At Octopus Ventures we are honoured to have been supporting Pitch@Palace since its inception in 2014 and mentoring, advising and investing in the exciting startups that have been pitching within the historic environs of Buckingham Palace and St. James’s Palace. Our experience has been a truly unique and exciting one. I still remember the first Pitch@Palace at St. James’s Palace in 2nd April, 2014 The energy, the buzz, the palpable excitement, the incredibly diverse and impressive set of attendees and above all the exciting, innovative startups across different sectors and industries who displayed to us their wares that unforgettable night.
As a venture capital investor in exciting British and European technology startups since 2008, Pitch@Palace has been a great event for us to spot cutting-edge new businesses at the onset of their exciting lives. It has also been a unique opportunity to see the best of what Britain has to offer – not just in technology, but other sectors including food and drink, healthcare and heavy engineering to name but a few.
Happily, the unique platform that Pitch@Palace offers has meant that it has helped startups raise significant investment and excitingly there have been some quite notable exits of Pitch@Palace alumni to Silicon Valley giants – notably VocalIQ being acquired by Apple and Magic Pony by Twitter quite recently. At Octopus Ventures, we have been extremely lucky to have been a small part of Magic Pony’s journey having invested at an early stage.
As an aside, everyone, and I do mean everyone, dresses up for Pitch@Palace including the startup founders who would never be caught dead in a suit otherwise. Personally, I can attest to this, as it is the one night, my wife looks approvingly at my attire.
All this has been possible due to the indefatigable energy and boundless optimism of The Duke of York and his wonderful team whose brainchild this is. Their dedication and passion to unearthing the best that Britain has to offer in terms of entrepreneurship and innovation has made Pitch@Palace the focal point of the entrepreneurship calendar globally.
We are looking forward to actively participating in and supporting many more Pitch@Palace events to come.