News release

Date: 19th November 2012

Small business owner shaking up property rental market crowned UK’s best entrepreneur

An entrepreneur aiming to streamline the property rentals sector has been selected as the UK’s best small business owner after a ten month search for the most innovative entrepreneurs



November 19th, 2012 - Sam Zawadzki, founder of AdvancetoGO, was one of six business owners who took to the dancefloor at London’s iconic Ministry of Sound nightclub to pitch in the grand final of The Pitch 2012.

Organised by BusinessZone.co.uk in association with digital services provider hibu* and sponsored by Crunch Accounting and ICAEW, The Pitch 2012 began the search for Britain’s entrepreneurial superstars in February.

Pitching as the Scottish finalist, Edinburgh-based Zawadzki wowed the judges and took the top prize of a package of business support worth £50,000 including mentoring from serial entrepreneur and CrowdMission.com founder Karen Darby, £6,000 worth of marketing services from hibu and a bespoke tailored suit from A Suit That Fits.

AdvancetoGo is a platform that helps private landlords manage property. Landlords can upload information about their properties which generates adverts that automatically post to multiple sites such as Right Move and Gumtree, saving them time and money.

AdvancetoGo also provides template lease agreements, guarantor forms, and inventory statements as well as storing information such as meter readings, security codes, insurance certificates and warranties which can be accessed through any computer.

Zawadzki has generated some impressive testimonials including one from legendary entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson who said the company is “fun, creative and will challenge the property industry”.

Dan Martin, editor of BusinessZone.co.uk and founder of The Pitch, commented: “The road to crowning The Pitch 2012 champion has been a long one; from opening applications in February, to our semi-final in Liverpool in October and culminating in our fantastic grand final.

“As a result, Sam truly deserves to be our champion. His passion and innovation impressed our judges and it just goes to show that dedication to a cause can bring you huge rewards.

“We congratulate our champion and all the finalists and look forward to following the rest of their business journeys.”

Richard Hanscott, chief executive officer of hibu in the UK, said: “The Pitch is an impressive showcase of inspirational entrepreneurial talent across the UK and the competition illustrates that despite the wider economic climate, new businesses are still finding local markets in which to start-up and grow. Many congratulations to Sam Zawadzki. We are delighted to help him take his business further.”

Joining Richard Hanscott and Karen Darby in judging at The Pitch 2012 grand final was Darren Fell, founder of Crunch Accounting and Charles Carter, director of regions at ICAEW.

Also pitching in the final were:

England: Jim Shaikh, Yoomi
Wales: Alba McConnell, Rio – A Taste of Brazil
Northern Ireland: Shauna McCarney, Heavenly Tasty Organics
Wildcard: Richard Conway, Childcare.co.uk
Wildcard: Lee Aromba, TangibleFX

* hibu is the new company name for Yell Group

ENDS

Notes to editors

Media contacts:
Meg Pope
0117 915 9614
meg.pope[at]siftmedia.co[dot]uk
@the_pitch
@businesszone
#thepitch12

Demelza Fryer-Saxby
hibu press office
0118 3582977
demelza.fryer-saxby[at]hibu[dot]com
@hibupressoffice

The Pitch is a Sift Media event, in association with hibu. The Pitch is sponsored by ICAEW and Crunch.

About Sift Media:
Sift Media is a leading business-to-business publisher specialising in online professional communities and face-to-face business events.

With a range of services including websites, email publications, industry awards and exhibitions, Sift Media delivers original, branded content to over half a million professionals every month, across small business, finance, accounting, HR and training, IT, marketing, customer management and knowledge management.

About BusinessZone.co.uk:
BusinessZone.co.uk is Sift Media’s online publication for entrepreneurs providing free, practical and no-nonsense advice on how to start and grow a successful business.

About hibu:
hibu helps communities thrive by facilitating millions of connections each year between consumers who want to find products and services locally and the merchants who provide them.

hibu helps consumers find local businesses and shop in new, innovative ways. Its dedicated online hibu markets provide comprehensive, convenient access to local goods and services. hibu helps merchants compete in the digital world with a broad range of marketing and commerce solutions delivered online and through hibu’s direct sales teams. Building on its heritage as a premier directories provider, hibu continues to offer a full range of print- and distribution-based marketing services.

hibu operates in the UK, US, Spain, Argentina, Chile, Peru and US Hispanic markets. In the year ended 31 March 2012, hibu had 1.2 million SME customers and total revenues of £1.6 billion.

For further information about hibu, visit hibu.co.uk.


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