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December 18, 2014
For those of you who missed it, The Pitch, the Microsoft Ventures accelerator programme’s graduation event, took place on 3 December at Koko in Camden. Wiggin is the sole legal advisor to the programme and so we were there in force to celebrate the achievements of some of the most promising Tech start-ups in London. If you did miss it, a video of the highlights of the event has just been released by the folks at Microsoft Ventures aka.ms/pitch2 Over 400 of the great and the good from London’s start-up scene attended the event, in addition to a number of senior Microsoft execs, including Michel Van der Bel, Managing Director of Microsoft UK. The event was hosted by Dragon’s Den dragon, on slightly friendlier form than usual, Piers Linney. 11 companies from the Microsoft Ventures programme and three guest start-ups (including the winner of The Pitch at the Palace and the TechCrunch Disrupt Europe winner) pitched their businesses to a panel of investors, including representatives from Balderton, Index, DN Capital, Forward Partners and MMC Ventures. It’s fair to say all of the pitches were impressive and generated quite a bit interest from those in the room. Some cutting edge technologies were also on show, from retina tracking gameplay headsets to ‘internet of things’ micro-component technology. As we all know, London’s start-up scene has no shortage of accelerator/incubator programmes but Microsoft Ventures continues to enhance its reputation as one of the strongest programmes out there. Having been involved with the 14-week programme from the start, we have seen first hand the progression made by the businesses in the cohort and The Pitch vividly illustrated how far they have all come and the value being added by the programme. Clearly some of the businesses will be more successful than others and some may not survive at all but they all seem better equipped to cope with some of the challenges of life as a startup and certainly, their access to customers and capital, has undoubtedly been improved.