Bristol entrepreneurs to take centre stage as national contest The Pitch stages final in the city

October 17, 2014

Bristol entrepreneur Andrew Mulvenna, co-founder of retail management software business Brightpearl, and mayor George Ferguson will be among speakers at the final of The Pitch 2014, the UK-wide competition which has helped hundreds of entrepreneurs on the road to success.

Founded in Bristol in 2008, The Pitch takes place at the city’s Paintworks on Thursday.

Mayor Ferguson will share insights into his entrepreneurial background at The Pitch while Andrew Mulvenna will speak about the Brightpearl success story.

The business began when co-founder Chris Tanner struggled to find software to help him run his business. The company now employs 87 people in Bristol and San Francisco and in May raised £6m investment. 

Attendees will also be able to attend free workshops on subjects including business planning and digital marketing, plus book appointments for one-on-one advice from an online branding expert.

The event is the conclusion to small business contest The Pitch 2014. Founded in Bristol From the 100 entrants shortlisted from applications, 30 will be selected to pitch at the Bristol event.

They are being chosen after taking part in two business boot camps where they receive intensive training in areas such as pitching, sales and financial management.  

The first boot camp took place in London on 4 September and the second is in Manchester on 18 September.

Also speaking at the event will be Mark Pearson, a 34-year-old entrepreneur and investor who recently sold his internet firm for £55m and gave £112,000 to charity on Channel 4’s The Secret Millionaire in 2010.

He will share the story of his journey from a council estate in Liverpool to a multi-million pound fortune via working as a chef for Gordon Ramsey in Claridges.

Judges at the final include Judith Bitterli, serial entrepreneur and chief marketing officer at AVG, who will be travelling from the US to Bristol especially for the event. Since the 1980s, she has set up and grown three of her own software companies.

Other judges include serial social entrepreneur and founder Karen Darby and Lara Morgan, who sold luxury toiletries brand Pacific Direct for £20m before starting training firm Company Shortcuts.

The overall champion will receive a package of business support prizes worth thousands of pounds including a year's mentoring from Karen Darby, internet security services from AVG, a Nokia tablet, free access to business lounges around the world, PR consultancy, free taxi travel and web design advice.

ICAEW is providing £1,000 worth of accountancy services to the winner of the ‘One to Watch’ category for non-trading companies.

The Pitch 2014 is a Sift Media event presented by and U Business Forums in association with AVG and supported by ICAEW, Constant Contact, .uk, Microsoft Devices and Xero.

Tickets to the event, which cost £10 and include free food and drink throughout the day, can be purchased at



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