Duke’s pitch battle a victory for city

The Duke of York at Pitch@Palace on Tour at the AMRC Factory 2050
The Duke of York at Pitch@Palace on Tour at the AMRC Factory 2050
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Seventeen tech entrepreneurs pitched at a business contest attended by the Duke of York in Sheffield – with a prize of mentoring and contacts fit for a prince.

Pitch@Palace On Tour was held at Sheffield University’s Factory 2050 on Sheffield Business Park where a panel chose three to go through to the next round, a bootcamp for 42 entrepreneurs in Oxford in October. Fifteen will go through to a final presentation in front of the Duke and global financiers and investors at St James’s Palace on November 2. The Sheffield event was one of just three in the UK and the only one in the North.

Prince Andrew stressed the value of the networking to all, not just the eventual winners.

He said: “This is about supporting start-ups across the UK in the best way we can, there are plenty of places other than London.

“Those that make it through to the palace become part of a closed-in network that receives ongoing support and are pointed in the right direction for finance.”

The winners were Drenched of Doncaster whose patented device vapourises tap water. Just two tablespoonsful are needed to wash hands - 90 per cent less than normal.

Mobile Power of Sheffield won for its mobile phone battery rental firm - aimed at the 500m people who live without electricity.

OfferMoments’ smart billboards scan you - and your social media profile - as you approach and display your picture and tailored ads as you walk past.

Boss Abdul Alim insisted: “Some young people want their face on a billboard – the bigger the better!”

The contestants included ‘thriva’ a firm that will send a health report in return for 10 drops of blood and SOTpay, of Rotherham, whose software claims to eliminate telephone payment fraud. Parkletics creates outdoor gyms, with the help of Hallam University and Cumulus of Rotherham builds ‘the cheapest grid-level batteries’ while family tree site Twile of Doncaster has 10,000 users.