We didn’t win but it felt like winning and how it feels to be Rebecca Coates of Properteco (the overall winner) , I’d like to know!
It’s a gruelling 12 hour day and if it involves a trip down to Bristol from the Smoke, it’s a young man’s day. Pension PlayPen were up for a couple of gongs at the Payroll World Awards which we managed to make (thanks PW for kicking off at 10.30pm!)
30 3 minute pitches, an address from the magnificent ,Mayor of Bristol , a few talks from entrepreneurs who’ve made it, including a young fellow called Mark Pearson who made £65m from selling vouchers and a lot of networking. That’s what you get in your twelve hours.
But what you take away is an understanding of how it works. The Candy Crunch generation of entrepreneurs who create algorithms that make you addicts to their service. Why can’t we have this in financial services, why can’t I find myself on level 21 of “Save my Dough” earning online bananas for level 22? What’s stopping workplace pensions becoming as much fun as the “Financial Game”, why can’t we come up with such a stunning concept as “night zookeeper” to excite the people we talk to about later life?
If I was disappointed by anything it was the absence of the financial services community from the event. Where were Hargreaves Lansdown or any of the great advises from the Bristol area, where the life company strategists or the asset managers?
Here were the top 30 , chosen from thousands, the start-ups and SMEs who are making it, have proper business plans and ideas that can inspire and make money. Of the hundreds at the event, I did not find one who was involved in helping people save money.
But let me not dwell on the persistent failure of the financial services industry to listen. Let me finish by thanks Dan,Meg,Rachael and the whole Pitch Team for a brilliant day.
Many of our fellow contestants told me they’d back next year, I hope they won’t. I won’t! The Pitch has been going 7 years now and every year it brings through new entrepreneurs, new ideas and a new audience of inspiring and inspired people.
Without this new blood, we’d atrophy. I urge you if you are reading this and have a great idea to take the advice of Mark Pearson, don’t wait a year for funding, just do it. Get out and start your business, put your idea into action, and even if you have no money, get yourself heard.
Mark’s been in touch since I posted this blog and has sent us a great endorsement. Obviously he’s not let £65m go to his head and he’s as keen to give us a leg up now as he has been to help out millions with his voucher scheme.
Here’s what he wrote us!
“Henry has clearly used his industry expertise to capitalise on a change to the law with regards to workplace pensions.
Many SME’s don’t have the internal resource to deal with issues such as these so there is a natural demand for Pension PlayPen.
Fuelling growth through education seems to be a key part of the business and a very strong unique identifier; the straightforward approach will stand the business in good stead as it scales up!”
One good turn deserves another so here’s a big fat endorsement for the brilliant http://www.myvouchercodes.co.uk and Mark Pearson -its founder!
My lasting memory of the Pitch will be of a young lady pitching the Noah Project Newquay, so nervous her whole body was shaking. I hope the Pitch post the video but here’s the link http://www.thepitchuk.com/thefinal30 .
“here error is all in the not done, in the diffidence that faltered”