Date: 13th June 2011
13th June 2011 - Cara Sayer, managing director of Really Simple Ideas and creator of the SnoozeShade, which fits over buggies to create an environment in which children find it easy to sleep, beat four other entrepreneurs to win the English heat of The Pitch 2011, organised by BusinessZone.co.uk in association with marketing solutions company Yell.
Sayer won over judges Karen Darby, a serial social entrepreneur; marketing expert and star of Channel 4’s The Secret Millionaire Carl Hopkins and MyVoucherCodes.co.uk founder Mark Pearson who also appeared on the Channel 4 show.
The judges faced a tough choice but they were impressed by the entrepreneur’s enthusiasm and commitment and her success so far in getting SnoozeShade distributed in 13 countries and sold by several major UK retailers.
Darby says: “SnoozeShade was a very worthy winner. I love the fact that when faced with a problem new mother Cara Sayer came up with a simple but effective solution. She has invented a brilliant product and it's now selling really well both here and overseas; it's inspiring stuff!”
The winning entrepreneur now goes on to compete in the final of The Pitch 2011 on 18 November in London against representatives from Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The overall champion will win £50,000 of business support including 12 months free mentoring from Karen Darby.
Sayer, who lives in Walton-on-Thames, comments: “I never expected to win so when my name was called out it was a shock especially as the quality of my fellow pitchers was so high.
“I entered The Pitch last year but the SnoozeShade business has grown at such a rapid rate that I took a chance to enter again and I am so glad I did. Now I'm faced with the opportunity to go through to the final and I feel more confident already having won the England final.”
The other finalists in The Pitch 2011 England heat were:
• Christer Holloman, ATTYR.com, a visual search, discovery and comparison tool for online clothes & accessory shoppers.
• Jon Rathbone, Waterly Bottom Products which designs and sells the Pourty, an innovative child’s potty that is easier to empty and clean than a normal potty.
• Crispin Busk, Kabuto Noodles, a delicious combination of authentic Asian flavours and quality ingredients
• Bruce Balmer, ULTRaMo, developers of a new green engine that has the potential to halve carbon emissions by achieving 60% thermal efficiency.
The other finalists will be selected through heats taking place in Cardiff, Edinburgh and Belfast over the summer. Entries are still open for the remaining events at /www.thepitch2011.com/enter.
As well the mentoring, the prize package includes advertising solutions from Yell and free membership of employers’ organisation the Forum of Private Business.
The Pitch 2011 helps other entrepreneurs and start-ups build success by running free conferences alongside the heats with top expert speakers.
Speaking at The Pitch England, business and enterprise minister Mark Prisk MP said: “The government is trying our best to create an environment that will help more people start and grow a business. The Pitch is a really encouraging part of that culture.”
Entrepreneurs interested in attending the Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish heats can register for a free audience ticket at www.thepitch2011.com/national-heats.
Journalists are welcome to attend all heats and the grand final of The Pitch 2011. For more information contact Becky Spurr on becky.spurr[at]siftmedia[dot]co.uk or 0117 915 9615.
Full details about The Pitch 2011 are at www.thepitch2011.com.
The Pitch 2011 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.
Yelloffers 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.