Pitch@Palace is a scheme organised by Prince Andrew, it gives support, advice, and mentorship to budding entrepreneurs. Those selected go on a boot camp and receive advice on how to hone their pitch – so when faced with a situation like “Dragons Den” they can answer with confidence and give a reasoned response. Not look like a startled rabbit caught in the headlights of an oncoming vehicle! All those invited to the boot camp, get to go to the final event held at St James’s Palace – hence the title; the best ones getting to actually pitch directly to some of the movers and shakers of technology, media and investment together with other entrepreneurs.
Many top companies in the United Kingdom are allied with this scheme including KPMG, Barclays, Cisco Systems, AstraZeneca and Inmarsat. Together with top universities and business schools around the world including Hult International Business School, UWE Bristol, Macquarie University and as we will see later Bond University.
The scheme covers more than just how to sell yourself with the pitch, it also gives help and assistance with investment, introductions to the right people and strategic guidance on how to get the best from your idea. Perhaps even better than that, the scheme has former alumni from previous boot camps, they are not gone and forgotten when each new camp comes along. They can also advise with what they took away from their boot camp, and perhaps more importantly – what benefit they gained and are continuing to gain from being on Pitch @ Palace.
Pitch@Palace has national and indeed international coverage, a series of events around the country give entrepreneurs a chance to link up with the scheme and see what it can achieve for them. From these candidates are selected for boot camps again situated around the country in places like Oxford, Ashridge, and Nottingham. These boot camps give them a chance to hear from top industry professionals as well as opportunities for networking, coaching and mentoring. All applicants are given a chance to pitch to judges who will then select the fifteen candidates who will be pitching at the Pitch at the Palace event – which this year will be in November. Though all the candidates can attend for networking and get another chance to meet with mentors and coaches.
Prince Andrew spent ten years working around the globe between 2001 and 2011 for the Department of Trade & Industry, and still does a fair amount of working internationally on an informal basis. Hence the Pitch at the Palace has gone global with events in Estonia, Malaysia and Mexico last year, and Africa, China and Singapore so far in 2017. During his current trip to Australia, Prince Andrew, Duke of York will address a Pitch@Palace event at Bond University in the Gold Coast on Friday.