Pitchfest South East of England

About This Event

Supporting innovative UK SMEs to develop
their investment proposition
and get investment ready.


What is Pitchfest?

Pitchfest is brought to you by Innovate UK EDGE, which provides business growth and scaling support at the UK’s innovation agency. It is designed to help the most ambitious and innovative SMEs in the UK become investment ready, hone their pitching skills and help raise funds. 

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

Why apply?

Pitchfest is a funded offering providing access to highly experienced innovation and growth specialists for ongoing one-to-one support along your investment journey, and for you to have access to pitch training experts to refine your pitch and value proposition.

This bespoke offering gives you the opportunity to receive constructive feedback from a panel of real investors and to be introduced to active investor networks (where there is a good match). 

The South East of England edition of Pitchfest is the seventh in a series taking place across the UK. It will allow 15 ambitious SMEs based in the region to accelerate progress and scale their business. 


What does Pitchfest include?

  • 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
  • Introductions to active investor networks in your region and across the UK
  • Supercharging your elevator pitch and building a persuasive investor pitch
  • Constructive no-risk feedback from a panel of real investors


How does it work?

Applications: May 2021
Application assessment

Please submit your applications by Tuesday, 27 April 2021. You will be notified about the outcome of your application by Tuesday, 4 May 2021.

Up to 15 SME applicants will be selected to join Pitchfest. 


Phase 1: 18 May - 29 June 2021
Attend 4 key training and pitching events over the first 3 months. 

1. Preparation Meeting (virtual) 

Once successfully accepted onto Pitchfest at the end of the competitive selection process, you will be allocated an Innovation and Growth specialist. The preparation meeting is a chance to provide key information to your regional Pitchfest Champion and to your bespoke innovation and growth specialist. You will discuss the stages of your investment journey so far and establish your goals through a thorough diagnostic process. 

The aim of your regional Pitchfest Champion will be to provide expert knowledge and support your investment journey.

2. Pitch Training Day 1 (virtual)
Tuesday, 1 June 2021, full-day

Get an insider's look at what investors are looking for, develop your value proposition, 1-minute elevator pitch and slide deck, boost your presentation skills and find out how to manage investor Q&As. You will need to allocate time to prepare a pitch deck for Training Day 2. 

3. Pitch Training Day 2 & Peer-to-Peer Pitching (virtual)
Tuesday, 15 June 2021, full-day 

After two weeks of fine-tuning, deliver a 5-minute pitch for peer-to-peer and trainer feedback. Discover your ideal investor profile, investment legals, how to build your relationships with an investor, negotiate your valuation, structure deals and fundraise efficiently. Before the Investor Session, you will work with your Pitchfest Champion and Innovation & Growth specialist to strengthen your pitch. 

4. Investor Session (virtual)
Tuesday, 29 June 2021, full-day 

Pitch for 5 minutes to a panel of real angel investors and VCs with a Q&A session and constructive feedback.


Phase 2: After 29 June 2021
Receive ongoing bespoke support

Innovation and Growth Specialist 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.


Meet our Pitchfest Experts:

Ian Tracey
Pitchfest Lead Trainer

Ian will lead the delivery of two intensive virtual pitch training days:

  • Highly experienced pitch trainer, Ian has supported the Pitchfest offering for the last three years to help companies pitch prospective customers, grant providers and investors.
  • Former Head of Access to Funding & Finance at Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN), developing KTN's strategies to assist innovative companies through the application and raising of finance.

Jakub Rakoczy
Pitchfest Champion South East of England

  • Jakub is a Senior Innovation Adviser helping companies become investment ready, provides guidance on accessing grants and protecting intellectual property rights.
  • He is based and working in Hampshire actively supporting companies in the area of IP & accessing R&D funding.
  • Jakub joined Oxford Innovation in 2015 to build up the coverage of European projects, starting with Enterprise Europe Network and Horizon2020.
  • He works closely with the Innovation Hubs, Oxford Innovation’s Investment Networks and Growth Managers by offering additional support to their clients.
  • His earlier career was spent as an International Logistics Officer and Project Manager for Power Industry in Poland.


Who is Pitchfest best-suited for?

  • Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs)
  • Companies based in Wales
  • SMEs with innovative products or services interested in internationalisation 
  • UK registered high-growth companies looking to scale-up and raise investment
  • Companies seeking to raise circa £500k+ of investment*
  • Companies suitable for Angel/VC finance
  • Minimum of £100k in economic activity (turnover, sales pipeline, route to market secured)

*If you are seeking to raise less, please make a case when describing your investment plan. 

How can you apply?

To submit your application, please click the 'Apply here' button at the top or bottom of this page and complete the required application form - this will take approximately 15 minutes. 

The application deadline is Tuesday, 27 April 2021.

Please note:

  • This is a competitive selection process. All applications will be reviewed and assessed by a panel of experts.
  • All applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application by Tuesday, 4 May 2021.
  • All stages of Pitchfest - Phase 1 are mandatory to attend. You must be available to attend all four dates listed in the 'Phase 1' section above to be accepted onto this offering. 
  • Only one representative per company can attend the training days. 
  • The company representative who will attend the mandatory training sessions and meetings with the allocated innovation and growth specialist will have the opportunity to participate in the Investor Session.


If you are ready to take your pitch to the next level
to raise funds and accelerate growth, apply today!


Contact us

Have a question about Pitchfest?

We are happy to help. Email our team at pitchfest@innovateukedge@ukri.org



Apply Here