Wireless innovators get chance to pitch

BUDDING wireless technology entrepreneurs from the East of England are to get the opportunity to pitch their innovative ideas and business plans to the likes of Google, Microsoft and Orange, along with some of the world’s leading “business angel” and venture capital investors.

The pitch event later this year will mark the finals of the Discovering Start-Ups competition, being run by the Cambridge Wireless group and supported by the East of England Development Agency (EEDA).

The initiative is designed to showcase and support the next generation of wireless technology companies.

Judges for the Dragon’s Den-style final in December will include Tim Regan of Microsoft, Wolfgang Schuster from Vodafone, Jean-Louis Fuccellaro, managing director, Orange Labs UK, Clive Grinyer, director for customer experience at CISCO, and Frederic Rombaut, head of Qualcomm Ventures Europe.

From the investor community, judges include Jamie Urquhart of Pond Venture Partners and co-founder of ARM, Bruno Dizengremel of Innovacom, the venture capital arm of Orange, and Chris Winters of New Venture Partners.

Entrants to the Discovering Start-Ups 2010 competition will be competing for valuable cash prizes along with business consultancy and services.

In parallel with the competition, Cambridge Wireless is also running a series of masterclasses designed to give start-up companies some of the vital skills they need to succeed.

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“This is a unique opportunity for new local wireless businesses to pitch their ideas to a panel with years of industry experience and successful track records of spotting and backing winning technologies and businesses,” said David Cleevely, entrepreneur, angel investor and chairman of Cambridge Wireless.

“Not only do the budding entrepreneurs have the opportunity to walk away with valuable advice and prize money; they also have the chance to impress some of the most influential angel and VC fund holders.”

There are five entry categories in Discovering Start-Ups: cognitive and/or green radio, hot applications and services, wireless health and wellness innovations, technology design in wireless, and emerging disruptive ideas.

The closing date for entries is October 29 and the final pitches and awards takes place on December 9 at Newnham College, Cambridge.

For more information about the competition and masterclasses, visit www.cambridgewireless.co.uk/discoveringstartups .