BioSURE, a startup which has created an HIV self-testing kit, was crowned the winner at last night’s Pitch@Palace event held at Buckingham Palace.
Pitch@Palace is an entrepreneurial competition founded by The Duke of York in 2014. The initiative seeks to help forge connections between tech entrepreneurs, investors and key industry influencers.
Speaking about BioSURE’s win, Brigitte Bard, founder and CEO said: “The Pitch@Palace network has changed our business. We have met so many people through the Pitch network already: at the top of my ‘ask’ list was to meet Amanda Staveley, who I met here tonight. I think Boot Camp was a real turning point for us because it really helped us understand the extent to which Pitch@Palace could help us.”
Sharing economy luggage storage company Stasher, and menstrual health social enterprise Lilypads were runners up. Construction Tech company On The Tools won the People’s Choice Award.
The Duke of York said: “If I think back to 2014 when we first launched Pitch@Palace, I don’t think I could have imagined we would be here today. Looking back on this journey, I could not be more proud of all the ambitious businesses we have seen come through Pitch@Palace.”
“Pitch@Palace is a mutually supportive operating system for ambitious young businesses seeking to scale and grow, and we are now firmly placed in the growth economy.”
“To date, we have seen nearly 50,000 Entrepreneurs apply to become part of our ‘clan’ which is remarkable. We have held just under 100 events, and have 687 Alumni who have created for themselves just over £800 million of economic activity into these businesses. Most importantly, we have created over 3,000 jobs, but what I am most surprised by is that we are running at a 96.5% survival rate, which I am led to believe is unusual for the startup and scaleup world.”
Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia also took the opportunity to speak about the competition’s tenth edition.
“Taking part in Pitch@Palace has many advantages. The obvious one is of course meeting investors. But I think the less obvious advantages might actually be more important – joining a community of entrepreneurs, meeting people, participating in a programme of ideas – is incredibly powerful for generating the next wave of successful enterprises.”
Nicola Mendelsohn, vice president at Facebook, went on to note: “It’s so important for entrepreneurs to build networks with peers, potential mentors and investors and Pitch@Palace provides just this opportunity. In fact, research from our #SheMeansBusiness programme, which provides female entrepreneurs with the skills, knowledge and confidence they need to succeed, has found that nearly twice as many female founders who are part of a business community are likely to forecast business growth compared to those who are not.”