The Pitch
The Pitch 2017 judges

Darren Westlake and Ed Relf join The Pitch 2017 judging panel

When assembling our judging panel we wanted to bring in a diverse range of expertise. The knowledge of the six people that will judge our finalists cover the core aspects of being a successful entrepreneur, from investment and technology to building a team and PR.

This year’s panel includes entrepreneurs that have built and sold businesses, an industry-leading journalist and the head of the world’s largest free startup incubator – we’re really excited to have them on board.

Peter Harris, Propel by Deloitte.

Peter Harris

Peter leads Propel by Deloitte, a new accounting and analytics subscription service, designed specifically for ambitious start-ups and SMEs, to support them as they grow. Previously, Peter led the Innovation team at Deloitte, managing a £25m investment fund to develop new businesses. This ambitious programme was designed to disrupt the tradition of professional services and promote entrepreneurialism within Deloitte.

12 years of continuous learning and passion for change within the financial services industry has put Peter in the fortunate position to build and grow Propel by Deloitte – exploiting innovation to support ambitious start-ups and SMEs grow.

Previously, Peter developed and led the Innovation teams at Deloitte, which created a means for quickly converting the smart ideas of Deloitte’s 14,000 people into client solutions. He was also responsible for a £25m investment fund to develop new businesses in Deloitte or invest externally – this programme was designed to disrupt the traditional operating model of professional services and promote entrepreneurialism within Deloitte.

Innovation has always been a passion of Peter’s. Throughout his 12 years at Deloitte he’s had many opportunities to put this into practice and has become an active ambassador for change as a result. By far the crown in jewel for him is Propel by Deloitte, which is widely seen as a vehicle to challenge not only Deloitte’s own processes, but also set the standard of what the market should expect from accountants.

Rebecca Burn-Callander, The Telegraph

Rebecca Burn-Callander

Rebecca Burn-Callander is a journalist and commentator specialising in writing about small businesses, entrepreneurs and the economy. Former enterprise editor of The Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph, she was previously associate editor at Real Business Magazine and web editor at Management Today.

Rebecca regularly takes part in small business events, speaking about small business issues around the UK. She is involved in the Telegraph’s annual conference for ambitious British firms, The Festival of Business.

She is author of The Daily Telegraph Guide to Investing, and is currently working on her second book, The Daily Telegraph Guide to Brexit for Business.

Edward Relf, Laundrapp

Edward Relf

Edward Relf is an award-winning digital entrepreneur and self-confessed ‘digital disruptor’ with almost 20 years’ experience scaling some of the world’s most successful disruptive digital startups. Having built a successful career through his metric driven marketing approach and lean startup philosophy to tech innovation, Ed now focuses his time on his latest venture Laundrapp (founder & CEO), mentoring early-stage startups and actively investing in the next wave of disruptive tech-driven companies.

Ed has been featured across web, print & broadcast media including the likes of the BBC, Guardian, TechCrunch, The Times and other leading news outlets. As well as winning dozens of high profile business and entrepreneurship awards for his work through the digital community, Ed is passionate about sharing his insights and knowledge in driving the next wave of successful British startups.

Lucy-Rose Walker, Entrepreneurial Spark

Lucy-Rose Walker is co-founder and Chief Entrepreneuring Officer at Entrepreneurial Spark Powered by Royal Bank of Scotland in Scotland, NatWest in England and Ulster Bank in Northern Ireland.

Entrepreneurial Spark is the world’s largest free and business people accelerator. From one original hub In Glasgow with 25 entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurial Spark has now supported over 2,000 businesses across 12 hubs in all four nations of the UK, with a further hub in London in September 2017.

The company is also making an impact on start-ups across the world. In summer 2015, under Lucy-Rose’s guidance, Entrepreneurial Spark Powered by Viridian, was launched in India to help Entrepreneurs across the country.

Lucy-Rose has been responsible for the company’s hug growth in the last two years. She ensures that Entrepreneurial Spark builds people who build businesses. By constantly encouraging entrepreneurial mindsets and action-led behaviours by her staff, she ensures that entrepreneurs in all hubs become productive and focused on working on their businesses not just in their businesses.
Through Entrepreneurial Spark Lucy-Rose is developing and supporting a new generation of entrepreneurs who are continuously being encouraged to give back to their community.

A specialist in marketing coaching and innovative thinking, Lucy-Rose has been involved in a long list of business start-ups over the space of more than a decade, with a strong Scottish streak running through them. From launching a “tartan affinity” credit card with a US bank aimed at the Scottish diaspora, she moved on to promoting her own board game, Scottish Quest.
Lucy-Rose also managed the Connect Scotland technology business network and was responsible for co-ordinating The Gathering, a vast Scottish event for the third sector, in 2009. She was also a director of Panalba, a social networking website aimed at Scottish people worldwide, and took on many roles involving business mentoring and encouraging entrepreneurship before taking on the role of helming Entrepreneurial Spark.

Tarryn Gorre, Kafoodle

Tarryn Gorre

The Pitch Champion 2016, Tarryn is the founder and CEO of Kafoode, a software that allows all businesses across the food industry to be compliant with international food legislation and communicate this to prospective buyers and consumers.

Tarryn grew up in Cape Town, South Africa, where her Mum was a Cordon Bleu trained chef. This ignited a passion in the hospitality industry that has not been dampened since. Tarryn has been involved in businesses big and small, often brought in to increase efficiency and create value. As a result, she knows more than anyone the impact that technology can have on streamlining processes and simplifying tasks.

Darren Westlake, Crowdcube

Darren West

Named by Debrett’s as one of Britain’s 500 most influential people in 2015, Darren Westlake is co-founder and CEO of Crowdcube – the world’s first investment crowdfunding platform.

A serial entrepreneur with more than 20 years’ experience in the internet and telecoms industries, Darren launched and exited two companies before starting Crowdcube with Luke Lang in February 2011. In 2016 Darren was named by CityAM as one of its top 100 influential leaders in fintech and has been named by Debrett’s as one of Britain’s 500 most influential people two years running.

ChrisGoodfellow

ChrisGoodfellow

Chris is co-founder and COO of Box 2 Media, the events company that runs The Pitch. He’s a journalist and editor by trade, and his work has been featured by everyone from The Guardian, The Financial Times and the BBC to Vice magazine.

Register for The Pitch 2018

If you run an early-stage business and have found this content useful, why don’t you take part in The Pitch 2018? It’s free and packed full of useful advice and support.

We haven’t opened applications yet, but you can click here to register your interest and we’ll get in touch as soon as we launch.