The Duke of York is encouraging people of all ages to come forward with new ideas, as part of a palace-backed project to help start-up businesses.
Prince Andrew has insisted that age is “no barrier” and has said that anyone who has spotted “a problem that needs to be solved” has the germ of a business idea, but many people are put off because they do not know how to take the next step.
The Duke’s Pitch@Palace events, which are now in their third year, allow entrepreneurs to pitch their ideas to investors and innovators and, more importantly, to meet mentors who can provide the benefit of experience.
He is encouraging individuals to apply for the next event, which takes place in November, the sixth in a series of get-togethers which have helped more than 400 start-up businesses so far, resulting in 447 jobs being created and more than £124million worth of turnover.
One of the success stories of Pitch@Palace is Jukedeck, a website that enables users to create their own music using artificial intelligence, without the need for composing skills, that can be used royalty-free on videos or other applications.
Cambridge University graduate, Ed Rex, founded the company last December, after winning a Pitch@Palace event and meeting such influential mentors as Wikipedia founder, Jimmy Wales, and subsequently raising £2million in investment.
In the first week after its launch, 100,000 pieces of music had been created on Jukedeck, and since then hundreds of thousands more have been added. Users can buy the music for a one-off fee.
The Duke has invited the Startup Britain national enterprise campaign to drive their touring double-decker bus into the quadrangle of Buckingham Palace. It will also visit 30 towns and cities over the summer, giving advice to would-be entrepreneurs and encouraging them to enter for Pitch@Palace where appropriate.
BJ Chong, a partner who specialises in company law, commented: “It is fantastic to see an official endorsement for projects aimed at encouraging entrepreneurs and new business start-ups. It can sometimes feel overwhelming to know how to take the germ of an idea and bring it to market so any scheme which helps smooth this path is to be welcomed.
“Good legal advice in the early days is also crucial and at Palmers we have helped countless new business start-ups – from sorting out company formation paperwork to providing intellectual property advice, so that their ‘brilliant idea’ is properly protected.”
For further information on all aspects of legal advice for entrepreneurs, new business start-ups and SMEs, please contact us.