Skip to main content
Kate Walker, founder of Exphand Prosthetics and winner of the 2022 PitchUp competition
Kate Walker, founder of Exphand Prosthetics and winner of the 2022 PitchUp competition

Organisers of the competition, which provides training on how to secure investment, are inviting applications from ambitious small businesses in the Midlands.

Applications to Minerva Birmingham’s Pitch Up 2022 competition have opened. Now in its 8th year, participating businesses have the chance to pitch head-to-head to a variety of investors to win a cash prize, and the ultimate accolade of Pitch Up Champion.

Pitch Up is a collaboration, co-delivered by the Centre for Growth at Aston University, University of Birmingham Enterprise, and Minerva Business Angels, part of the University of Warwick Science Park Ltd.

The competition provides the opportunity for ambitious business leaders to improve their ability to win investment while simultaneously boosting their business profile.

Interested business leaders can apply here, applications close on 27th January.

Within the Midlands, there is a clear disparity between the large proportion of the UK's high-growth companies that are based here, and the investment secured. That's why collaborative programmes like Pitch Up, which engage a diverse range of investors, are so important to increasing the likelihood of companies securing the funding they need.

David Coleman, CEO of University of Birmingham Enterprise

Shortlisted applicants will be supported through a workshop to refine their pitch deck, sharpen their pitching skills and receive valuable feedback in order to improve. The first workshop will take place on 17th January.

A select number of successful applicants will then advance to the next stage of the competition and have the opportunity to pitch to an investor-led panel to gain more practice and receive more feedback.

The best performing businesses will then be selected to pitch at the prestigious Pitch Up Final. This will take place as part of Venturefest WM on 1st March 2023 at Eastside Rooms, Birmingham. In 2022 Venturefest attracted 600 delegates including investors, entrepreneurs and innovators.

The overall winner will be decided by audience vote and crowned Pitch Up Champion 2023, they will receive a cash prize and the option of additional support from Minerva Birmingham.

I really enjoyed taking part in the Pitch Up competition last year and being given a platform to pitch in front of investors and organisations from across the Midlands. The support and feedback I gained from the event has helped move us forward and has allowed us to create new partnerships and bring in additional funding. There is a diverse selection of people at the event and taking part in the Pitch Up competition gave us a platform to share our vision and journey with all those attending and create new connections that we may not have come across otherwise. Overall I would definitely recommend taking part in the programme.

2022 champion, Kate Walker of ExpHand Prosthetics Ltd

The event has put more than 125 entrepreneurs directly in front of investors and helped bring in excess of £40,000,000 of investment to the region's small businesses to date.

Minerva Birmingham Pitch Up 2023 is sponsored by British Business Bank.

Paula Whitehouse, director of Aston Centre for Growth, said:

“We are proud to continue creating investment opportunities for high growth companies in the West Midlands and look forward to welcoming our next cohort of innovative young businesses to Minerva Birmingham Pitch Up 2023.”

Alex Toft, head of Minerva Business Angels, part of the University of Warwick Science Park Ltd. said:

“It’s great to be part of such a collaborative relationship building not only support for our entrepreneurs but helping to build that support structure of finance and experience provided by investors.

“This is a great opportunity for those earlier in their development cycle who would otherwise struggle to get noticed. We also continue to call on those who have never considered angel investing to join to reach out to us to find out more.”

David Coleman, CEO of University of Birmingham Enterprise said:

“Within the Midlands, there is a clear disparity between the large proportion of the UK's high-growth companies that are based here, and the investment secured.

“That's why collaborative programmes like Pitch Up, which engage a diverse range of investors, are so important to increasing the likelihood of companies securing the funding they need.”