Scottish finalists announced in £50,000 search for Britain’s Best New Business
Dan Martin, Business trends
The five finalists have been selected to compete in Scotland leg of The Pitch 2010, the nationwide small business competition with £50,000 worth of prizes up for grabs.
They’ll face a panel of high-profile business experts, including serial entrepreneur Karen Darby, founder of Simply Switch and Call Britannia, and pitch their business for the chance to win a £50,000 prize package at the grand final in London which will be judged by, among others, former TV Dragon Doug Richard..
The Scottish event, produced by Sift Media in association with Yell and Bright Purple Resourcing, will also include a one-day conference providing top-level entrepreneurial advice and insight from some of the top business minds in Scotland and the UK.
Joining Karen Darby on the judging panel on Thursday 8 July at The Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh are: Mark Robinson, managing vice president sales and marketing at Hitachi Systems; Sukhi Ghuman, CEO of Octavian Group; and Nick Price, managing director, Bright Purple Resourcing.
The finalists are:
Flexpansion – an advanced word prediction program that will speed peoples typing, especially on mobile devices. Entered by Dr Timothy Williams, Edinburgh. www.flexpansion.com
Bloop – A mobile application for business networking at events and places, designed by Sam Collins from Edinburgh. www.getbloop.com
Glitter Beach – a social enterprise company that has launched a branded range of designer universal & Ostomy swimwear and beachwear, restoring dignity to patients, submitted by Victoria Lee from Lochwinnoch. www.glitterbeach.co.uk
Peekabu – gives promoters, advertisers and users the power to control their computer with a wave of the hand, submitted by Alexander Cole from Edinburgh. www.peekabu.net
Funky Wood – manufactures contemporary designs of real wood skirting board, architrave, door frames and bespoke doors, submitted by Helen Proudman from Newton Aycliffe. www.funkywood.co.uk
Karen Darby, who judged the South East regional heat of The Pitch 2009, said: “I’m extremely excited to be taking part in The Pitch Scotland this year.
"Entrepreneurs need all the support they can get at the moment, and I’m relishing the chance to go Edinburgh, meet new people, hear what they have to say and share what I’ve learned in my time in business. I’m also really looking forward to seeing the standard of Scottish entrants in The Pitch competition. Last year’s contest was fierce, and I’m hoping we can better that this year."
Nick Price, managing director of Bright Purple Resourcing, added: “We are very pleased to be supporting this prestigious event again this year and helping uncover some of the great business talent here in Scotland. The Pitch gives a fantastic platform to emerging companies that are looking to take their business to a higher level.”
Dan Martin, editor of BusinessZone.co.uk, the official media partner of The Pitch, commented: "Last year the Scottish leg of the competition was one of the most closely fought. This year, pitching in front of a live audience, the pressure is going to be more intense, so I’m extremely eager to see what Scotland can come up with."