Welsh tech gets royal approval from the Duke of York

Seventeen of the UK’s brightest tech entrepreneurs recently travelled to North Wales to take part in the Pitch@Palace On Tour event.

Hosted by Town Square Spaces at the Wrexham Enterprise Hub, it saw them present their innovations to the Duke of York and an audience of influential people from business, law, finance and academia.

After a round of pitching, a panel of judges and members of the audience selected three winners to reach the next stage of the competition.

Founded in 2014 by Prince Andrew, Pitch@Palace is an initiative that aims to accelerate the work of entrepreneurs by connecting them with investors, mentors and key business contacts.

The winners were first aid training company Four Minutes, high-street retail app NearMeNow and digital mental health platform Psycapps.

Victoria Mann, founder and CEO of Caerphilly-based NearMeNow, hopes that the experience will further her business and attract new supporters.

“We’re thrilled to be recognised as one of the top three among such a high calibre group of businesses and are delighted to be flying the Welsh flag when we take our proposition to London,” she said. 

“With Pitch@Palace being such a high-profile competition with a focus on social impact and making key introductions and connections, applying was an easy decision.

“Through Pitch@Palace, we were able to ask for introductions to high-profile, high-street influencers who can endorse the app, help increase our end-user engagement and reach potential investors who share our passion for supporting local.”

Real success

Opening the event, The Duke of York said: “The purpose of Pitch@Palace is to help entrepreneurs grow and learn under pressure and move their business along.

“For Pitch, it’s important to travel the country to figure out where and what the entrepreneurial attitudes are. But we’re also looking for mentors, advisors and connections for these businesses; it’s the connections that have made the biggest difference for our entrepreneurs.”

Carl Turner, community manager at the Wrexham Enterprise Hub, described Pitch@Palace as a big win for the local economy and business landscape.

“The event was a huge success with some extraordinary entrepreneurs pitching some exciting businesses. Hosting Pitch@Palace 10.0 was a real boon for the Hub, and the types of businesses that pitched were an inspiration to start-ups in the area,” he said.

In October, the winners and 39 other innovators will make the journey to Cambridge to take part in the Pitch@Palace Bootcamp. They’ll receive mentorship and support.