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Stefania Pellegrino co-founder of Purely, and winner of Pitchfest

Leading SMEs from across the Midlands competed for the crown of Pitchfest's "Best Pitch" at Venturefest 2019.

Pitchfest, hosted by the NEC, provided a stage for entrepreneurs to increase their profile in front of a national audience of investors and an expert-led judging panel as part of regional networking event, Venturefest.

Businesses battled in competition heats throughout the day, before the top three pitchers presented in the final for a chance to win a Golden Ticket worth £500 + access to Minerva's professional network of Business Angel Investors.

Plantain chip company Purely, founded in Birmingham, held off impressive competition from 11 other SMEs to win this year’s event.

Over the last four years Pitchfest, jointly organised by Aston University, the University of Birmingham and the University of Warwick, in association with Venturefest West Midlands, has brought more than £3 million of investments to the region's small businesses.

Competitors were judged by four leading national investors across the day chaired by corporate advisor Eileen Schofield.

Co-founder Stefania Pellegrino expressed her delight in winning the competition.

She said: "I feel honoured to have won amongst many amazing businesses pitching there on the day.

"I believe I pitched this business from my heart, my passion for this business and the vision I have for Purely is real, and I'm fully committed to making this happen.

“I'm so glad investors, and people in the room saw that.” 

Stefania is now aiming to use the knowledge and guidance from investors at Pitchfest to help take Purely to a mainstream market.

She said: "Pitchfest was a great opportunity to open different conversations with potential investors interested in the business, people that are keen to help and to advise on the next big step for this business.

"We want to take Purely mainstream, and we need the right people on board to be part of this journey."

To keep informed about next year's event, visit http://www.venturefestwm.co.uk