Tech start-ups from the North of England will pitch their business ideas to a royal audience this week as Pitch@Palace on Tour comes to Oldham. 

On July 19th, up to 15 tech entrepreneurs will pitch their companies to a high-profile audience of CEOs, influencers, angels, mentors and business partners, as well as the Duke of York. 

It will be hosted at Open Future_ North, the new Oldham-based accelerator run by Wayra UK, the acceleration programme which is part of Telefónica Open Future_.

The winners will secure a place at Pitch@Palace Boot Camp, where they receive support and guidance on how to develop and hone their pitch, as well as support with investment, introductions and strategic guidance.

“I am delighted to be able to bring Pitch@Palace On Tour to Oldham,” said Prince Andrew, the Duke of York.

“Pitch@Palace is designed to support, enhance and add value to start-up and scale-up companies by providing a platform for entrepreneurs and audiences to meet, network and hear the great ideas that are being commercialised and built by the next generation of entrepreneurs.

“I wish the entrepreneurs a successful time engaging in Pitch@Palace."

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The theme for Pitch@Palace 8.0 is 'The Future of Mobility and Materials' which covers new materials; autonomous vehicles; human and social impact; material sustainability and recycling; the supply chain; and connectivity and 5G. 

All of the entrepreneurs selected for Boot Camp are invited to Pitch@Palace 8.0 at St. James’s Palace, and a selection of these businesses will pitch directly to an influential audience from the worlds of entrepreneurship, technology, media and investment.

Gary Stewart

Gary Stewart

Gary Stewart, Director of Wayra UK, said: “Pitch@Palace is one of the UK’s leading initiatives to help start-ups, and it is brilliant to be able to bring it to Oldham via our brand-new tech accelerator.

“Wayra start-ups have an impressive record in the competition, and I am sure that whichever company wins will value the experience and use it to reach the next level in their development.”

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Since it was launched in 2014, Pitch@Palace has supported over 400 companies. Alumni include Yoyo Wallet, a start-up that was accelerated through the Wayra UK programme and recently raised $12m in Series B funding.

Open Future_ North is a new acceleration and co-working space designed to scale young digital business in Oldham and across the Greater Manchester area.

Building work on the new facility started in September 2016 and is part of a £1 million investment by Oldham Council to help businesses thrive in the town’s Independent Quarter. 

The hub’s primary purpose is to help entrepreneurs in the Greater Manchester area develop scalable new tech businesses, which in turn will create jobs and foster economic growth. 

The accelerator, which officially opened last month, will host the Wayra Fair By Design programme, which will support up to seven start-ups a year that aim to tackle the poverty premium, where people in poverty pay more for many everyday goods and services – such as energy, insurance, borrowing, transport and food – than those who can more easily afford them.