The School of Management recently hosted its first ever Virtual Pitch Day for MSc Entrepreneurship. Contestants had to send their applications accompanied by a video elevator pitch to enter. The four most promising businesses were selected to participate. There was a diverse range of businesses chosen from health, finance, food to fashion. With only six minutes to pitch their innovative business ideas, contestants were put to the test.
In preparation for the pitch, the contestants participated in a virtual pitch workshop to teach them how to deliver an impactful pitch through storytelling and how to manage the Q&A section after the pitch. In the spirit of collaboration, the founders gave each other feedback in the workshops in order to make sure everyone’s pitch would have an impact on the audience.
The Online Pitch Day was hosted on Zoom which allowed a wider audience than the face-to-face days, attracting over 150 people from around the world. Our founders were competing for two cash prizes of £750 for; Best Idea and Best Pitch. The former would be chosen by a panel of independent judges while the latter would be decided by an audience vote.
First up was Amal Health a digital health app that dually manages physical and psychological symptoms of stress-induced chronic diseases. Throughout the pandemic, medical resources have shifted to focus on COVID-19, and for public safety chronic disease clinics were closed for weeks and are only now re-opening at limited capacity. The next challenge along with COVID-19 is for doctors to learn how to safely manage caring for their patients, limiting physical appointments and dealing with heightened flare-ups during this period. Amal Health offers a unique solution by creating a way for patients to effectively keep track of their symptoms on their own and communicate these results to their doctors, while at the same time offering wider access to psychological support to address the stress aspect of the diseases. Amal Health’s mission is to transform patients’ stories into clinical history.
Second was HAVA a producer of healthy carbonated beverages. It uses sparkling water paired with powerful plants that help you feel grounded, focused and productive. This business had already gained traction through selling in Planet Organic.
After the break was TUMA, a cross border e-commerce solution which allows African consumers to access UK clothing and cosmetic brands by providing cost effective delivery. TUMA’s pitch revealed that African consumers are like consumers anywhere else in the world but they do not have the same access to the brands they love. The platform allows consumers to shop on UK e-commerce stores, select what they want then checkout with the platform for bulk delivery to their country then facilitating international payments and shipping. The model monetises economies of scale through bulk delivery and leveraging the courier relationship. Their goal is to become the biggest cross border shopping marketplace in Africa.
Finally there was Javia, a unique credit scoring solution to be licensed out to financial institutions that utilises alternative data to assess an individual’s creditworthiness, in order to fight financial exclusion. Lenders fail to accurately credit score people because of the outdated data points that they use to do so. They are creating a new type of credit score that helps lenders to better differentiate good risk and bad risks, even in unpredictable times. Their added value is alternative data. These customer permissioned-data points provide a more credit accurate picture of a user, where they consider data points from rental payments to subscriptions to how much they spend in the Christmas season. With its solution, Javia is fighting to tackle financial exclusion.
All participants must be commended for their performances and promising and innovative ideas. The judges pick for the Best Idea was Amal Health founded by Zaha Masri and Nadia Smati. With 49% of the audience vote Best Pitch went to TUMA founded by Melissa Chasi (that’s me!). Both businesses received an award for £750 and showed they have what it takes to raise funding from investors.
The event was such a success that UCL School of Management are planning to run more virtual pitch days…so watch this space.