The Pitch winner Rowdy Kind acquired by sustainable skincare brand, grüum

The startup on a mission to make bathtime sustainable, Rowdy Kind were a powerhouse during The Pitch 2022. Not only did they win the Side Hustle Final, just a few months later they went on to win The Pitch Final, too.

As a result, founder Kate Tilbury secured £10k to spend on her business, as well as money-can’t-buy mentoring from leading entrepreneurs.

Fast forward to now, and a lot has changed. Kate and her co-founder exited the business earlier this year, giving Rowdy Kind a new home with the fast-growing sustainable skincare business, grüum.

We recently caught up with Kate, discussing her experience of Rowdy Kind’s acquisition, her time with The Pitch, and what she’s been up to since.

Handing over the reins of her business

When you’ve built a business from the ground up, it can be hard to imagine ever doing anything other than run it. However, there will inevitably come a time when a founder should consider handing over the reins to someone else.

As she had only been running the business for around a year, this time perhaps came around sooner for Kate than initially expected. But, when the sales offer came through, she knew that it was the right time to give Rowdy Kind a new home – especially considering the economic climate at the time.

“It was a really tough time economically. We’d seen our raw material costs go up around 25% by that stage, and it was quite a rollercoaster time,” explains Kate.

“It was 100% the right thing for our brand, there’s a really good alignment between grüum and Rowdy Kind. We’re just really, really pleased that Rowdy Kind found such a nice home.”

Taking part in The Pitch 2022

Pitching competitions are valuable to startups for many reasons, whether it be more exposure or gaining investor introductions. But what did Kate find most helpful following The Pitch?

Upon reflection, Kate comments how the best perks of taking part in The Pitch for her personally were helping her grow in confidence, and giving her the financial power to invest more money into her business.

“Confidence building was the main thing. It gave us the confidence that we had something that was interesting and exciting, and something that people wanted to support.

“And obviously, winning was really advantageous from a financial perspective, because we were able to invest that money back into our brand and into some R&D,” Kate said.

The mentors were really beneficial

Kate also found that speaking to The Pitch mentors was incredibly beneficial. She notes how they acted as a great sounding board in helping her make tough business decisions, such as when it came to selling Rowdy Kind.

“Around that time I was trying to make the decision about whether or not to accept the sale offer, and their insight was really beneficial. 

“Even if you don’t always agree with them, it’s actually really nice to have somebody counter and say, ‘no, you can’t sell, you’ve got to do it’. They really pushed me to make sure I was making the right decision,” says Kate.

Getting back out there

After officially selling her business in late February, Kate decided to take a well-deserved break to spend time with her family. 

Three months later, she’s now ‘getting back out there’ – spending her time connecting with startups, offering mentorship and advice sessions, and doing some consulting.

“Now that I’ve had a bit of breathing space, I think I’m ready to start looking for the next thing, having more conversations and going out and meeting people again.”

Kate’s advice for this year’s applicants

Having gone through the whole process herself, Kate has a few tips for those thinking about entering The Pitch this year. 

1. Prepare a great hook

Avoid spending your valuable time introducing yourself and your founding story, which Kate calls “a waste of time”. Instead, she suggests thinking of a hook that will get people interested in your business and what you’re doing.

2. Don’t fear the judges’ questions

When asking questions, the judges simply want to learn more about your business and cover anything important that your 90-second pitch didn’t. As long as you know your business well, Kate says that the questions should be fairly straightforward.

But, if you tend to freeze and forget things on the spot, Kate is a strong advocate for using a cheat sheet to refer to.

“If you’re preparing to pitch, you’ll know those numbers and you’ll know your strategy. But it’s also great to have a cheat sheet to refer to, so you don’t have to remember all the numbers in your head,” Kate said.

3. Make sure you practise!

Her third and final piece of advice is simple: just practise, practise, practise.

“There’s no time to stumble. If you stumble over your words, then you’re in trouble. But you also have to enunciate clearly, so you can’t go too fast. You have to really choose what the most important things are. Just practise, practise, practise, and make sure you’re clear on your biggest messages,” explains Kate.

The Pitch 2024 is now open for applications – enter now to develop your pitch, build confidence and meet investors.

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Holly Sawyer
Holly is the Marketing Manager at Inkwell, the company behind The Pitch.

Applications for The Pitch 2024 are open!

The Pitch returns for another year of supporting startup founders with free advice, mentoring, investor introductions and opportunities to network with fellow founders.

The competition is completely free to enter so if you’re a UK-based startup who has been trading for 4 years or less then why not maximise your potential? 

Submit your application today to be in with a chance to win.

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