provide a state-of-the-art platform to enable anyone, irrelevant of budget, to cowork with other like-minded people in well-connected spaces. We have spotted an opportunity to break down and disrupt the antiquated methods of the current market, by using technologically attractive methods to introduce an easy and simple process.
With features like ‘nearby locations, instant bookings, check-ins and exclusive deals and offers’, WorkClub will help people find a workspace or meeting room that is less about the location but more about the convenience and community of the space.”
“The Ebola and Zika epidemics were perfect examples of needing a vaccine urgently, but showed how difficult it is to develop them. Traditional methods are risky and lengthy: so unsuitable for rapid responses and too expensive for mass production in the parts of the world that need them.
Active Virosomes is a platform technology for developing vaccines. It is inherently safe and reliable, quick to produce new ones and much cheaper than other methods. We demonstrated the effectiveness of five new vaccines in 2018, funded by SBRI contract of £0.5M, showing how cost effective and efficient our platform can be.
We have two active virosome vaccines ready to start safety and toxicology studies, against Chikungunya and Zika viral infections and are developing two international collaborations to use the active virosome technology for new vaccines against other diseases.”
“When was the last time you received a handwritten letter? With the average person now receiving a handwritten letter only twice a year, there is huge potential around companies utilising this marketing channel. With the average office worker now receiving 121 emails a day, and companies like Amazon out-competing any small company on price, handwritten marketing offers organisations the opportunity to really stand out and retain customer loyalty in a new and innovative way. At Scribeless, we are making handwritten marketing accessible to those companies.
Scribeless combines one of the oldest forms of communications, handwriting, with one of the newest forms of critical thinking, robotics and AI, to help companies stand out more effectively than ever before. Scribeless has brought handwritten marketing to the 21st century.
We are still a very new company but, to date, we have achieved the validation of the technology as well as started serving customers. We have a long way to go, but we believe our technology could be a game-changer.”
“Globally, health and care systems are in crisis and need to achieve transformational change through the application of digital technology, but have so far been unable to achieve the change seen in other sectors do to the complexity of the data which is locked in proprietary systems and paper records.
Open platforms are acknowledged as the way forward by leading consultancies (including McKinsey and Accenture) and global experts, but there is currently a dearth of applications running on open platforms.
inidus will solve this problem by assembling a portfolio of applications from innovative companies delivered as SaaS on an open platform. This will disrupt the market, liberating data, ending vendor lock-in and enabling innovative applications that currently struggle to grow to scale fast.”