A programme founded by The Duke of York recognises Scotland’s entrepreneurs

A fun swimming aid for children, a translation technologies company and a student led social enterprise providing affordable reusable sanitary pads in rural Kenya were named the winners of Pitch@Palace on Tour in Edinburgh.

The event, hosted by Edinburgh Business School, Heriot-Watt University saw 17 budding entrepreneurs pitch their businesses to an audience of 200 CEOs, influencers, mentors and investors.

The competition, founded by The Duke of York in 2014, supports entrepreneurs with the amplification and acceleration of their business ideas. It serves as a platform to connect entrepreneurs and early-stage businesses with potential supporters and offers ongoing support for the growing alumni network of entrepreneurs.

During the event, companies from across Scotland and beyond presented their businesses and were encouraged to make a specific ask of the audience. Many asked for introductions to influential business people, creative agencies or specific investors.

The three companies selected to be fast-tracked to Boot Camp were Turtle Pack, Dialexy and Lilypads.

Michael Harkins, Founder & CEO of Turtle Pack, a swimming aid designed for children aged 3-6, who is also one of the first residents of the on campus Business Incubator, officially opened by HRH The Duke of York, KG, said:

"It was a huge honour to pitch in front of His Royal Highness.

“It’s even more unbelievable to be crowned one of the Pitch@Palace On Tour Edinburgh winners and to receive the recognition from The Duke of York is truly amazing.

“We are super excited to be launching Turtle Pack very soon.”

Mónica Camino, CEO of Dialexy, a web app that uses AI to process and translate official documents in every language, enabling a faster and more accessible certified translation service for everyone, said:

“Pitching was a fantastic experience! For me personally it was a very special day because I got to pitch at Heriot-Watt University, surrounded by my MBA classmates and Edinburgh Business School’s staff. It was fantastic to see from the stage those familiar, encouraging faces who have helped me grow over the past year.

“In terms of business development, our first goal for the next year is to complete the development of the product, so that we can involve certified translators working remotely as well as in house and to pilot our technology with the organisations requiring certified translation.”

The host throughout the day and a person responsible for bringing Pitch@Palace 10.0 on Tour to Edinburgh Business School and Heriot-Watt University was the Executive Dean of the School, Professor Heather McGregor.

Professor McGregor, said:

“We are extremely grateful to The Duke of York and his team for bringing this inspiring programme to Scotland’s capital city and to our University.

“We had the pleasure of hosting His Royal Highness, The Lord Provost and over 200 distinguished guests who were very impressed with the pitches and business ideas presented.

“Events like this are incredibly important in today’s interconnected world. Even if the person you want to speak to is not in the room, you can be sure someone here can introduce you and point you in the right direction to help you grow.

“At Edinburgh Business School we teach our students about the power and possibilities networking offers and Pitch@Palace is a perfect example of that.”

The three selected Entrepreneurs will attend Pitch@Palace 10.0 Boot Camp at Cambridge Judge Business School on 4th October, 2018.