This Wednesday sees the final of Pitch@Palace 6.0 with a number of start ups across the North competing for your vote in the People's Choice Award. In its third year now, the Pitch@Palace event gives a platform for start ups to pitch their ideas in front of Prince Andrew and high-profile entrepreneurs from the world of tech, media and beyond (last year Jimmy Wales of Wikipedia fame was there apparently).
Seed funding in UK start ups apparently bounced back a bit in the last quarter according to the latest statistics from CB Insights but most of that was in London businesses so it's great to see good representation from the North in the Pitch@Palace nominees to give them the platform they need to scale up.
We've already had the privilege of seeing some of this tech in action and look forward to seeing the rest:
There's OfferMoments from Manchester with its "Minority Report" style billboards that recognise you and offer you personalised store discounts, then use your phone to direct you to the item in the store.
Twile of Doncaster who bring your family's past and present to life, with a visual timeline of events that everyone in the family can contribute to.
Drenched, also from Doncaster, have invented a device which can attach to any tap and substantially reduce water consumption. Just two tablespoons are needed to wash your hands, saving money and the environment.
Mobile Power of Sheffield are meeting the energy needs of mobile phone users who don't have access to electricity (half a billion people apparently who walk miles to charge them on diesel generators!) through the supply of smart battery packs, providing renewable energy at an affordable price.
Finally, Cumulus Energy Storage (also of Sheffield) who aim to be the leading manufacturer and developer of grid-level energy storage batteries, combining different technologies to develop a disruptive opportunity: "electricity super storage"!
There's still time to vote for the People's Choice Award at the following link and see their video pitches. Good luck to all involved!
Speaking to The Drum, the Duke, who is an avid supporter of entrepreneurship and former UK trade envoy, explained that his work illuminated the diversity of start-up scenes around the world. “It’s very, very important that we deliver for our ecosystem, and that we don’t copy other people’s,...Most people would try and emulate what’s going on in the west coast of the United States – in San Francisco and [Silicon] Valley – but that’s not the UK. We do things in a slightly different way, therefore [we need to] take what we do and really turn that into something that is of value...What we’ve got to do is reinforce in many different ways the value of starting a business in the UK and why you would do it here and not anywhere else.”