Trunki’s founder on coping with adversity and pitching

Starting a business is tough. Building a business to 80 employees, £10m in turnover and an international distribution network requires overcoming seemingly insurmountable obstacles.

Rob Law has faced copyright infringement, the difficulty of being a solo founder and that infamous strap breaking incident on Dragons’ Den during his journey building ride-on suitcase brand Trunki.

It’s that entrepreneurial pedigree, and the fact that Rob is a really nice guy, that makes me proud to announce he’s joining The Pitch 2018’s panel of judges. He’ll also be offering mentoring support to the winner (find out more about The Pitch and how to apply here).

We caught up with Rob at Trunki’s Bristol HQ to find out more about his story and what he looks for in a pitch.

What Rob thinks startups should include in a pitch

Distilling your business’ team, product and market – not to mention your hopes and dreams – into a two-minute pitch is really difficult. But it’s a crucial skill, whether you’re trying to make a sale, talking to a potential employee or trying to raise investment.

Rob breaks down what you should include in a short pitch into five steps:

  1. Explain your idea in a succinct manner
  2. Prove there’s market demand
  3. Explain your plan to take the product to market
  4. Detail the financials and forecasts
  5. Describe you and your team

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The Pitch is designed to build confidence and help entrepreneurs learn how to pitch. We won’t just throw you in at the deep end either. Shortlisted startups work with a pitching coach and get the opportunity to practice in front of their peers before the top 15 pitch at the final.

How business owners deal with setbacks

Rob’s adamant experiencing failure is a crucial part of being an entrepreneur. That the setbacks in his journey are the things that led to his success. Because it’s dealing with these issues and “going through the mill” that makes you a stronger, more focused person.


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“Failure’s a great success,” Rob says. “You are going to fail several times. It’s having the strength, passion and courage to carry on and battle through those hurdles that really makes an entrepreneur.”

When you think your business is going to end overnight

Rob’s appearance on Dragons’ Den is often listed in those ones-that-got-away articles. The night before the show aired the BBC’s ad described Trunki as “wheelie rubbish” as Theo Paphitis pulled off a suitcase’s strap.

Rob says he thought Trunki “was going to be ruined overnight”. Watch the video to hear how the business got through it and managed to thrive.


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Why does Rob mentor entrepreneurs?

The Pitch wouldn’t exist without the support of a legion of successful entrepreneurs. These experts take time out of their own busy schedules to work with startups. Rob’s driven to make this sacrifice by a desire to give something back to the ecosystem that helped him get where he is today.


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Would you benefit from business mentoring? The Pitch winner receives a money-can’t-buy mentoring package including time with Rob Law and the top 100 startups take part in free, practical boot camps. Click here to find out more information or apply.

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Chris Goodfellow
Chris is founder and CEO of Inkwell, the company that runs The Pitch. He’s a journalist and editor by trade, and his work has been featured by everyone from The Guardian and The Financial Times to Vice magazine.

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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