Pearlii takes second prize at Academy Xi’s 'Pitch X - A Night To Remember'

by Dan Borthwick, CTO

Image courtesy of YBF Ventures

Following our success at Silicon Block Party, Pearlii once again threw ourselves into the world of competitive pitching, this time at Academy Xi’s quarterly Pitch X competition.

Pitch X is known for its breathtakingly fast paced format, with a 90 second Qualifying Round giving the judges what they needed to select just three finalists for the full five minute Final Round. We love the excitement of the day, and of course the possibility of prizes. But the main benefit we’ve found from participating in pitching competitions is in the preparation. As an early stage startup, our small team’s attention regularly switches between everything from market sizing to medical ethics to the intricacies of smartphone camera hardware.

Boiling this down into a 90 second pitch was a fascinating challenge. Hard questions were asked, and hard decisions made, as we were forced to focus in on what really makes Pearlii unique. Favourite ideas fell to the cutting room floor. Days of research were compressed into single sentences. Spreadsheets became single numbers. Our practise run timings crept gradually down towards the magic number.

The team worked for several days, with the boundless energies of our COO, Lucy worthy of particular mention. By the day of the competition, we had a PowerPoint deck and some tightly honed patter. But more importantly we had a better understanding of ourselves as a team, why we’re doing what we’re doing, and the things we need to achieve to make our vision a reality.

YBF Ventures’ beautiful ballroom provided a fittingly grand stage for the twelve teams selected from around thirty entrants. More videos of the very strong competition can be found on the YBF YouTube channel. Keeping us on our toes with insightful questions were the judging panel of Ronen Heine of LUNA Startup Studio, Faiza Bukhary of Lander & Rogers Lawyers, John Webster of Shiftiez, Courtney Blackman of YBF Ventures and Laura Blue of LaunchLink. A very well deserved first place went to Lily Dempster of The Neighbourhood Effect.

We’re particularly grateful, and looking forward to working with, Luna, YBF Ventures and Academy Xi as part of the prize package.