Innovate UK EDGE Pitchfest: Get investment ready

Innovate UK EDGE Pitchfest supports innovative and ambitious UK small to medium sized businesses to get investment ready and develop their investor pitch in order to help raise finance. 

What would you like to know?  

•    What does Pitchfest offer
•    Pitchfest in 6 steps
•    Am I eligible to attend
•    How to apply
•    Training dates and locations
•    Highlights from Pitchfest round 1
•    Pitchfest lead trainer and Pitchfest Champions

What does Innovate UK EDGE Pitchfest offer?

  • Two-days of comprehensive pitch training
  • Access to leading pitch and investment experts
  • Bespoke support from a dedicated innovation and growth specialist 
  • An opportunity to build a clear, compelling and credible investment proposition
  • Supercharge your elevator pitch and build a persuasive investor pitch
  • Understand how to find investors in your region and across the UK
  • Gain experience by testing your pitch in front of real investors and receive constructive no-risk feedback
Boost the success of your investor pitch - Pitchfest graphic

Innovate UK EDGE Pitchfest in 6 steps

1. Meet your innovation & growth specialist (virtual, 1 hour)

Once successfully accepted onto Innovate UK EDGE Pitchfest at the end of the competitive selection process, you will be allocated an innovation and growth specialist from your region. The preparation meeting is a chance to provide key information to your specialist, discuss your investment journey so far and establish your goals through a thorough diagnostic process. 

Each region also has a dedicated Pitchfest Champion, the aim of your regional Pitchfest Champion will be to provide expert knowledge and support your investment journey.

2. Group ‘Get to Know You’ Meeting (virtual, 2 hours)

Before you start the training, you will get the chance to meet the like-minded peers embarking on the same Pitchfest journey as you, meet your expert trainer, Ian Tracey and understand what to expect. You will also have the opportunity to work on your elevator pitch.

You will gain a step-by-step guide of the upcoming training sessions and how your Pitchfest Champion and innovation and growth specialist will support you throughout.

3. Pitch training day 1 (virtual, full day)

Get an insider’s look at what investors are looking for and how to find them, develop your value proposition, boost your presentation skills, understand investment legals, valuation tools, structure deals and fundraise efficiently. You will need to allocate time to prepare a pitch deck for Training Day 2.

4. Pitch training day 2 and peer-to-peer pitching (virtual, full day)

After two weeks of fine-tuning, deliver a 5-minute pitch for peer-to-peer and trainer feedback. Before the Investor Session, you will work with your Pitchfest Champion and innovation & growth specialist to strengthen your pitch.

5. Investor session (virtual, 20 minutes)

Gain experience by testing your 5-minute pitch to a panel of investors, with a Q&A session and constructive feedback.

6. Ongoing bespoke innovation and growth support

Your innovation and growth specialist will support you with your ongoing funding and finance journey, helping you to fully leverage your completed Pitchfest training.

Depending on your stage, for example, they can help by developing a realistic finance strategy to achieve innovation goals and growth ambitions.

Outside of finance and funding, and depending on your needs, they can provide a host of related support tailored for innovative businesses, ranging from access to technical know-how to exploiting IP and entering new markets.

Delegate event journey

Pitchfest flow

Is your business eligible for Pitchfest?

Innovate UK EDGE is looking for UK registered, high-growth potential innovative small to medium sized businesses interested in internationalisation and seeking to raise c. £500k+ of investment (over the next 24 months). If you are seeking to raise less, please make a case when describing your investment plan.

Your business will need to be looking to test your pitch to investors (Business Angel / Venture Capital finance), with a minimum of £100k in turnover / sales pipeline / route to market secured.

Businesses can have up to 500 staff (unless in Northern Ireland, when the limit is 250).

“Excellent, really glad to be part of this having been given the opportunity to take part. Really appreciate it – I think it’s game changing.”

How to apply for Pitchfest

To submit your application, please select your region below and click ‘Apply here’. If the link for your region isn’t available yet, sign up to our newsletter to hear when it is.

Pitchfest is highly competitive. Applications are assessed by a panel of experts and only 15 will be successful in each region.

It is possible to apply for a region where you are not based if you face genuine difficulty attending the dates for your home region. You will need to provide an explanation at application stage.

Read the eligibility criteria carefully to ensure your business can apply and answer as fully as you can. 

Please note that all stages of Pitchfest are mandatory to attend and only one representative per company can attend. It must be the same one company representative each time.

“Pitchfest was pivotal to our business. There was a great mixture of encouraging positive feedback and genuine insights for improvement. We added the feedback into a subsequent pitch and won the competition!”

Pitchfest 2021-2022 dates  

If you have an innovative offering to test your pitch to investors and your product or service has an international market – Pitchfest is for you!


Apply here

Tuesday, 21 September 2021, 5pm: Applications deadline
Tuesday, 28 September 2021: Notification of application outcome
Pre-agreed date, 1 hour: Meet 1-2-1 with your innovation & growth specialist
Tuesday, 12 October 2021, 2 hours: Group ‘Get to Know You’ Meeting
Tuesday, 26 October 2021, full day: Training day 1
Tuesday, 9 November 2021, full day: Training day 2
Tuesday, 23 November 2021, 20 mins: Investor session
After 23 November 2021: Ongoing bespoke support