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Pitching in for growth

The Pitch@Palace series has helped participating ventures grow and raise capital by fostering greater professionalism, concludes a new independent report by the Entrepreneurship Centre at Cambridge Judge Business School.

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Dr Keivan Aghasi

The Pitch@Palace series of entrepreneurial events founded by HRH The Duke of York, KG, has helped participating ventures to grow by fostering greater professionalism and enabling them to acquire new capital at a lower cost, concludes a new report by the Entrepreneurship Centre at Cambridge Judge Business School.

While the UK has created a fertile climate for businesses to startup, British startup ventures have difficulty scaling up and therefore suffer a high “infant mortality” rate, says the report. Of 5.5 million small and medium-size enterprises reported in the UK economy in 2016, nearly 96 percent were “micro-size” businesses with less than 10 employees.

The report – entitled, The Mission to Transform Start-Up Nation into Growth Nation, was issued on Thursday 8 November in conjunction with the finals of the latest Pitch@Palace event, held this year at Buckingham Palace. The research concludes that the continuing nature of support from Pitch@Palace through networking and other activities has been important to the success of participating ventures.

Hanadi Jabado
Hanadi Jabado

The Pitch@Palace series has so far held nine programmes in the UK and 22 globally since it was launched in 2014. The Duke of York is patron of the Entrepreneurship Centre at Cambridge Judge.

The study was conducted independently by three Entrepreneurship Centre researchers at Cambridge Judge; Dr Keivan Aghasi,  Research Associate; Hanadi Jabado, Executive Director of the Centre; and Professor Stylianos (Stelios) Kavadias, Director of the Centre, as part of a wider Entrepreneurship Centre research programme on the effectiveness of startup support programmes in delivering growth. The report is based on a final sample of 1,431 entries to the Pitch@Palace competition, comparing participants to a general pool of similar ventures.

Professor Stylianos Kavadias
Professor Stylianos Kavadias

“Whilst most entrepreneurial programmes operate under a finite date regarding the support they offer, Pitch@Palace’s footprint purposefully extends beyond the programmatic events and especially beyond the final event,” says the report. “Pitch@Palace enables its alumni to transform into more professional organisations post their programme participation [and alumni] have been able to grow significantly in size, diversity and maturity of their entrepreneurial management teams.

Pitch@Palace has increased the chances of participants receiving external funding, particularly those ventures based outside of large entrepreneurial clusters such as London, Cambridge and Oxford, the report adds.