Organised by BusinessZone in association with print and digital services company Yell, The Pitch 2011 tracked down top small businesses from England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland this summer.
With four finalists selected by business experts including serial entrepreneur Karen Darby, star of The Secret Millionaire Carl Hopkins, and founder of MyVoucherCodes.co.uk Mark Pearson, only one of the 16 runners-up can go through to the final, and their fate is in the hands of a public vote.
The lucky contestant who secures the most votes will pitch in front of a live audience at The Pitch 2011 grand final in London on 18 November where the overall champion will win a package of business products and services worth £50,000.
Dan Martin, editor of BusinessZone.co.uk and founder of The Pitch, says: “From being officially part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe to having entrepreneurs take to the stage at Belfast’s Grand Opera House, The Pitch 2011 has certainly not been a boring business competition!
“We witnessed some fantastic small business owners in action this summer and all of them did exceptionally well to make it through to the pitching stage. We now look forward to finding out which one will join the four heat winners at what is sure to be a grand final to remember.”
During the grand final at London’s legendary Pacha nightclub on 18 November, the five finalists will pitch on the dance floor to entrepreneurs including Coffee Republic co-founder Sahar Hashemi.
As well as the pitching, attendees will be able to choose their winner of the People’s Choice Award sponsored by XLN Telecom. Other sponsors of the grand final are Business Environment and Powwownow.
The event has been officially endorsed as the UK closing party for Global Entrepreneurship Week, part of a celebration of enterprise taking place in more than 100 countries in November.
Tickets cost £20 including a free drink and can be purchased at
The four finalists already through to the final are:
• England: Cara Sayer, Snoozeshade (a product to help children sleep while in a pushchair)
• Wales: Helen McAvoy, Rocktails (pre-packaged frozen cocktails)
• Scotland: Ross, Ross Dickinson, Kibosh (provides a temporary fix to burst water pipes)
• Northern Ireland: Barbara Hughes, Boozeberries (premium liqueur infused with wild berries)
The contestants competing for the wildcard slot are:
• Christer Holloman, ATTYR.com (visual search and comparison tool for online shoppers)
• Jon Rathbone, Pourty (a non-spill, pourable baby’s potty)
• Crispin Busk, Kabuto Noodles (a range of noodles with authentic Asian flavours)
• Bruce Balmer, ULTRaMo (an environmentally friendly engine).
• Marcus Hacker, Kitchen Pro (a new brand in kitchenware)
• David Millership, Multilog (a personal horizontal safety line)
• Jarrad Morris, Uni'd Clothing (one-stop-shop for university branded clothing)
• Gill Ellis and Nicola Morgan, Behaviour Stop (creators of the Good Choice Teddy which promotes good behaviour among children).
• James Varga, miiCard (a 'digital passport' for online identification)
• Louise Guinda, Safe Dreams (innovative breathable safe sleeping products for babies)
• Kim McCann, Planet Tots (environmentally friendly products, services and advice to assist child development)
• Cheryl Ryder, Dribble Delights (range of dairy free baby and toddler food).
• Anthony Kieran, Media Lightbox (an online file storage and management for businesses)
• Conor James Moran, Mobile Report (a web and mobile application used to generate reports for field based operatives)
• Maria McGee, Marble Hill (natural skin care solutions for everyday skin problems)
• Jason Paul, Floe (a device that downdrains and removes stagnant water from houses, holiday homes, caravans and motorhomes).
Journalists are welcome to attend the grand final of The Pitch 2011.
For more information contact Meg Pope on or 0117 915 9615.
Full details about The Pitch 2011 are at thepitch2011.com.
The Pitch 2011 is an initiative by Sift Media, in association with Yell.
About Sift Media
Sift Media is a leading business-to-business publisher specialising in online professional communities and face-to-face business events.
With a range of services including websites, email publications, industry awards and exhibitions, Sift Media delivers original, branded content to over half a million professionals every month, across small business, finance, accounting, HR and training, IT, marketing, customer management and knowledge management.
BusinessZone is Sift Media’s online publication for entrepreneurs providing free, practical and no-nonsense advice on how to start and grow a successful business.
Yell Group is a leading provider of print and digital services within the emerging local eMarketplace for consumers and SMEs across its operations in the UK, US, Spain and some countries in Latin America. Building on its strong presence in the local market through its current digital and print portfolio, Yell is developing a broad range of digital services tailored to the converging needs of SMEs and consumers. These address both the SME need to grow, transact and be efficient in the digital world, and the consumers’ need to connect locally to the goods and services they want, in a way which saves them time and money, and moves their lives forward.
In the year ended 31 March 2011, Yell Group had 1.3 million SME customers.
Distributed on behalf of Yell by NeonDrum news distribution service.