? Midands’ Pitch Up investment competition opens for applications


Applications to Minerva Birmingham’s Pitch Up competition are now open. Formerly known as “Pitchfest WM” and now in its 6th year, participating businesses have the chance to pitch head-to-head to a variety of investors in order to win prizes, and the ultimate accolade of Pitch Up Champion.  A select number of successful applicants will be shortlisted and invited to workshop sessions – applications close on August 31.

The best performing businesses will advance to an investor-lead judging panel stage. Those chosen as the best will then be invited to compete at the prestigious Pitch Up Final as part of Venturefest WM early in 2021 (provisional date 28th Jan 2021), which attracts some 600 delegates including investors, entrepreneurs and innovators.

Supplementing the competition, business leaders can also learn more about what it takes to be successful in raising investment, by joining of the popular Pitch Up webinars.

“What does an investor look for?” is the first in the series, taking place on August 4 and is available free of charge to those interested in finding out more about investment.

Those aspiring to be investors can also receive guidance on making wise investment decisions via the Angel Investor educational series, next one July 24.

Pitch Up is a collaboration, co-delivered by the Centre for Growth at Aston UniversityUniversity of Birmingham Enterprise, and Minerva Business Angels, part of the University of Warwick Science Park Ltd.

Paula Whitehouse, Director of Aston Centre for Growth, said: 
“I have been really pleased to see our long-established partnership with Minerva Business Angels and University of Birmingham Enterprise develop further with new sessions to raise the level of knowledge and understanding about angel investing amongst businesses and potential investors. Minerva Birmingham Pitch Up exists to boost access to finance for the region’s most exciting and innovative young businesses, and in this very difficult year for business it will play a crucial role in unlocking opportunities and investment for the future.”

David Coleman, Head of Enterprise Acceleration for University of Birmingham Enterprise said:

“This is a really difficult time for businesses, many of whom have needed to quickly pivot their business models as a consequence of Covid and work out new ways of ensuring a sustainable future. There is a great demand for investment and our Minerva Birmingham partnership, including Pitch Up, has an important role to play in attracting investors to the Midlands, and boosting the regions business prospects at this crucial time.”

Alex Toft, Head of Minerva Business Angels, part of the University of Warwick Science Park Ltd. said:

“It’s great to be part of such a collaborative relationship building not only support for our entrepreneurs but helping to build that support structure of finance and experience provided by investors. We continue to call on those who have never considered angel investing to join in our Angel Investing education series to find out more.”

The event has put more than 125 entrepreneurs directly in front of investors and helped bring in excess of £3,000,000 of investment to the region’s small businesses to date.

Former competition participant Steve Barbour, director of Composite Braiding, said: “Since Pitch Up, we have secured over £1m of funding to power our business forward.”

He added: “As part of one of our technology collaborations, we have also won the ‘Global Light Rail Technical Innovation of the Year’ and have been nominated for a JEC World Innovation award (think of it as the Oscars of the composite industry).” 

Details and registration for all upcoming Minerva Birmingham Pitch Up webinars for business leaders and investors can be found here.

Further information regarding the business conference and exhibition Pitch Up finale event currently scheduled for early 2021 is set to be announced later this year.

Previous webinar participant Dr. Radhika Gudipati said:
“A very useful introductory webinar for someone new to angel investing. Pleased to be linked up with friendly Minerva BA community.”

Find out more about Pitch Up, including a run-through of all upcoming webinars here.