Date: 19th November 2010
November 19th 2010 - South East heat champion Ben Atkinson-Willes, founder of Active Minds and inventor of a series of games and puzzles for people in long term care, impressed a panel of expert judges and beat off stiff challenges from five other grand finalists to claim the title of Britain’s Best New Business, and a prize package worth £50,000.
Atkinson-Willes, from Andover in Hampshire, said that during his grandfather’s illness, he was dismayed to find that there was nothing on the market specifically designed for care patients, meaning they often ended up struggling to complete children’s puzzles or colouring books.
Ben Atkinson-Willes says: “It’s been amazing. The build-up was almost too much, but I’m really happy to be the winner. I’ve learned a lot about myself and my business. It’s been fantastic.”
The Pitch 2010 grand final, organised by SME advice website BusinessZone.co.uk, in association with leading marketing solutions business, Yell and sponsored by Sage, was held at the Institute of Directors on Pall Mall, central London as part of a day conference which saw new ‘Enterprise Tsar’ Lord Young deliver his first public address since taking up the position.
The judging panel, which included investment guru and Dragons’ Den Online judge Julie Meyer, winner of the first series of TV’s The Apprentice Tim Campbell, Wilfred Emmanuel Jones, founder of The Black Farmer range of products and serial entrepreneur and founder of Simply Switch Karen Darby.
Karen Darby comments: “We had the crème de la crème of UK entrepreneurial talent out there and it made it really tough to choose between them”
Tim Campbell adds: “All the pitchers showed incredible passion for what they were trying to achieve. The Pitch shows how it is at the sharp end of business for people who are looking for support to take their ideas forward.”
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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.
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.
Yell offers quality business leads and marketing solutions to small and medium sized enterprises in the UK, US, Spain and some countries in Latin America through an integrated portfolio of simple-to-use, cost effective advertising. Our products are available through printed, online, telephone and mobile based media. Yell’s principal brands include: in the United Kingdom - Yellow Pages, Yell.com and 118 24 7; in the United States - Yellowbook and Yellowbook.com; and in Spain - Paginas Amarillas and PaginasAmarillas.es.
Yell's online image library, containing product shots and logos can be found at: http://www.yellgroup.com/images
For more information, please contact:
Matt Henkes, commercial editor, Sift Media
+44 (0) 117 915 8654