Six intrepid entrepreneurs pitched to some of the UK’s most successful venture capital companies and investors in front of an audience of 200 at our first ever Rock The Cotswolds’ Innovation Rocks, sponsored by BPE Solicitors.
People attending our sold-out event included inventors, investors, senior businesspeople and students from across the region. It was a brand new opportunity organised by Rock The Cotswolds to help new companies secure vital investment for their business ideas. Alongside the ambitious six inventors, some of the region’s most successful entrepreneurial businesses shared the trials and tribulations of innovation and how they are building a brand and a business.
The event, held at Renishaw Innovation Centre, Wotton-under-Edge was compered by Ben Miller, actor, comedian, scientist, author and all-round rocking supporter. Here’s us, the Rock The Cotswold’s team – Melissa, Nicky and Oli with Ben (penned in between Nicky and Oli – we weren’t letting him get away!).
The six entrepreneurs pitching included Oliver Gleave of Monii. Monii offers customer relationship and sales management software to help small businesses manage sales and retain customers. After making his pitch to investors, Oliver got two commitments from them to talk further.
Next up was Charlie Cowan of Bambino. Bambino is a babysitting app enabling parents to find and book interviewed and referenced checked babysitters via their smartphone. Investors liked the look of Bambino and Charlie will be invited to talk to some of them in more detail.
The third pitcher, Electro Flight, had brought their prototype aeroplane. This plane is setting the standard for flying by electric propulsion. Sadly the innovation didn’t receive support from the investors, whose area of expertise did not lie in this sector, but Electro Flight’s Roger Targett said it was as much about meeting different people as pitching to the investors and they had some interesting conversations at the event, which will be followed up.
The youngest pitcher of the day was 18-year old Callum Coles of SoberDrive. Developed while he was still at Cirencester College, the invention is now patent-pending. SoberDrive is an exciting new gadget to reduce incidences of drink driving. The investors were as interested in Callum as his invention and he will be talking to them further.
Trust on Tap, the penultimate pitch, is reinventing home care. William Cotton wants people to be able to grow old in their own homes with affordable care and support on tap. His Trust on Tap app also gained investor support.
The final pitch of the day was by Warren Russell of W2, who’s clever software is helping businesses avoid increasingly stringent money laundering legislation being rolled out by governments. He again secured strong support from the investors.
Alongside those pitching, the audience heard from Tom Lawton, serial entrepreneur, inventor of the Million Mile Light and star of Channel 4 TV’s Fantastic Floating Homes; The Elliott-Berry family who launched Sibling Distillery two years’ ago (they are all under 25), Bob Griffin who’s Tomcat Trikes have won a Queen’s Award and Tom Herbert, who runs the amazing Hobbs House Bakery. All these entrepreneurs live and work in the Cotswolds. Those exhibiting at the event included Stroud architects Miller Howard who encouraged delegates to experience architecture in virtual reality.
At Rock The Cotswolds we thrive on drawing people together to inspire and encourage them to invest in the Cotswolds.
Ben Miller, who lives in the Cotswolds, told us that he loved the day and was very inspired by everything he had heard.
Tom Lawton said he was thrilled to be a part of it. We were thrilled to have them too.
This was our opportunity to showcase some of what’s really going on in the Cotswolds that people really don’t appreciate. When you draw people together you start to see the huge innovations happening here and it’s wonderful to see conversations starting between people who, without the catalyst of Rock The Cotswolds, may never have got to know each other.
Since January entries poured in from inventors and entrepreneurs across the Cotswolds. In May six local entrepreneurs were selected to pitch their business idea to the panel of venture capitalists and private investors last Friday
Innovation Rocks is the brainchild of Rock The Cotswolds, the only campaign highlighting the creativity, services, events, talent, organisations and world-leading companies in the Cotswolds. We are supported by Crowe Clark Whitehill and Innovation Rocks was sponsored by headline sponsors BPE Solicitors, with additional support from Lockton Insurance, The Growth Hub, money.co.uk and Neon Play.