I’m thrilled to announce that on Monday night we won Pitch@Palace 3.0!
The event – hosted by HRH The Duke of York – took place at St James’s Palace, and was the culmination of a competition that saw 400 startups whittled down to a final 14. Each startup pitched for 3 minutes, knowing that if they went a second over then a royal bugler would cut them off with a blast of his horn.
Our fate lay in the hands of the audience – over 400 investors and successful entrepreneurs, ranging from Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales to the CEOs of both Google and Facebook in the UK. Their remit was to vote for the most promising business.
With startups such as Grabble (the ‘Tinder for fashion’), Skignz (augmented reality signposts), OpenDesk (affordable, custom office-furniture) and the wonderfully-named Magic Pony Technology (delivering a ‘step-change in video compression performance’), we can imagine that it was quite a challenge. But after a rousing speech from the Duke, compelling each influential member of the audience to not only vote but meaningfully help at least one startup present, the top 3 were announced. Third was OpenDesk, second was Grabble, and first – much to our surprise – was Jukedeck. It’s a huge privilege, but a big shout out must go to all the startups present – each innovating in tremendous ways.
There’s been a storm of activity since – mainly on social media – but one thing in particular has brought a buzz to the Jukedeck office. The Duke instructed each startup to make an explicit request of the audience during our respective pitches. Our request was to be put in touch with Sean Parker – an internet startup pioneer, who founded Napster and helped build both Facebook and Spotify. This was because 5 years ago, a Vanity Fair article reported that Sean is ‘always talking about the potential of computers to generate algorithms for likeable melodies…he believes it’s only a matter of time before computers will be able to create listenable tunes.’ We wanted to tell Sean that we’d done just that. 2 minutes after our pitch we received the following tweet, from none other than Jimmy Wales himself.
— Jimmy Wales (@jimmy_wales) March 23, 2015
We’re looking forward to it.
Our day was rounded off by devouring most of the royal kitchen’s macaroon collection, sampling some fine British beverages, and getting tweeted by the Monarchy.
— BritishMonarchy (@BritishMonarchy) March 23, 2015
A huge thank you to HRH, and all the #pitchatpalace team for a phenomenal competition.