The Pitch is an independent pitching competition that helps startups create a kick-ass pitch and gives them the platform to use it.
The Pitch supports startups across the UK, whether your business is still in the planning stages or you’re getting ready to grow. It’s designed to boost your skill set, network and confidence around your business and pitching.
By taking part, you’ll have the opportunity to work with a pitching coach and meet other local founders. The top 10 startups go on to compete on the national stage and win a prize package centred around expert mentor support.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I apply to The Pitch?
The Pitch programme is designed to help you build your business. The top 250 startups take part in a free, day-long event called The Pitch boot camp, where you’ll attend intensive sessions on things like marketing and crowdfunding.
You’ll also work with a pitching coach to improve your pitch and confidence. The day culminates in each startup taking to the stage and giving a 90-second pitch of their business.
If you make it to The Pitch Final, the additional exposure and PR will showcase your business to a broad audience, including investors and leading entrepreneurs like Crowdcube co-founder Darren Westlake.
Who should apply?
We work with the founders of exciting startups in the UK. To get the most from The Pitch and support on offer, please make sure it’s the founder or co-founder who attends. That said, we don’t mind who fills in the application form.
What kind of businesses can apply?
Small businesses that are turning over up to or around £1m can apply. The Pitch is open to companies across all sectors and funding stages.
The majority of Pitch entrants have started making sales, but pre-revenue businesses can also enter. If you haven’t launched your startup yet, you’ll need to be able to demonstrate traction or proof that there’s market demand.
What is the process?
The first stage is an online survey that helps our judges assess the potential for the business and what you’ve achieved so far. We then shortlist the online applications for The Pitch boot camp.
We run a number of boot camps across the country, so you can attend whichever one is closest to you. You can’t progress to the final without attending a boot camp, so it’s crucial to book your spot as soon as possible.
At the boot camp, we run workshops on key skills that will help your business. You’ll also give a 90-second pitch of your business to the whole room.
From the boot camp, we select the top businesses to give a three-minute pitch at The Pitch Final, where our judges will select the champion.
When do applications close? And what are the other important dates?
Applications close on the 31 July. We’ll announce the top 250 startups in August, and they’ll attend free day-long boot camps in September (dates to be confirmed).
The Pitch Final will be held in early November.
How do you decide who gets through to each stage?
To decide who gets through to the boot camp stages, we’ll look at the information provided in your application. A strong idea, good online presence and evidence of turnover or market demand will help you progress in the competition.
At our boot camps, a panel of judges and expert partners will help us select the startups who will go on to the final. The Pitch Final is judged by industry-leading entrepreneurs and investors.
At the boot camp and final stages, we rate startups with a score out of five for each of the following categories:
The idea. How original and exciting is the concept? Are you solving a problem consumers care about?
The pitch. How strong is your pitch?
Proof of traction. How much demonstrable market interest is there? This could be in the form of research, customer reviews, revenue etc.
Entrepreneurial spirit. How convincing are your entrepreneurial capabilities? Do we believe you are the right person to take this business forward?
The team. Do you have the team and network to be successful? This could be mentors, supporters or advisers as well as employees.
What’s the history of The Pitch?
The Pitch was launched in Bristol in 2008 and has since grown into one of the UK’s biggest independent startup events.
Over the years, The Pitch has helped thousands of small businesses succeed, and in that time we’ve done a fair bit of growing ourselves. Since starting as a traditional pitching competition, we’ve evolved into a complete programme of support.
The Pitch is produced by Box 2 Media, a Bristol-based agency. Box 2 Media creates content and events that aim to educate, inform and inspire startups and SMEs.
I’m a previous Pitch finalist, who do I talk to about PR?
We love to hear from founders who’ve taken part in the past. If you’d like to give us an update or have news that you want to share, please send an email to email@example.com and we’ll be in touch.
What can I do to support The Pitch?
We’re an independent competition, which means we aren’t backed by big corporate money. We couldn’t run The Pitch without the support of our sponsors and all the people in our network that provide advice and content. It’s always amazing to see the level of support everyone’s willing to put into the event and we are incredibly grateful.
If you think you could help the competition in some way, you can get in touch with us via our Box 2 Media site or use our contact form.