Minerva Birmingham PitchUp
- Minerva Birmingham Pitch Up is run by the Centre for Growth at Aston University, the University of Birmingham and Minerva at the University of Warwick Science Park
- Over the last eight years it has put scores of entrepreneurs directly in front of investors - and helped bring over £40m of investments to the region's small businesses.
- The 2023 winner is Kameese Davis, whose business, Sandwell-based Nylah Hair, Heritage and Science, specialises in providing quality products for afro and curly hair care.
The Minerva Birmingham Pitch Up competition, which is co-delivered by the Aston Centre for Growth at Aston University, University of Birmingham Enterprise, and Minerva Business Angels, part of the University of Warwick Science Park, has been won by hair care entrepreneur Kameese Davis.
The competition finals took place on March 1st at Venturefest WM in Birmingham, where an audience of more than 500 entrepreneurs, innovators and investors voted Kameese the winner of the competition, which traditionally closes the annual festival.
The British Business Bank is proud to have supported such a great event. The quality of the pitches, and the strong numbers attending this showcase of the business talent we have here in the West Midlands is really promising for the future.Tracy Sherratt, UK Network Senior Manager (West Midlands) at British Business Bank (an event sponsor)
Venturefest offers West Midlands entrepreneurs and innovators a unique opportunity to develop and grow their businesses by meeting with potential investors and other cutting-edge companies.
Around 60 companies, in a variety of sectors and stages, had the opportunity to learn about what attracts investors and to refine their own pitching skills before six were chosen to compete for the Best Pitch Award at Eastside Rooms in the city.
Venturefest is organised and led by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) and Innovation Alliance WM, working with its stakeholders, including local enterprise partnerships, universities and Bruntwood SciTech, a leading property and support provider to the science and tech sector.
This year’s event was also backed by several key sponsors including VWV, ICURe Midlands, Birmingham Tech, the British Business Bank and Tin Ventures.
Kameese won £3,000 in prize money and a package of bespoke business support to help her award-winning hair care products grow to new lengths.
Kameese said: “Winning the Minerva Birmingham Pitch Up means so much to me. It’s given me a massive confidence boost in terms of the product and brand being an attractive proposition for investors.
It also gave me the opportunity to speak and engage directly with people who are interested in helping the brand to scale up and maximize its full potential.2
Tracy Sherratt, from British Business Bank, which sponsored the event, said: “The British Business Bank is proud to have supported such a great event. The quality of the pitches, and the strong numbers attending this showcase of the business talent we have here in the West Midlands is really promising for the future.”
Max Slinger, one of the panellists and venture capital investor at Mercia Asset Management PLC, said: “Pitch Up provides a fantastic opportunity for early stage SMEs across the region to connect with the ecosystem of people who can support their business growth, all in one place. Supporting this competition as a pitching panellist has been a highlight of my year so far, and it’s been great to hear such engaging pitches from companies with ambition to scale.”
The expressions of interest page for Minerva pitch Up 2023 is now open. Find out more and express your interest here.