Royal visitor at University of Hertfordshire for Dragon's Den-style business event

PUBLISHED: 16:39 18 February 2019

The royal helicopter arrives at De Havilland campus of the University of Hertfordshire. Picture: Garry Lakin

The royal helicopter arrives at De Havilland campus of the University of Hertfordshire. Picture: Garry Lakin

Garry Lakin

The Duke of York, Prince Andrew flew into Hatfield last week by helicopter for an event that will see top entrepreneurs pitch their businesses at St James' Palace.

Prince Andrew speaking at the Pitch@Palace event. Picture: University of HertfordshirePrince Andrew speaking at the Pitch@Palace event. Picture: University of Hertfordshire

Founded by The Duke of York in 2014, Pitch@Palace challenges entrepreneurs to pitch their businesses to influential CEOs, mentors and potential business partners, in the hope of making it to a final pitch at the palace in June.

Following an afternoon of pitches and business networking in the University’s Weston Auditorium, the Duke of York announced the three entrepreneurs selected to take part the next phase, in London.

The three winners were Fluid Pharma, Rootwave and Suzero.

Since 2014, Pitch@Palace has helped over 785 businesses grow, with some now enjoying global success.

A royal fanfare at the Pitch@Palace event at the University of Hertfordshire. Picture: University of HertfordshireA royal fanfare at the Pitch@Palace event at the University of Hertfordshire. Picture: University of Hertfordshire

Pitch@Palace 11.0 has a broad technology theme, seeking entrepreneurs that have identified opportunities in areas ranging from biotech and the Internet of things, to smart cities, artificial intelligence and robotics.

Speaking at the event, the prince said: “Pitch@Palace On Tour events are about going around the country to look for exciting news business ideas.

“Today we are here to see if we can help grow these scaling businesses because I know that serendipity is something we can attest to; everyone in this auditorium could make an introduction today to enhance what these businesses are doing.

“With Pitch@Palace we are looking for mentors and advisors, those who can give professional advice to these businesses.

Julie Newlan, pro vice-chancellor at the University of Hertfordshire. Picture: University of HertfordshireJulie Newlan, pro vice-chancellor at the University of Hertfordshire. Picture: University of Hertfordshire

“We are looking for people to open their supply chains and distribution systems, to create connections and lastly, investment.

“By working together and making these introductions we can help these businesses grow and that is what Pitch@Palace is all about.”

Professor Quintin McKellar, the university’s vice-chancellor, commented: “As a university dedicated to business and entrepreneurship, we were delighted to welcome Pitch@Palace to our De Havilland campus this week.

“I know the entrepreneurs’ pitches will have will have inspired our students to follow their business dreams upon graduation.

The royal helicopter arrives at De Havilland campus of the University of Hertfordshire. Picture: Garry LakinThe royal helicopter arrives at De Havilland campus of the University of Hertfordshire. Picture: Garry Lakin

“As a university we aim to act as an incubator for local businesses, and we were honoured to be able to bring together colleagues and stakeholders from across the local economy to network with such an innovative group of entrepreneurs.”

Prince Andrew speaking at the Pitch@Palace event. Picture: University of HertfordshirePrince Andrew speaking at the Pitch@Palace event. Picture: University of Hertfordshire

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