Added Wednesday, November 15 2017

Pitch at the Palace 8.0 has just come and gone and two NI companies made the most of it.

If you haven’t heard of Pitch at the Palace – well it sort of does what it says on the gold-plated tin. If you win through, you get to pitch your company at, well, a royal Palace. In this case St. James’ Palace on the Mall full of gilded red walls, impressive paintings and the odd throne as well. It is as grand as it sounds.

However the pitch bit might give you the wrong impression. Yes you are standing up to pitch your company, but mostly it’s not for money. The key is in the audience which is stuffed full of the type of influential people most early stage companies can only dream of meetings. It’s funny what the power of an invitation from His Royal Highness the Duke of York can do. No matter who you are, if you get that invitation, you’ll probably be tempted to come along.

The companies have won through a gruelling process including a boot camp which sorts out the 12 who get to do a full pitch. This means a whole 3 minutes, with two suited and booted guardsmen ready to blow their trumpets to call time. Funnily enough, no-one ran over the allotted time!

However the other 30 companies also got to pitch, but for a much shorter 30 seconds. This was actually very effective as it really allowed the audience to see who you are, what you do and effectively laid down a marker saying come and see me afterwards. And they did.

Two NI companies were at P@P8.0. Take Ten pitched their innovative stress control app for children and Axial 3D showed how to make patient data real. This means 3D printing of seriously damaged body parts such as broken joints to aid a surgeon prior to operating.
Both did a 30 second pitch and both report fabulous meetings and connections made. They were approached by serious funders (did I say they weren’t pitching for money?) and very senior people in the health and insurance fields. The same type of people who would normally take years to reach by a new company.

And that’s the power of Pitch. It makes clever use of the convening power of the Duke to provide a great boost to companies. It remains to be seen what the long term results will be for these two companies, but right now they are over the moon.

The next Pitch event will be in April and then P@P10.0 in November will be a really special event. Entry is already open for Pitch 9.0 at 

If you are, or know of, an ambitious company looking for a fabulous shortcut, just go now and apply!