Wednesday, September 21, 2016

News: AMRC hosts Pitch@Palace


The Sheffield city region hosted a round of Pitch@Palace this week - an initiative that offers the chance for business ideas to be seen by a global audience of influencers who can catapult them to the next level.

Established by The Duke of York, in less than three years Pitch@Palace has helped over 205 businesses grow, with some now enjoying huge global success. This year's event focuses on technology and HRH hosted the touring event at the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre with Boeing's (AMRC's) Factory 2050 building on the Sheffield Business Park.

Pitch@Palace was set up by The Duke of York's Charitable Trust to support start-up businesses and entrepreneurs in the UK. It gives potential entrepreneurs the chance to explain their hi-tech business ideas to Prince Andrew and a panel of experts, in front of an audience of investors, business leaders and mentors, in a bid to secure the backing they need to take them to the next level.

42 entrepreneurs will be selected to attend a boot camp and 15 will go forward to pitch at St. James's Palace in November.

The first of a number of regional events, Factory 2050 saw around 25 hi-tech businesses pitch their innovative ideas to the Prince, local dignitaries and leading business people and a judging panel including AMRC co-founder Prof Keith Ridgway, CBE.

Amongst the pitches were Rotherham-based SOTpay - a unique payment transfer system which uses a series of rigorous card and customer checks to prevent fraudulent transactions from taking place. The system was developed in-house by Manvers company Gala Tent, the UK's leading distributor of marquees and gazebos, and has eliminated fraudulent telephone transactions.

Also pitching was Cumulus Energy Storage (CES), a high-tech start-up based on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham. Cumulus is developing prototype battery technology which can be developed commercially to cope with the rigours and requirements of the renewable industry.


The event was won by three companies; Doncaster-based Drenched Ltd and its product for taps that transforms the flow of water, reducing the volume of water used by 90%; Offer Moments, a Manchester start-up creating digital advertising screens to personally engage visitors and shoppers; and Sheffield's Mobile Power Ltd that has designed a way to deliver renewable energy at a price-point affordable to the emerging market.

Prince Andrew said that the standard and passion of businesses was outstanding and praised the AMRC. He said: "I have watched this incredible institution grow over the years and to be able to see this wonderful new building being filled with some really clever advanced manufacturing is fantastic."

Prof. Ridgway said: "It is a great honour to have one of the AMRC’s facilities selected to host this prestigious event.

"We created Factory 2050 to be the home of cutting edge research and innovation involving technologies that will underpin the future success of UK manufacturing and to inspire the next generation of engineering leaders.

"That made it an ideal location for a new generation of entrepreneurs to explain and seek backing for their ground-breaking ideas and, hopefully, seeing what is already being achieved at Factory 2050 will inspire them to achieve yet greater things."

AMRC website
Pitch@Palace website

Images: Pitch@Palace / twitter


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