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SETsquared companies pitch for royal seal of approval

Three SETsquared companies are in with a chance of pitching to HRH Duke of York in a start-up event with a royal twist.

Nu Desine (Bristol), Fourth State Medicine (Surrey) and Smart Antenna Technologies (Bath) have been shortlisted to take part in Pitch@Palace, a project spearheaded by the Duke of York that will culminate in 14 of the UK’s brightest science and technology start ups pitching for investment live in front of hundreds of the biggest names in business at St James’ Palace on November 5.

All three were selected to take part in the first phase of Pitch@Palace, which saw them get investor readiness training, one-to-one business support and pitching advice. They then went through a judging process at a ‘bootcamp’ at Microsoft’s offices yesterday (October 20), after which one lucky company will be selected to pitch their business ideas at the Palace to a room of international investment firms, celebrities and high net worth individuals. The other two members will win an exhibition slot at the event and get the chance to network with guests.

The bootcamp saw a total of 42 businesses pitching their ideas to the panel, and were assessed on three criteria: best pitch, commercial impact and most disruptive idea.

Bristol-based Nu Desine has created a revolutionary new electronic music instrument called The AlphaSphere. The company has already created (sound)waves across the globe, winning the UKTI’s Exporting for Growth competition and clinching Stuff Magazine’s “Design of the Year” award. Founder Adam Place said: “We’ve been so happy with the reception the AlphaSphere has received already in such a short amount of time, and this a fantastic opportunity for us. We’re hoping to win the spot to pitch at the Palace and if we do we may even try to rope a few royals into trying it out themselves!”

The second SETsquared company in with a chance of pitching at the event is Fourth State Medicine. The Surrey-based firm has developed a new plasma system for cosmetic and aesthetic surgery and wound care. The technology includes a hand-held plasma pen that deals with wrinkle removal, fine lines, wound care and skin resurfacing. Dr Thomas Frame, director, said: “There are opportunities for our technology to be used across a range of medical treatments, and it offers regional treatments that other systems can’t provide. Just being a part of Pitch@Palace will help us to establish even more business contacts and potentially grow our business even further.”

Completing the SETsquared hat trick is Smart Antenna Technologies, which is based in Bath and specialises in licensing ultra low cost antennas for the cellular sector. Co-founder and chief technology officer Dr Sampson Hu said: “Earlier this year we were delighted to secure further investment from Mercia Fund Management. We hope to secure a place to Pitch and the Palace and recreate our winning pitch in front of such an esteemed audience.”

Simon Bond, Innovation Director at SETsquared, which is partnering the event, said: “We are incredibly proud of all the start-ups we work with, all of which have some fantastic ideas and technologies that have the potential to turn into highly-profitable businesses. However these three really shone and we believe they are in for a great chance at attracting investment and useful contacts.”

HRH The Duke of York added: “I truly believe that the UK has the best scientists and engineers in the world – they create valuable intellectual property that can be exploited by entrepreneurial endeavour. There must be a common acknowledgement that entrepreneurs will drive growth and be the wealth creators of the future.

“Pitch@Palace is not just about investment. It’s about knowledge and the transfer of ideas; it’s about networking, mentoring and advice. I cannot say how proud I am of the work everyone has done, and the collaboration it has engendered.”

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