After the success of a start-up pitching competition held by J.P. Morgan, we want to highlight the courageous entrepreneurs on the Allia Serious Impact Programme who stepped up to the challenge.
The purpose of the Perfect Pitch Competition (part of the Founders Forward Initiative) was to showcase the start-up businesses that are making an impact on East London, and was the first of its kind run by the JPMorgan Chase Foundation. 17 start-ups had the opportunity to pitch their business in a bid to win exclusive support from J.P. Morgan to tackle key business challenges.
J.P. Morgan has supported The Allia Future Business Centre and its Serious Impact business support programme in Hackney since its opening in 2016. The perfect pitch event was a great opportunity to celebrate the collaboration and what has been achieved by the entrepreneurs who joined the Allia Serious Impact programme just 3 months ago.
There was a diverse range of businesses pitching on the day, including:
Tony Lanzalaco, executive director at J.P. Morgan who opened the event highlighted the importance of small businesses as a means of driving opportunity, economic and inclusive growth into East London. He says: “We believe that we have a role to play in supporting more inclusive growth, and we think that supporting small businesses is vital to achieve this goal. We are delighted to have partnered with Allia to ensure that entrepreneurs find the support they need to make their business successful and contribute to the development of a great area of London”
The start-ups took part in four rounds of quick pitching sessions with just 5 minutes each, where three finalists were chosen to present for a final time in front of the expert panel. Sitting on the panel was Aastha Gurbax and Sarah Nichomoff, both from J.P. Morgan Private Bank; Melody Hossaini, CEO of InspirEngage International; and Sarah Turner, CEO of Angel Academe.
Chosen finalists were Best in Bag, an app which ranks and rates products and recipes based on your personal needs; Mamoq, a sustainable fashion marketplace; and Volo, a skill building platform which connects you to real-life activities to help improve your skills whilst working on projects that make a real difference.
Congratulations to Volo!
The panel chose Volo as the overall winners of the Perfect Pitch competition who stood out for their innovative way of helping companies to make volunteering an integrated part of their company culture.
Melissa Mitchell, CEO & founder at Volo says “Winning the Perfect Pitch feels incredible! It’s a hugely positive testament to how far we’ve come as a team, product and as individuals. Working with the J.P. Morgan team will really help us to make this transition and we’re so grateful and excited for what we’re going to learn from them.”
Ultimately, Allia hope that the entrepreneurs who took part enjoyed themselves, and maybe even gained a customer or two. These are the people who are making a real impact, creating economic and employment opportunities and Allia believes that by supporting small businesses and start-ups, the wider community can thrive through the opportunity they bring.
The Serious Impact Programme in East London is currently recruiting for its Grow Your Business Programme to start in Hackney in early 2019, for local businesses that want to grow. Find out more