Pioneering Bristol trio pitched against Britain’s best small firms in prestigious national contest

August 15, 2014

Three innovative small firms from Bristol have been included among 100 from across the country selected to attend intensive business boot camps and compete for support worth thousands of pounds.

Wriggle, Grow Bristol and Talking Men’s Shoes were chosen by a panel of expert judges in The Pitch 2014, the national contest founded in Bristol in 2008.

Staged by and UK Business Forums in association with AVG, it rewards and celebrates the UK’s entrepreneurs.

Wriggle is a Bristol-based app founded by entrepreneur Robert Hall which provides on-the-day offers at local bars, restaurants and other venues which helps businesses fill unsold deals. It recently raised £128,000 investment through crowdfunding platform Seedrs.

Grow Bristol is a new urban farming enterprise set up by Dermot O’Regan that aims to develop innovative and sustainable ways of growing food in the city for the benefit of all its inhabitants and the wider world.

Also chosen from Bristol is Talking Men’s Shoes, a video blog run by Fiona Wyatt aimed at the men’s shoe industry.

The three will attend one of two training boot camps in London and Manchester in September.

The 100 at the camps will be whittled down to 30 to compete at The Pitch final at Paintworks in Bristol in October where the overall champion will win the package of business support prizes including mentoring, technology, global business lounge access and PR consultancy.

The 100 shortlisted firms have all traded for less than three years with some not yet trading. Industries represented range from retail and technology, to consumer goods and manufacturing.

The businesses collectively turn over £4.3m and employ more than 110 people. Some 58% of the founders are male and 42% female.

All the companies are also competing for votes in The Pitch 2014 Digital Marketing Award supported by Constant Contact.

The Pitch founder and editor of, Dan Martin, said: “I’m overwhelmed by the quality of the entrepreneurial talent in our top 100 shortlist. They really are a great representation of the fantastic business ingenuity that the UK has to offer!

“We created the boot camps as a direct result of contestant feedback last year, and they offer a money-can’t-buy opportunity for our contestants to get amazing business training from some of the best experts available. I wish all 100 business owners the very best of luck.”

The prizes include a year’s free mentoring from Karen Darby, online business security services from AVG, 12 months free access to business lounges around the world, free taxi travel, a Nokia Lumia tablet, web design advice, and PR consultancy. All attendees will also have access to investors.

The Pitch 2014 is also supported by ICAEW, Constant Contact, Microsoft Devices and Xero.

For detailed profiles for the three Bristol businesses go to:

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