Royal Engagement (with startups):
The speech of HRH Duke of York at Pitch@Palace
Pitch@Palace is designed to raise the profile of Entrepreneurship and Entrepreneurs in the United Kingdom. We travel around the UK to try and pick and see where the new innovations, new ideas and new Entrepreneurs are coming from, and try raise their profile. This (Pitch@Palace) is a process, it is not a once only event, the objective of today is to try and introduce you to Pitch@Palace, what we can do, and what we already do. It is also an opportunity for three of you to get an early pass to the Pitch@Palace event in March; that does not mean that the rest of you who do not get picked by the judges today cannot still apply to the eventual event. Remembering there are only three that get a pass today, 42 go to the event in March, and only nine places are taken by the Pitch@Palace On Tour events – there is still plenty of opportunity. [Introduction to videos]
It is as difficult being a judge as it is being an Entrepreneur, first of all they have their own vision, and secondly they argue quite a lot. Now, there is somebody here who is the adjudicator of the judges, me. I do not take any part in the judging, but I do try and referee them occasionally, because they do become quite unruly. But my message to you, the Entrepreneurs, is do not concern yourself about the judges. They have a very difficult task, to pick between them. That is our experience – it is very difficult to make choices. In many cases because you are part of this system, we find that those who are not necessarily selected are just as successful.
The other aspect of this is that in many cases what I’m trying to do is to increase the likelihood of your survival by giving you more customers, and more distribution and mentorship. It is not simply about finding you finance. It is about trying to encourage your business to be sustainable by finding contacts and people who will be interested in finding out about your business. Keep in touch with my office and the Pitch@Palace staff that are here today, because that is very important.
A maximum of 15 have the opportunity to actually Pitch to the audience at St. James’s Palace. All 42 Entrepreneurs can go to the Palace and can network; it is purely because of time that we have to knock the 42 to a maximum of 15 to Pitch at the event. This video is the stage of getting to the 42 to Pitch at the Palace ….
… This is not a one-time event, keep trying. We would like to see as many of you again, because we like serial Entrepreneurs, and we like people who want to keep going. Good luck today, and enjoy it. It is a slightly more relaxed atmosphere today; you will notice that as the weeks progress that the jeans and t-shirts turn to shirts and ties by the time we get you to St. James’s Palace. That is not a reflection of the need, but a reflection of the people you will be addressing at the Palace, they are the sorts of people who are interested in how you look and how you perform, just as much as what you do – that is the second part of the process. So, enjoy the day, and I will sit and listen to what you have to say and meet some of you as the day progresses.