News release

Date: 4th November 2010

Cornish creative entrepreneur claims wildcard spot in UK’s biggest pitching contest

A company that creates sock creatures such as the Sockopotomus and the Socktopus has won the public vote for the wildcard finalist in The Pitch 2010, Britain’s biggest business pitching competition.

November 4th 2010 - John Lakey, founder and director of Candlelight Creations, beat off strong competition from rival pitchers around Britain to win his place in the national final in London on 16 November.

The overall winner of The Pitch 2010, organised by SME advice website, in association with directories business, Yell and sponsored by Sage, will walk away with a prize package worth £50,000 including one-on-one mentoring from former Dragons' Den judge Doug Richard.

Lakey, who has invented a range of ‘Sock Creatures’, which are sold as make-it-yourself kits for children, was ecstatic at the news of his win. “I’m so excited to be in the final,” he said. “I must be the happiest man in Cornwall right now.”

He will join five other entrepreneurs who won their regional heats at the grand final. They will be judged by a panel of business experts in front of a live audience.
Among the judges will be investment guru and Dragons’ Den Online judge Julie Meyer, winner of the first series of TV’s The Apprentice Tim Campbell and Wilfred Emmanuel Jones, founder of The Black Farmer range of products.

Dan Martin, editor of, comments: “I’m very happy for John. I know he’s put a lot of effort in to publicising his involvement in the competition and he deserves his success. He’s a great advert for business and creativity in the South West.”

The Pitch 2010 grand final is part of a one-day conference featuring top class business advice from leading experts. The event has been granted ‘High Impact’ status by the organisers of Global Entrepreneurship Week.

For more information, visit:

Notes to editors
The Pitch is Britain’s biggest pitching competition. Now in its third year, The Pitch 2010 has visited five British cities searching for the best entrepreneurial talent and asking our crack team of high profile business experts to scrutinise business concepts and presentation skills, searching for the best of the best. The competition visited Bristol, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Liverpool and London in a series of regional heats, uncovering some of Britain’s best new businesses.

The winners of the regional heats progress into a national final, held in London on 16 November, competing for the title of ‘Britain’s Best New Business’ as well as £50,000 worth of business support prizes. The final, a Global Entrepreneurship week High Impact Event, will also include a day conference, delivering a range of practical advice and insight for entrepreneurs and small business owners.

The Pitch is an initiative by Sift Media, in association with Yell.

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 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 Yell
Yell is a leading international directories business operating in classified advertising markets in the UK, US, Spain and Latin America through printed, online and telephone-based media. Yell’s principal brands include: in the UK, Yellow Pages, and 118 24 7; in the US, Yellowbook and; and in Spain, Paginas Amarillas and All these brands are trademarks.

For more information, please contact:
Matt Henkes, commercial editor, Sift Media
+44 (0) 117 915 8654

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