Entrepreneurs scoop up £100,000 of investment at first Pitch it Wales event

Wales’ brightest entrepreneurs were recently given the opportunity to secure £100,000 of equity investment at the first Pitch It competition.

Organised by BeTheSpark and Inspire Wales, the event took place at Cardiff Metropolitan University’s Llandaff campus on October 17th.

It attracted an audience of more than 120 people, spanning areas such as academia, risk capital, corporate, government and business. They showed their support and shared invaluable expertise throughout the day.

During the event, attendees highlighted importance of creating a visible, simple and connected entrepreneurial ecosystem within Wales.

Matt Wakerley, fund manager at Inspire Wales, said: “Pitch It Wales was designed to make the investment landscape more accessible to SME’s in Wales.

“Innovation-driven entrepreneurship is imperative to the fund and we hold great importance on supporting Welsh entrepreneurs as they are the wealth creators of our economy.

“This was a unique opportunity for our panel to support SME’s to increase their business growth within Wales by providing not only immediate equity investment but their skills and expertise.”

Six innovative entrepreneurs pitched in front of a judging panel made up of investors and advisors from the Inspire Wales consortium.

The judges were Hayley Parsons, Ashley Cooper, Simon Powell, Huw Morgan, Matt Wakerley, Roger Gambrini, Miles Morgan, Jon Baldwin and Steve Dalton.

Commenting on the event, Hayley Parsons said: “Congratulations to all six businesses who made it to the final of Pitch It Wales.

“The panel witnessed a high calibre of pitching and entrepreneurial talent during the event. Being involved was a thrilling opportunity to exercise my passion for entrepreneurship and investment within the Welsh entrepreneurial ecosystem.

“Pitch It was not only valuable to the finalists but also gave the audience great insight into the workings and thought processes of a vibrant investor network.

“I’m looking forward to observing and playing an active role in the growth of the SME’s that secured equity investment during the event.”

Hannah Saunders (founder and director of Toddle) and Daniel Shepherd (founder and managing director of CanDo Laundry) received £50,000 each.

But the judges were also impressed with blockchain tech firm Disberse and Health & Her – and have agreed to meet both companies following the event.

Steve Aicheler, entrepreneurship engagement manager at Cardiff Metropolitan University, added: “Cardiff Metropolitan University is proud of its record in supporting and working with Welsh businesses.

“Our Centre for Entrepreneurship drives a variety of events and projects throughout the year to inspire a new generation of students to follow their business aspirations.

“Hosting Pitch It has been a fantastic opportunity for our students – enabling them to develop critical business skills and connect with great role models.

“We are delighted to support this fantastic event and are always looking to develop similar partnerships with business, investors and the other stakeholders who make up the Welsh entrepreneurial ecosystem.”