Hitting the Right Notes at the Pitch

Ben Floyd, CEO of Bar Pass, sharing his company’s journey at The Pitch

Last Wednesday, twelve startups from the second Microsoft Ventures Accelerator in London took part in a Demo Day, called The Pitch. The Pitch didn't just give our startups the opportunity to impress the panel, they pitched to a standing room only house of over 300 investors, influencers, startups and representatives from the accelerator community and London startup ecosystem. What a turnout considering there was a Tube strike happening in London!

Held at the Millbank Tower on April 30 in London, the startups took the stage along with a guest startup from Seedcamp. They literally wowed the packed house with both the quality of pitches and the quality of ideas. To keep things interesting, each presentation was followed up with two minutes of inquiry from a panel of industry-leading experts including: Harry Briggs, Principal, Balderton Capital; Martin Mignot, Principal, Index Ventures; Stewart Poyser, Director of Finance & M&A advisory, Ariadne Capital; Sean Seton-Rogers, Partner, PROfounders Capital; Ben Tompkins, Partner, Eden Ventures; and Michel Van der Bel, Managing Director, Microsoft UK. Our very own Zack Weisfeld, Microsoft Ventures Global Accelerator, kept everyone on their toes during those tense minutes of questioning.

The startup pitches were nothing short of incredible, provoking gasps and laughter from the audience – a few highlights included Bar Pass’ branded cupcake delivery to the panel, Von Bismark’s life demo of the store that never runs out of inventory, Vivid’s audio clip highlighting the pain of calling a customer services helpline and Skara’s breathtaking game trailer.

You can meet the graduating cohort below and watch their pitches for yourself:

Bar Pass: Europe’s leading mobile ordering platform, enabling busy bars, cafes, restaurants and arenas to offer a food and drink ordering and payment platform via smartphones and tablets. Watch their pitch here.
Buying Butler: A private buying service for complex purchases, helping users to make quicker, better-informed decisions and enabling sellers to receive high quality leads that always convert. Watch their pitch here.
Caribu: Making bedtime stories possible regardless of location, by integrating children’s picture books into a simple, child-friendly video calling app. Watch their pitch here.
Cognisess: An enterprise talent platform that is transforming a company’s understanding and performance of its most valued asset – its people. Watch their pitch here.
Dataloop.io: Enabling operations teams to monitor their online services at scale, helping them to achieve greater visibility and insight into performance before users complain. Watch their pitch here.
Gateway Interactive: Creating highly polished, highly playable games that fully utilise the owner of today’s mature Cloud technologies and next-gen mobile and console platforms. Watch their pitch here.
SKARA: Pioneering a new gaming genre, MOV – Multiplayer Online Versus – where up to 16 people can play a versus-style game together online. Greenlit on Steam in just 8 days, this epic arena game is hotly anticipated. Watch their pitch here.
Stat.io: Indexing the world's socio-economic data.
PrimeList: A talent marketplace connecting the best freelancers and consultants globally with companies looking for talent on demand. Watch PrimeList Q&A here.
UXCam: A visual usability and experience-capturing software tool that is enabling developers to perform large-scale, remote usability and experience testing in the wild. Watch their pitch here.
Vastari: An online platform that is bridging the gap between private art collectors and museum curators searching for exhibition loans.Watch their pitch here.
Vivid Technologies: transforming customer services helplines through a visual interface where no one is left waiting on hold. Watch their pitch here.
Von Bismark: Bringing ecommerce to the high street, by creating the store that never runs out of inventory. Watch their pitch here.

Microsoft is about helping entrepreneurs succeed at every stage in their journey, even if they are not formally part of the Microsoft family. With a great audience assembled, we offered the opportunity for startups from other London accelerators to pitch alongside our startups at The Pitch. Stamplay Seedcamp stepped up to the plate to pitch about how they are streamlining the way people create web applications.

The next Microsoft Ventures Accelerator in London will kick off in September. The new cohort will benefit not only from a wealth of support and mentoring but also an extension in the program from 12 to 14 weeks. Additionally, ASOS will be joining our evaluation panel, so in addition to tech and games startups, we are also looking for the hottest retail tech.

If you are chomping at the bit to apply for our next Microsoft Ventures Accelerator in London commencing in September, please apply here.