National Business Awards Announces Live Pitch & Panel Debate for Duke of York New Entrepreneur of the Year

PR Newswire

LONDON, May 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --

*24 June 2014, St George's Hall, Liverpool*  

*HRH The Duke of York to open event* 

*Vonage, Lead Supporter of the award*  

*Betfair founder, startup accelerator and entrepreneur advisor on judging panel*  

*Register for your chance to attend*

The National Business Awards has announced a Live Pitch and Panel Debate that will take place in St George's Hall, Liverpool, on 24 June 2014 as part of the International Festival for Business. The event will see ten semi finalists of the inaugural Duke of York New Entrepreneur of the Year Award pitch to a panel of judges, who will choose five finalists that will then face a public vote to determine the overall winner.

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The award is currently open to enter for any first business founder that has been trading for 18 months or less on 1 April 2014. The Duke of York New Entrepreneur of the Year Award recognises those demonstrating the entrepreneurial aptitude, commercial acumen, vision, ambition and drive to build a successful enterprise. Judges will focus on the market opportunity identified, the model to capitalise on it, and how it has been executed within the first 18 months of trading.

Vonage, a leading provider of cloud-based, internet telephony for small businesses, and Lead Supporter of the Duke of York New Entrepreneur of the Year Award, is partnering with the National Business Awards to find and recognise the best first-time business founders.  

Each semi-finalist will present a three-minute pitch on their business model, key achievements and elements underpinning future growth to a panel of judges and an audience of National Business Awards Alumni and partners, investors, entrepreneurs, business leaders and media. Semi-finalists will also benefit from presentation coaching to hone their pitch.

The judging panel will include Ed Wray, Co-founder of Betfair, Charmaine Eggberry, former Wayra Director and CEO of Plan B Consulting, Guy Rigby, Head of Entrepreneurs at Smith & Williamson and Simon Burckhardt, Managing Director of Vonage UK. The panel will select five finalists based on pre-supplied entry forms, pitches and responses to questions from the panel. The overall winner will be determined by a combination of judges' scores and a public vote. All attendees will be able to trial a new web-based networking app to connect before, during and after the event.

Commenting on the launch of this award at the 2013 ceremony, HRH The Duke of York said: "It's become clear to me and to the National Business Awards that there's a gap. It's a small gap but a very important gap - and that is for those that are starting out in business. To find a way of being able to recognise the excellent work of entrepreneurs who are new to business, the National Business Awards and I have come together to create a new award."

Simon Burckhardt, Managing Director of Vonage UK, said: "As an enabler of the UK's small businesses, particularly home-based businesses, with its award-winning internet telephony services, Vonage is proud to be Lead Supporter of The Duke of York New Entrepreneur of the Year Award. We look forward to the event, to celebrate and support Britain's brightest new business leaders."

Recognising enterprise excellence, innovation and ethics, the thirteenth annual National Business Awards will celebrate a range of achievements through 17 award categories - they are open to enter until 23 May 2014.

About the National Business Awards
Open to organisations of all sizes from all sectors across the UK, the National Business Awards is the UK's most prestigious independent business recognition platform with its particular emphasis on excellence, innovation and ethical business. Now in its 13th year, the National Business Awards connects the nations' professionals through its annual awards ceremony; year-round thought leadership and round table events; and is UBM plc's flagship awards programme. Visit for further information or follow us on Twitter @businessawards.

Categories include -  

The Daily Telegraph Award for a Decade of Excellence in Business

The Duke of York New Entrepreneur of the Year

The BlackBerry Business Enabler of the Year

The Smith & Williamson Entrepreneur of the Year

The Inflexion International Growth Business of the Year

The QBE FTSE 100 Business of the Year

The Digital Business of the Year

The New Business of the Year

The Customer Focus Award

The ICAEW Sustainable Business Award

The Social Enterprise of the Year

The Corporate Citizenship Award

The Innovation Award

The Growth Business of the Year

The Employer of the Year

The Santander Small to Medium-Sized Business of the Year

The Ashridge Business School Leader of the Year

Official Partners

The Grichan Partnership, Friendly Pensions and Lime HR. 

About UBM Live  

The National Business Awards is organised by UBM Information Limited. UBM Live connects people and creates opportunities for companies across five continents to develop new business, meet customers, launch new products, promote their brands and expand their markets. Through premier brands such as MD&M, CPhI, IFSEC, TFM&A, Cruise Shipping Miami, the Concrete Show and many others, UBM Live exhibitions, conferences, awards programs, publications, websites and training and certification programs are an integral part of the marketing plans of companies across more than 20 industry sectors.

About Vonage 

Vonage (VG) is a leading provider of communications services connecting individuals through cloud-connected devices worldwide. The technology serves approximately 2.4 million subscribers worldwide. It provides feature-rich, affordable communication solutions that offer flexibility, portability and ease-of-use for both landlines and now smartphones via the Vonage Extensions app. Vonage offers popular features like call waiting, call forwarding, anonymous call block and visual voicemail at no additional cost. And for those who are heavy international callers, Vonage World Option offers unlimited call to over 60 countries. 

To find out more and for your chance to attend the event in Liverpool visit the National Business Awards website

The National Business Awards ceremony takes place 11 November 2014 at The Grosvenor House, Park Lane, London.  

For further information or interview opportunities contact: 

Rachel Branigan
Head of Communications
Tel: +44(0)207-955-3843


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