West Midlands leading pitching competition is supported by British Business Bank



Applications are coming in fast for the West Midlands premier pitching competition, Minerva Birmingham Pitch Up. We are delighted to announce British Business Bank as the Pitch Up 2023 Sponsor. In addition to supporting with marketing, facilitating at the workshops, the British Business Bank will also participate at the finals during Venturefest on the 1st of March 2023.

Tracy Sherratt, Senior Manager, UK Network – West Midlands said:

“I’m really pleased that we are sponsoring this exciting event. The British Business Bank’s remit is to support small businesses to access the finance they need to prosper and grow. This innovative competition will no doubt develop the skills of the business people who take part, as well as giving them the chance to work with a number of investors. It’s great to have this opportunity for members of the business community in the West Midlands.” 

Pitch Up is a collaboration, co-delivered by the Centre for Growth at Aston University, University of Birmingham Enterprise, and Minerva Business Angels, part of the University of Warwick Science Park Ltd.

The competition provides the opportunity for ambitious business leaders to improve their ability to win investment while simultaneously boosting their business profile.

Now in its 8th year, participating businesses have the chance to pitch head-to-head to a variety of investors to win a cash prize pf £3000 and the ultimate accolade of Pitch Up Champion.

Ibrahim Abbas, Programme Lead and Business Engagement Manager at Aston Centre for Growth, said:

“It’s rewarding to work with so many diverse businesses from a variety of sectors as they join to pitch some of the most innovative tech, products and services. What is even more rewarding is when we hear back from previous participants. Seeing how much they have grown since taking part in the programme is inspirational. It is great to have the support and sponsorship from British Business Bank and working closely with our partners and stakeholders. We are on the final push for applications.”   

The application deadline is 27th January 2023.  Apply now to secure your space at a workshop and have potential opportunity to gain valuable feedback from investors.


The process is very simple. Shortlisted applicants will be supported through a workshop to refine their pitch deck, sharpen their pitching skills and receive valuable feedback in order to improve. The next workshop is 26th January 2023.

A select number of successful applicants will then advance to the next stage of the competition and will pitch to an investor-led panel to gain more practice and receive more feedback.

The best performing businesses will then be selected to pitch at the prestigious Pitch Up Final. This will take place as part of Venturefest WM on 1st March 2023 at Eastside Rooms, Birmingham. In 2022 Venturefest attracted 600 delegates including investors, entrepreneurs and innovators. Register for Venturefest here.

The overall winner will be decided by audience vote and crowned Pitch Up Champion 2023, they will receive a cash prize and the option of additional support from Minerva Birmingham.

The 2022 Champion, Kate Walker of ExpHand Prosthetics Ltd said,

I really enjoyed taking part in the Pitch Up competition last year and being given a platform to pitch in front of investors and organisations from across the Midlands. The support and feedback I gained from the event has helped move us forward and has allowed us to create new partnerships and bring in additional funding.

There is a diverse selection of people at the event and taking part in the Pitch Up competition gave us a platform to share our vision and journey with all those attending and create new connections that we may not have come across otherwise. Overall I would definitely recommend taking part in the programme.”

The event has put more than 140 entrepreneurs directly in front of investors and helped bring in excess of £40,000,000 of investment to the region’s small businesses to date.

Paula Whitehouse, director of Aston Centre for Growth, said:

“We are proud to continue creating investment opportunities for high growth companies in the West Midlands and look forward to welcoming our next cohort of innovative young businesses to Minerva Birmingham Pitch Up 2023.”

Alex Toft, head of Minerva Business Angels, part of the University of Warwick Science Park Ltd. said:

“It’s great to be part of such a collaborative relationship building not only support for our entrepreneurs but helping to build that support structure of finance and experience provided by investors.

“This is a great opportunity for those earlier in their development cycle who would otherwise struggle to get noticed. We also continue to call on those who have never considered angel investing to join to reach out to us to find out more.”

David Coleman, CEO of University of Birmingham Enterprise said:

“Within the Midlands, there is a clear disparity between the large proportion of the UK’s high-growth companies that are based here, and the investment secured.

“That’s why collaborative programmes like Pitch Up, which engage a diverse range of investors, are so important to increasing the likelihood of companies securing the funding they need.”

Find out more about Pitch Up, by contacting centreforgrowth@aston.ac.uk, visiting Minerva Birmingham Pitch Up  or apply now here.


Notes to Editors

About Aston University

Founded in 1895 and a university since 1966, Aston University is a long-established university led by its three main beneficiary groups – students, business and the professions, and the West Midlands region and wider society. Located in Birmingham at the heart of a vibrant city, the campus houses all the University’s academic, social and accommodation facilities for our students. Professor Aleks Subic is the Vice-Chancellor & Chief Executive.

Aston University is ranked 22 in the Guardian University Guide, based on measures including entry standards, student satisfaction, research quality and graduate prospects. The Aston Business School MBA programme was ranked in the top 100 in the world in the Economist MBA 2021 ranking.

For media inquiries in relation to this release, contact Nicola Jones, Press and Communications Manager, on (+44) 7825 342091 or email: n.jones6@aston.ac.uk