British prosperity, in all its forms, is central to my work. I want to recognise and reward the people and organisations working to ensure that we have the workforce, intellectual property and entrepreneurial culture to succeed.
I consider it a priority to support young people in developing skills that make them more employable so that they can become economically active. There is no point having the right skills if there are no jobs. Generally, businesses are becoming more efficient and require fewer employees, so any growth in job opportunities will come from a more entrepreneurial economy.
I believe the UK has the best scientists and engineers in the world – they create valuable intellectual property that can be exploited by entrepreneurial endeavour. There must be a common acknowledgement that entrepreneurs will drive growth and be the wealth creators of the future.
"It was a real honour to have the attention of such a high profile room", says Pippa Murray, founder of Pip and Nut - a range of all-natural nut butters inspired by her love of running. After the first Pitch@Palace, Pippa launched a crowdfunding campaign on Crowdcube and successfuly raised £120,000.
"Since Pitch@Palace we have been very busy," says Michael Rolph, co-founder of YoYo – a marketing engine for retailers powered by mobile payments. "We closed our seed round raising $5m. Led by Imperial Innovations, the round included a number of angels." YoYo is now used in universities across London.
Sophie Maxwell founded The Really NEET College – a safe learning environment for people who are not in education, employment or training. Since Pitch@Palace, Sophie has won one of the UK's ten Outstanding Young People Awards. She currently has 40 young people on the Really NEET programme.
Tom Watson, Tushar Agarwal, and Rohan Silva are founders of Spacious – an online marketplace to make renting office space easy. Spacious has received £500,000 in seed funding in a round led by Spire Ventures, a company founded by former Dragons’ Den panelist James Caan. They now have 350 spaces in their catalogue! Spacious are based in London's Tech City and aim to hire five employees by Christmas.