Yesterday some of the UK’s most innovative entrepreneurs headed to Google Campus in London to pitch for their place in the Varsity Pitch semi-final.

Vp semis


With over 400 applications this year we knew the competition was going to be bigger and better than ever. The day was filled with exceptional pitches and it came as no surprise that the judges struggled to make a decision.

Meet the Varsity Pitch Competition 2014 finalists:

- Mustard Seed’s Social Impact- Smart Fuel (Bradley Poky-Amankwah)

-TATA Disruptive Business - Coflo (Richard Ogodeton)

-Xero Apps and Online - DividaBill (Jonathan Akass)

-Lloyds Bank Creative Industries - ASAP Watercrafts (Ross Kemp)

-London Metropolitan University Product Design - Eddy Labs (Thomas Tredinnick)

-BIPB Financial Technology and Innovation - Wyre (Ed Moyse)

-Entertainment and Leisure - Venteo (Mike Dean and Blake Folgado)

What happened on the day?

Bag Re:born’s Richard Simmonite was the first entrepreneur to take to Google Campus’ stage! Pitching under Mustard Seed’s Social Impact category he pitched for two minutes, before being followed by a five minute Q&A session by Mustard Seed’s judges.

He was then followed by Smart Fuel’s, Yomp, Tripkits Teaching Pack’s Ltd and Empower Malawi who were the last of the category to pitch.

Mustard Seed’s judges were:

Henry Wigan – Founder of Mustard Seed

Nicolas de Grivel – Mustard Seed Member

Sofia Correa de Sa – Mustard Seed Member

Lisa Barrett - Mustard Seed Member

Before announcing the results Henry Wigan said: “It was very difficult to work out who the winner was going to be. We thought: Are you solving a problem?” The judges also explained how they judged the pitch and commercial possibilities.  

Mustard Seed’s judges then confirmed Smart Fuel as the winner of their category! Congratulations to them!

The next category was Xero Apps & Online. Pitching up first was iSwapsy, followed by DividaBill, TubeNav, Memory QR and Medincle.

Xero’s judges were:

Gary Turner - Managing Director of Xero

Helen Gibbons - Community Education Manger of Xero

Emma Izatt - Communications Manager at Xero

Before revealing their selected finalist, Gary Turner said: “It was a really tough draw. We wish we had more time. The quality of all the pitches we saw was very good. There were some really interesting ideas.”

DividaBill were selected by judges to represent the Lloyds Bank Creative Industries category in the final. Congratulations to DividaBill!

ASAP Watercraft were the first to pitch under Lloyds Bank Creative Industries category.  ASAP Watercrafts were then followed by Bellakenisis, Seable, My Anglophone Sister and Attollo Lingerie.

Lloyds Bank’s judges were as follows:

Sandra Blake - Business Manager at Lloyds Bank

Scott Mander - Business Manager at Lloyds Bank

Speaking about Ross Kemp from ASAP Watercraft’s pitch Scott Mander said: “Well done on giving such a good pitch. It was a really good pitch, with really good delivery.”

Semi-finalists in the London Metropolitan University Product Design category were the next to pitch. First was Novlr followed by Version 22, M-24, Mous and then Eddy Labs.

London Metropolitan University’s judges were as follows:

Simon Boot - Student Enterprise Manager at Accelerator

Toby Kress - Head of Accelerator

Jez Bradley - Course Leader for MA Product Design at The Cass School of Design, London Metropolitan University.

Speaking before they delivered their winner, Jez Bradley said: “All three judges thought we would buy any 3 of those products. I did not score less than 7/10 for each product. We were giving 7, 8s and 9s for all those categories. They all delivered.”

Eddy Labs were then announced as winners! Congratulations Eddy Labs!

The last and final category that was judged on at Campus yesterday was the TATA Disruptive Business category. Car Quids started off the pitching, Ever Grad, Perfocal, Dev Squad and CoFlo followed.

TATA’s Disruptive Business Category judges were:

Dr David Landsman OBE - Executive Director, Tata Limited

Mr Siddhartha Butalia -  Director of Marketing, Taj-UK

Mr Tim Morris - Head of Public Affairs - Europe, Tata Steel

Mr Will Chadwick - Vice President - UK, Tata Interactive Systems

TATA selected CoFlo as their winner and said: “The International potential to us is clear. It’s a really good idea.”

Yesterday all of the judges were looking for innovation, marketability and financial viability.

BIPB announced their BIPB Financial Technology and Innovation winner as Wyre! BIPB conducted their own mini-Varsity Pitch yesterday at their Driven by Data BIPB Summit at Level 39. Congratulations Wyre!

Today we announced our winner of the Entertainment and Leisure category as Venteo!

We can’t wait to watch their businesses grow and develop.

We’ll see the finalists on the 14th November for Bootcamp at the Rainmaking Loft!

The Varsity Pitch final will be at Google Campus on 21st November!

Find out about more opportunities here.

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